When Does Baby First Smile
Babies start smiling quite early on — while they’re still in the womb, in fact. You may have caught baby working on her smile on a second-trimester (or later) ultrasound, or seen it for the first time on her sleeping face soon after she arrived. But you’ve probably also heard — from your mother-in-law, your pediatrician and all your friends with kids — that a newborn’s smiles aren’t “true” smiles. That’s right, these are reflexive smiles. So what is difference between reflexive smiles and full-fledged social smile?
When does she launches her first full-fledged social smile?
Before she launches her first full-fledged social smile, you may see your baby doing lots of smile trial runs, practicing and exploring how her mouth moves. Babies spend more of their second month awake and paying attention to all they see and hear around them. They learn that their family cares for them when they are hungry or fussy or tired. They likely feel excited and loved when people smile at them, and one day their own smile breaks out in return. Then, the captivating “smile talk” begins.
In addition to all the warm fuzzies the social smile brings, it is also an important part of a baby’s social and emotional development. When you reliably respond to your baby’s cues about when they are ready for play and when they need a break, you let them know that their thoughts and feelings are important. Because a baby’s smile gets such a predictable response from a parent, they start to feel confident that they can exert some control over their world. The child’s self-esteem starts to grow, even at this young age.
How can I encourage my baby to smile?
To help your baby along, smile at her, cuddle her, play with her and talk to her often. Babies who receive lots of parental care and affection early on develop faster, have larger brains and are more sociable.
What if my baby isn’t smiling yet?
If your 1-month-old still isn’t smiling, don’t be alarmed. When your child hasn’t smiled by 4 months but vocalizes, makes eye contact and responds to verbal and visual cues from you, she just might not be a naturally smiley personality — at least, not at this early stage in her development.