When do babies smile ? That first baby smile is one of the best first developmental milestones that your baby will achieve and is your reward for all that hard work and many hours of feeding and care you have put in over the last few weeks. Not surprisingly most parents ask me when do babies smile in the hope I will say sooner rather than later. Most are also very pleased to know that the answer to their question will mean they don’t have to wait much longer for that special gummy grin.
I’ve been looking after babies for over 20 years now and I still get excited by the first babies smile. In fact I often tell my parents that the day I do not get excited by their first smile is the day that I will retire!
While writing this page I am currently looking after twin boy and girl. It’s a fabulous moment when they both stare almost through you to look at you and take in all around them. Each time they do this we are another day closer to a cheesy grin.
Most books and baby development charts will say that babies smile somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks of age but I am finding that this is getting much earlier for babies today and I have often had my first babies smile (after mum and dad of course) as early as 3 weeks!
As soon as your baby is born he will start to try and communicate with you. This will be by looking, listening and using his different cries to try and tell you what he wants.
He will try and imitate your facial expressions straight after birth and will look deeply into your eyes. He may stare at you for a long time so let him and chat to him while he is doing so.
By learning all about your baby’s different noises you will learn when he is hungry, tired or has a tummy ache.
The best time to encourage babies smile is when he is calm and awake and just taking in the world around him.
There are a few things that you can do every day to help your baby week by week to communicate with you a little more which will also help to answer that all important question, when do babies smile?
How to make baby smile
1) Chat with your baby at feed times
2) When feeding your baby look at him when he looks at you
3) When baby is awake and calm pop him on your knee and holding him about 30 cm from your face interact with him, chat, sing, smile
4) Make funny faces at your baby, you may notice that he tries to copy you
5) Don’t give up trying, he wont smile straight away but each time you interact your another day closer to a big grin
6) Don’t force your baby to look at you. If he looks away or starts to get upset then try again later or the next day
You will soon learn how much stimulation your baby can cope with and if he is not in a very happy mood due to a baby growth spurt or wind then don’t worry and just try again another day.
When do babies smile and my premature baby?
This time scale does depend on how premature your baby was. If it was only a week or two then this time scale will not really make much difference and you may well get a babies smile sooner rather than later.
If your baby was many weeks early then the best advice is to wait until they have reached their due date and then start the countdown.
Premature babies can become overwhelmed by their little world very quickly and easily so if lots of talking to your baby seems to unsettle him then just spend some time looking at each other.
When do babies smile and your twins?
This is similar to a premature baby. If they came out at their due date then treat them just like a singleton and you may get a babies smile as early as 3 weeks old. If they where small birth weights or premature twins, again wait until you have reached their due date to start the smile countdown.
I looked after a set of twin girls that where 5 weeks early and they smiled when they where 8 weeks and a few days old.
Please do not worry if your baby is not smiling as soon as some other babies that you know around you. All babies will hit their developmental milestones at a time that is right for them. Just keep encouraging your little one to smile and one day you will be rewarded.
If your baby has not smiled by 12 weeks after their due date or you notice that your baby makes very little eye contact with you then it may be worth going along to your local baby clinic or visit your G.P to ask for advice.
I hope that my when do babies smile page has helped you and I hope that you will both soon be grinning together. Please help us to expand by clicking the facebook like button at the bottom of this page.