Infant Milestones: Smiling

Who doesn’t love a smiling baby?

Most parents can’t wait to see that happy look on their precious little ones face. Even the toughest of us can be reduced to the grinning, cooing, and face contortions are often adopted to induce the coveted baby grin.

But when does all the smiling fun first begin?

Interestingly enough, babies develop the ability to smile very early in life, even before they are born. But these first smiles are a reflexive smile, they tend to be short and occur mostly when your baby is sleeping or tired.

So when will your baby really start to smile as a reaction instead of a reflex? For most babies their reflex smile starts to disappear around 2 months of age. Real smiles can start to happen any time from around age 1 to 3 months.

Just can’t wait for that first silly grin?

There are some things you can do to help encourage your baby to smile sooner. Make sure you talk to your baby often during the day and make eye contact, but most importantly SMILE! Show her how it’s done and don’t be afraid to be silly and make funny faces or noises.

Written by: Kelly Underwood, birth and postpartum doula serving Leesburg and Northern Virginia