Somewhere between the sleepless nights, mountains of laundry, and the thousandth rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider, you might wonder if all your efforts are actually appreciated. It takes time to figure out the positive signals your baby is making, but the good news is that they may already be giving you more feedback than you thought. Keep an eye out for these 10 clues your baby likes you.
It’s love: 10 clues your baby likes you
1. Turning their head to you. Young babies instinctively turn their head towards familiar sounds, rather than new ones because they’ve already learned (as early as 20 weeks into pregnancy) that Mum’s is the most consistent voice. Next time your best friend is holding your baby, watch out for the telltale head turn whenever you talk.
2. They make eye contact with you. Young babies have limited eyesight, but when they’re being held, they will turn towards your face to focus on your most obvious features. A lovely sign that your baby likes you is when they gaze into your eyes and mimic your facial expressions.
3. They relax in your arms. It mightn’t always be obvious that your baby likes to focus their attention on you, but you can feel it when your baby’s body relaxes when you hold them.
4. Opening their mouth a lot. Babies can recognize their mothers through smell alone. One study showed that when offered breast pads coated in human milk, babies made more sucking motions when offered breast pads with their own mother’s milk than with those of unfamiliar women.
5. The high-beam smile. At the age of six to 12 weeks, your baby will look at you and crack a full-blown “social smile”. No, it’s not wind. It’s the kind of smile you won’t be able resist returning, and when you do you’re further strengthening your bond.
6. Cooing and chatting. Also around the age of six to 12 weeks, your baby will start making their first breathy vowel sounds. If you mimic them, you’re nurturing their developing speaking skills, and you might find yourself in one of the most satisfying conversations you’ve ever had.
7. Lighting up when you make an entrance. At six months old they’ll be able to differentiate between normal people and their favourite people (you and your partner). It doesn’t matter how contented your baby is on auntie’s lap, as soon as they spot you making an entrance they will gleefully wiggle.
8. Dropoff meltdowns. At around nine to 12 months old, you may start to notice your baby begins crying every time you drop them off somewhere. It may feel awful, but this separation anxiety is a clear sign of how important you are to your baby – and don’t worry, they’ll settle pretty quickly once you’ve left.
9. Checking to make sure you’re there. Once your baby gets the hang of crawling, they’ll use this newly acquired freedom to explore. Watch how often they return to your side or check to make sure you’re still there. Your baby is establishing a bit of independence and by checking in, they feel reassured that with you there, they’re safe.
10. Giggling. One of the joys of parenthood is hearing your baby’s laughter and over time you’ll be making them burst into big belly laughs. If you’re really lucky, they might giggle in anticipation before you even move – because they’re your biggest fan!
Check out Breastmates’ range of gorgeous baby clothing, including hand-knitted treasures made exclusively for Breastmates by Granny!
Image courtesy of Sharon at Bloom Photography (bloomphotography.co.nz).