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Baby Smiling Milestone: When Do Babies Smile ?

Several months of patience, pain, wait, anxiety, sleepless nights, restless days, medical consultations and social suggestions are finally put to rest once you’ve delivered. The first time you hold your tiny little munchkin, a zillion emotions engulf you and there’s a strange serene feeling that soothes you.

Baby MilestoneIn that instant, all those hardships appear too trivial. All that pain and pressure is finally rewarded when you see your new born baby smile at you with big round sparkling eyes. And that, that is a moment we wish to capture, recreate and experience time and again. As a new parent you wonder, when and how can we do it? When should we expect the baby to smile again? Or for those who haven’t yet experienced the joyous moment, the constant concern remains — when to expect that pink gummy grin?

Was it an actual smile or just a reflex?

While you might think that the baby was smiling even in that ultrasound of the last trimester of pregnancy and she has also smiled a couple of times once she was 3-4 weeks old; the fact is that those were mere reflex smirks or gestures. A baby takes about 6 to 12 weeks (2-4 months) to actually be able to smile. Like they say, it takes around 17 muscles to smile so the baby takes time to develop some muscle strength and learns to smile only after a period of 60-70 days.

These occasional smirks or reflexes may start between the time of birth to 3 days and may last upto 2 months that is the initial 4-5 weeks.

Developmental Milestone

The million dollar smile

Your baby’s smile does not only indicate his happiness but also tells you about his development. It implies that his vision has improved and he is able to identify things. He can see and recognize you and respond to your actions. This also means that his nervous system has matured enough to reduce impulsive reflex smiles and the baby is able to understand his feeling and is able to reciprocate them accordingly.

By the second month i.e. the 6th week of his birth, the baby’s brain starts to recognize your face and realizes that smiling is a way to communicate and connect with others. It is one of the first milestones that both the baby and you have achieved. Those delicate curled lips transforming into a pink gummy smile and gradually a gurgling laughter, is probably the best music you’d have listen to in a long long time.

What makes the baby smile?

You still are waiting for that lifetime of a moment when your little bundle of joy will curl his lips and pass that heart melting, cute smile to you? You can try and encourage him to do so. Get silly, make funny faces, talk to him, tickle him gently, play peek-a-boo with him, flutter your lips and make thumping sounds, blow kisses and do whatever you feel is exciting the baby. Be a little cautious and ensure that you don’t overdo it as the baby will feel anxious and won’t enjoy it. And when he smiles, be sure that he is doing it to express his happiness and pleasure. But if he is taking more than 3 months to smile, do mention it to your paediatrician.

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