Babies cannot share jokes, but they sure can make you feel overjoyed with their breath-taking smile. There is nothing as calming as seeing a baby smile or even giggle. Once you have had an encounter with their first smile, you keep wanting more. During your baby’s first year after birth, you keep bumping into several occasions, when your baby is smiling to express their happiness and pleasure. Read on to know more about what makes your baby smile or laugh if you want to be instrumental in making them happy.
30 Sweet and Beautiful Pictures of Babies Smiling
Here are some cute baby photos with a smile that will melt your heart. Be it the cute baby pics or little baby images with their enticing glance, there are some priceless images that you would want to replicate with your child too.
How Do Smiles Develop in Babies?
The first twelve months after birth will be filled with days when you see your baby grinning and smiling from ear to ear in gradual progression. The first grins will slowly transform into capturing smiles that express pleasure, communication and also a sense of humour. Read to know when babies start smiling and the stages involved:
1. Reflexive Smile (Around 0-6 Weeks)
The first grin generally appears when your baby is asleep. It starts with a twitch, startle, and then the smile. While asleep, the body goes through physiological changes to activate certain reflexes. A smile is one such physical reaction, rather than an emotional one.
2. Responsive Smile (Around 6-8 Weeks)
At this stage, your baby smiles at all things pleasurable- cuddles, voices and faces. It is not an acknowledgement or a social response, but just a reaction to a sensory experience. Your baby still does not know to distinguish between people and things. You could encourage smiles by making noises and expressions they like to respond to. Indulge in conversations to help your baby study your face and gestures. Imitate their expressions and gestures to be mimicked by them.
3. Social Smile (Around 2-3 Months)
Your baby now wants to connect and will smile when he or she sees you, or when you make weird sounds. Your baby will learn that their smiling could get a cheerful response from you. Gurgling, grunting, and strange humming, along with moving their arms and legs are all serious attempts to attract your attention and express themselves. Although they may not smile whenever you want them to, you must consult a paediatrician if your baby has not smiled at all by 12 weeks.
4. Indiscriminating Smile (Around 6 Months)
Babies differ in every aspect of growth, with some babies smiling more than others. At almost 6 months, your baby will most likely be a smiling pro. No matter what, a six-month-old will definitely grin at you.
5. Selective Smile (Around 9 Months)
At this age, your baby starts distinguishing between people and will recognise you distinctly. Strangers may not be welcome, and you may be disappointed when they don’t flash their smile at them. But it is a healthy sign of development. The sense of object permanence is really strong, and a game of peekaboo is sure to perk things up and bring out the best smiles.
6. A Sense of Humour (Around 12 Months)
Your baby has started to develop his/ her language skills and a sense of humour too. Babies laugh at almost everything at this stage; funny noises, funny faces or funny sounds when things drop. They love surprises, so try singing a song or gently lifting them in the air, and your baby will be grinning from ear to ear, finding it all utterly hilarious.
Things That Make a Baby Smile
Between the first smile and the recognisable syllable comes the sound of a baby’s laughter. Laughing is an important milestone to indicate your child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills. So what is the trigger? What could tickle their funny bone? What makes a baby laugh? The triggers may vary, but the laughter is inevitable. All auditory and tactile things like rubbing the belly, lip-popping sounds, kisses and gentle blowing of the hair could tickle the funny bone.
Tricks to Make Your Baby Smile/Laugh for Photographs
All parents want those pictures of babies where they are flashing their radiant smiles. An incredible moment to capture, here are some pointers that could elucidate some great reactions and make for great photographs. Read on to find out:
Blow raspberries on their belly is a fool-proof trigger.
Win a giggle by rubbing your nose gently against your baby’s.
An age-old classic that never fails- a minute of peekaboo will have your baby chuckling.
Tickle your baby at their sensitive spots replete with noises.
Ridiculous faces by normal adults elicit cute laughs.
Children making the baby laugh
It is unbelievable how other kids or siblings who sign up for laughter duty do the trick.
Chase and catch
A game of chase could leave a crawling child in splits.
Lay your child on their back and bounce the bed. The sensation is sure to evoke laughter.
Put your vocal chords to practice with those funny sounds and noises you can make.
Nibble the neck
Pretend to gently bite your baby on her neck, arms and legs.
Watching a dog fetch a ball or a cat with a toy could make your baby laugh.
Laughter is contagious, and once you start the game, your child will follow suit. Not convinced? Read below to know why smiling and laughter is contagious.
Why Happiness is Contagious
Did the pictures of smiling babies bring a smile to your face? Sometimes, all it takes for you to melt after a long day is just the smile and gurgly laughter of a child. Here’s why smiling and laughter are contagious.
1. Emotional Reaction
When we see a baby laugh or smile, we seek to share that emotion. Babies, in general, exude positivity, which adults are immediately drawn to. Hence, seeing a happy baby can instantly uplift your mood, making you feel happy.
When we meet a person, whether happy or sad, we naturally mimic their expressions and mood, to know what it truly feels like. Hence, when we see a happy baby, we immediately try to mimic the happiness, to ‘try it on’.
Laughing and smiling builds a connection between people. When we see a baby smiling up at us, we laugh back to connect with this tiny human who seems to be amused.
Although it may take a while to figure out what makes your baby laugh, experience the entire process and bond better with them in the process.