Let’s be real: life with a baby can be hard. Sleepless nights, crying (from you and them!) and a lack of communication can make it difficult to know what your baby is feeling.
Rest assured, however, that a special bond is forming. Your little one may not have any words for quite some time but as they grow, they’ll develop their own love language. Here are 10 simple signs your baby loves you.
1. Your Newborn Instantly Recognizes Your Scent And Voice
Your newborn’s vision may be pretty fuzzy, but they’re hardwired to recognize your voice over other people’s. After all, they’ve been listening to your voice in utero since the third trimester.
They’re also extremely sensitive to your unique smell. They’ve been breathing and swallowing your amniotic fluid, which helps them recognize mommy’s scent. It’s incredible to know that your baby has been programmed to love you since before they were even born, isn’t it?
2. Your Newborn Locks Eyes With You
There’s nothing sweeter than your newborn baby gazing deep into your eyes. But it’s only when they’re about six to eight weeks old that they realize that they can communicate with you by staring.
Yes, it’s instinct, but yours is their favorite face in the room and they’ll stare at you to keep your attention.
3. Your Newborn Settles When You Hold Them
Very young babies show their affection when you comfort them. They feel at their safest when they’re next to caregivers whose smell, voice and face they recognise.
Don’t stress if you can’t soothe them, though! This is completely normal. It can take weeks to get to know your baby and figure out how to keep them happy.
4. Your Baby Smiles At You
OK, OK – for very young babies, smiling may mean they’re just gassy! But by the end of their second month, your baby is starting to develop a ‘social’ smile.
Yes, they’re smiling intentionally because YOU are there, and may even smile in response to you smiling at them. It’s one of the first truly heartwarming signs that your baby loves you.
5. Your Baby Starts To Coo
This is where your baby starts getting downright adorable. At three months, they’ll start wanting to join in the conversation.
They’ll already love hearing your voice, will want to imitate it and may even start trying to talk to you. Your baby will communicate by turning their head to wherever you are, babbling and cooing.
6. Your Baby Comes Alive When They See You
It’s wonderful to know you light up the room when you enter it! This is how you make your baby feel when you return after being away.
Your little one may be perfectly happy in the care of familiar family and friends, but their happy bounces and wiggles when they see you are proof that you’re the number one person in their life.
7. Your Baby Wants To Be Picked Up By You
At about six months old, your baby will start holding out their arms for you to be picked up. They’ve always loved being held, of course, but now they have the cognitive capacity to ask to be swung up into the safety of your arms.
Not only does this show their love and trust for you, but it’s also very, very cute, even on the most demanding of days.
8. Your Baby Can’t Bear To Say Goodbye
From about a year old, your baby will begin to discriminate socially. Separation anxiety means that only mommy or daddy will do, which can be stressful, especially if you’re leaving your little one at daycare.
This is normal: your baby is beginning to understand object permanence; that people and things don’t disappear when they’re out of sight. Reassure them (and yourself) by calmly letting them know you understand that they’ll miss you but you’ll be back later. You’re teaching them that they can count on you to return, fostering a sense of trust.
9. Your Baby Saves Their Challenging Behavior For You
Ever picked up your happy little tike from daycare only for them to collapse in tears and tantrums when you get home? Although this may appear like they’re torturing you, they're actually showing their love for and trust in you.
Think about it from their perspective. They’ve been on their best behavior all day, coping with all the sights and sounds and lots of other little ones around. As soon as they see you, they know they’re safe. They can relax, be themselves and let all their emotions go – especially the inconvenient ones.
It may be hard in the moment, but it’s actually a pretty good feeling knowing that your child understands that you love them unconditionally. They reciprocate by seeing you as their trusted sanctuary in a scary world.
10. Your Baby Will Plant A Big Kiss On You
You’ve been covering your sweetie with kisses since day one, and they’ll have been paying close attention to how you show affection. From about a year old, expect some big, slobbery wet kisses from your baby – a surefire sign that they think you’re just swell. Mouth-open kisses are just the cutest!
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