Your newborn baby's very first smile
When will your little one flash you her very first sweet smile? Is it really "just gas" like what everyone says? Find out more about your baby's milestone
After 9 long months, your little one is finally here and you cannot stop grinning from ear to ear as you cuddle and coo with her.
But don’t expect your newborn to immediately gaze into your eyes and give you a toothless smile just yet — this is a milestone which usually comes when your baby is around two months old.
Is it really important to try to get a smile out of your bub, and what can you do to encourage a tiny grin out of her?
Reasons why babies smile
You might think that little grimace could possibly be your newborn’s first smile, but if she’s only a few weeks old, chances are that it is probably just her passing gas!
Other reasons that your baby might look like she’s smiling could actually be because she is:
- Falling asleep
- Feeling content
- Very comfortable
Even if her supposedly grin is due to flatulence or because she is straining to poop, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy that adorable little face and pretend that it is a real smile is just for you.
What this milestone means
You can expect your baby’s first smile to appear when she is about six to eight weeks old, where she will flash you a genuine “social smile”.
During her two-month check up, the doctor might also ask you whether she’s flashed her first smile, as this milestone indicates a few things at this stage such as:
Understanding of human behaviour
Not only is it a sign that she’s growing up, but it also shows that she is starting to figure out human behaviour as she realises that it is normal for humans to smile at one another.
Instead of just crying, your bub will discover that smiling back at you will get your attention and most likely a positive response.
As your baby grows, she will observe the world around her and pick up new skills which is a good sign that her brain development is advancing right on track.
How to make your baby smile
If you have been anxiously waiting to see your little one’s sweet first smile, there are a few ways you can help to encourage a gummy grin out of her, like:
- Smile at her
- Cuddle her
- Play with her
- Talk to her as often as you can
- Kiss her
- Hug her
Be patient and just continue to shower your baby with love and affection to help put a smile on her face.
When to worry
Each child is different from the other and develop at their own time and pace, so if your two month old baby has not given you a smile yet, this is no cause for concern.
But if an older baby or toddler does not smile when smiled at, this could possibly be an early sign of autism, which is a spectrum that causes delays in certain basic areas of development, such as learning to talk, playing, and interacting with others.
However, if your baby hasn’t smiled at you but is able to vocalise herself, make eye contact and respond to your verbal and visual cues, then it could just mean that she may not have a smiley personality.
Remember to always voice any concerns to a doctor about your baby’s growth and development.
How old was your baby when she first smiled at you? What did you do to get a smile out of your little one? Share your stories with us below.