Did you know that long before your baby was born he was already risking the first smiles inside the furnace? Believe me, even in utero, the little one learns to smile, but not intentionally. These are just reflexes similar to the involuntary movements of his arms and legs.
As much as that smile isn’t for you yet, it’s irresistible anyway, isn’t it?
When to expect a real smile?
The reflexes will disappear around two months and the first real ones will appear between a month and a half and three months of life. They say a lot about your child’s development, after all, it’s a sign that his vision has improved and he can already recognize his mother’s face!
This process shows that the brain and nervous system have evolved enough to eliminate reflex smiles. Now your child knows that this is a way to communicate with other people.
While the crying shows that he didn’t like or understand what’s going on around him, the laughter is the sound of approval. Like us, they laugh when they understand the joke.
Reflex smile X Real smile
You can tell the difference between them by the duration. Generally, reflexes tend to be shorter and occur for no reason when the baby is asleep or tired.
The real ones, on the other hand, occur in response to something, like seeing the mother’s face or hearing Dad’s voice. They are more consistent and you will see the emotion in baby’s little eyes. It’s really cute!
How to encourage smiles
Talk to your baby! Talk to him often and give him time to respond, making eye contact and smiling. Make faces, funny noises or the famous “Where? You found it!” but without exaggerating the stimuli.
As your child realizes that what he or she does causes a reaction in people, they will start adding sound effects. At five months, your love can already surprise you with a laugh.
Of course the baby won’t act so friendly to everyone. Like adults, your little one will prefer certain people to others. This selective behaviour also shows the development of the little one, who knows how to differentiate each person according to the degree of proximity.
Maybe the anxiety to see the baby smile is great, but the lack of laughter does not mean that your child is not happy. Each child has a time and yours can take a few more weeks.
If after three months your child does not smile, comment with the paediatrician to find out if it is necessary to make an evaluation of the cognitive and affective functions.
Enjoy this wonderful time and don’t forget to register these beautiful moments!
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