Parenthood is an amazing gift full of excitement and curiosity. The journey is very beautiful right from the moment you are pregnant. It takes a lot of patience at the same time to build yourself into being engulfed in the beautiful atmosphere of parenthood. But all your sleepless nights, morning sickness stress suddenly seem worth it when you see your baby smile at you for the first time.
Your baby’s smile is the most beautiful and rewarding moments of parenthood. There are many queries regarding your baby that also includes their smile and expression. Few of your questions will be answered.
It is difficult to believe but your baby starts smiling even before it is born when it’s inside your womb. According to pediatricians these first smiles are not intentional or response to anything, rather are reflex smiles similar to the jerky arm and leg movements your baby’s body experiences as it goes through an equipment-testing process.
But these reflex smiles will disappear by the time it’s 2 months old. Your baby’s first real smile will make an appearance somewhere between one and a half to 3 months or 6 and 12 weeks of life. With time you will be able to differentiate between a reflex and a real smile. Reflex smile is shorter and is random which appears when your baby is sleeping or tired. On the other hand, a real smile is a response your baby shows to something.
Your baby will show its response by smiling to things such as seeing your face or hearing a sibling’s high pitched voice, looking to a small bird or puppy or just listening to something that will delight it.
It brings a lot of joy to your baby when you try to play with it using different ideas and creations. And that smile is for real in which you will see the emotions expressed in your baby’s eyes.
Importance of your baby’s smile
There is nothing sweeter in this world than your baby’s smile lighting up with happy recognition or delight. Smile is a welcoming sign of your baby’s growing social skills. Smile is an indication that your baby’s vision has improved and it is able to recognize your face. When its brain and nervous system have matured enough to eliminate the reflex smile, your baby will be aware that smiling is a way to connect with others. Your baby at this time begins to realize that its feelings matter and have a direct effect on the people around him.
In some cases there might be a delay is smiling. Few babies may take more than 2 or more months to express a real smile. In most of the cases it is considered normal, but too much of delay in smiling is considered an early indicator for autism spectrum disorder. While this is true, a delay in smiling is very rare the only symptom for a child on the autism spectrum will exhibit. If your child is not smiling but otherwise normal and responds to verbal and visual cues from you, it might be just what it is naturally not a smiley personality.
In case you find anything unusual you should always discuss with your pediatrician as early as possible.