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Smile is a very powerful emotion that conveys a message in a simple form. It is also one of the initial emotions, babies use to express their love. Sharing a smile with your baby will soon develop into a strong bond of love between you two.
A mother starts to recognise and interpret her baby’s emotions and moods a few days after she is born. Even though a newborn cannot speak, a mother understands her needs and fulfills them. Sharing a loving smile with the baby is the simplest way to make her feel loved and secure. A mere smile from parents and caregivers has been proven to improve baby’s brain development and self-esteem.
The Science of Smile
A baby’s smile can be spontaneous or random. A genuine smile originates from the limbic system, which is the brain’s emotional centre. These limbic systems and motor networks sufficiently mature when the babies turn 4-10 weeks old.
For a newborn, the sight or even the voice of the primary caregivers including the parents is enough to make them smile to express their happiness. Even blind babies show their grin on feeling the touch or hearing the voice of their key caregivers.
Bond with Your Baby’s Smile
Smiles are the best building blocks of attachment between a mother and her child. When a baby feels loved and safe with her parents and primary caregivers, she simply smiles back at them to show her appreciation. A smile is just an expression of her joy and happiness.
Importance of Smile
- For parents, nothing is more rewarding than watching their babies smile. It gives them contentment and fulfillment. A baby not smiling back also serves as a test of parental behaviour. While it is said that a baby’s smile motivates parenting behaviour, parents must also learn to respond positively to their baby even in distress.
- Smile plays an important part in attachment and connecting with your baby. As your baby is unable to understand the meaning of your words, smiling back at her is the best way to build the bond of love and care.
- When you smile back at your baby, it makes her feel safe and secure. For your newborn, the world is an unknown environment and a smile from you comes as a form of assurance that she will be looked after, no matter what. This feeling of security is vital for healthy development of your baby.
- Young children and even babies can read their parents’ faces. Their parent’s expressions are the first encounter in the outside world. They use it as a guide for understanding behaviour. Sharing a smile with the babies, will develop a positive picture about the world and surrounding environment.
Children learn about emotions through their interaction with others. A smile can directly convey the message of love and trust to the child. Sharing a heart-warming smile with your baby is one of the primary emotional experiences that helps shape his responses in the future.