Having a baby can be pretty stressful. There's little sleep, little time to yourself, and very little time for romance. When my son was a baby, I once fell asleep while brushing my teeth! As a parent, we want some sort of reward for all of that hard work. While the hugs, kisses, and "I love yous" are a year or two away, you will be pleased to discover that a genuine smile is lurking right around the bend.
I snapped countless photos of my son when he was a few weeks old, and bragged to people that he was already smiling. When I told his pediatrician about his talent, she informed me it was a reflex, and that all infants smile when they pass gas.
So when can you expect them to smile on purpose, when they feel pure and innocent happiness? After they hit the 2-month mark!
Somewhere between your baby's first six and 12 weeks of life, that creepy alien smirk will be replaced with a full fledged, cheek to cheek, mesmerizing smile. And this time, it's intended just for you.
So what can you do to make your little one break out in a big, toothless grin? Here are three tips to make them smile:
- Choose a period when your baby is relaxed to make them laugh. A hungry baby isn't inclined to smile.
- Take your baby in your arms with your face very close to theirs. Remember at this age, your baby sees best 12 to 18 inches away. They also just love the cuddle!
- Smile wildly at him/her and offer them a warm "hello" in that sing-song pitch parents do so well.
Try not to focus too much on the numbers, and remember even babies have personalities. Some might be less smiley than others. When my son was a baby, I got him to smile by singing Megan Trainor songs, tickling him, and even nursing him. No matter when it happens, you're in for the sweetest of treats.