Before you become parents you see all these photos of babies smiling in photos and you begin to wonder when will your baby interact with you.
We’ve put this post together to understand babies and how they interact with adults in their first few months. We explore in this post:
- Understanding a babies needs in the early months
- At what age do babies start looking at you
- When do babies begin smiling?
- How to encourage babies to smile?
- When do babies begin associating voices with people?
Understanding Babies and Their Needs
In those early first few months as a new born, your baby’s primary focus is on being fed, sleeping and cuddles with you. While they are doing these, they are also learning and taking an incredible amount of information in as they watch you go about your life.
During these early first few months, your babies will engage with you through crying to let you know that they are ready for another feed or perhaps unhappy about something.
At What Age Do Babies Start Looking at You
Generally around the 0-3 month mark your baby will begin looking at your face and following you with their eyes.
It’s important to remember that your baby isn’t born with perfect eye vision or the ability to use their eyes. At birth, babies can only focus on objects that are 8-10 inches away. Over time they learn how to move and focus their eyes on objects but also learn how to process the information that their eyes are providing.
Eventually your baby will progress from your face to colourful and contrasting objects nearby that captivate their attention. For example, you might have a poster in their room that has contrasting colours like black and white with zig zag patterns that will captivate the attention of your little one.
What Age do Babies Start Smiling?
Babies smile as early as right from birth. Generally these smiles aren’t actually smiling because they are happy but more a reflex motion where they are smiling due to other reasons whether it be passing gas or being comfortable and warm. It’s even thought that babies can smile in the womb when they experience reflex smiles.
Babies smile intentionally around the 2-3 months of age mark. You can generally tell what’s a real smile vs. a reflex smile apart. The tell tale thing to look out for is whether they are smiling with their eyes too which is the tell tale sign that their smile is intentional.
When your baby begins smiling at you, this is a sign that their vision is improving and they can see beyond the 8-12 inches which we mentioned earlier in the post. It’s at this stage too that your baby is working out that they can connect with their world around them through their smile.
How to Encourage Your Baby to Smile
If you’re worried that your little one isn’t smiling as much as other kids, there’s a few different things you can do to help encourage smiling, these include:
- Talking and engaging with them whether describing the world around them or reading them a book
- Looking at them and pulling funny facial expressions to try get them giggling
- Smiling at them and trying to show them the way
- Find objects that create different sounds that they may find amusing
- Singing to them with your favourite music
When Do Babies Begin Associating Voices With People?
Surprisingly babies do a lot of listening while in the womb and for this reason, doctors often recommend that you make the effort to talk with your baby while they are in the womb so you can begin developing a relationship early.
Generally babies will quickly develop a relationship with their parents due to the familiarity of hearing their voice while they were in the womb. Whilst babies will take longer with other family members depending on how frequently they see them.
We hope this article on how babies interact with the world in their first few months has been useful for you. Summarising the key points of this post:
- Babies are more inclined to smile in the first few months to a reflex causing the smile (e.g. passing wind)
- Babies vision in the first few months is heavily restricted where they can only see 8-12 inches ahead
- At around the 2 month mark your babies vision improves drastically and they can begin seeing your face and the expressions you pull
- Make the effort to talk and sing to your child. It’s a great way to help encourage them to smile!
As with all our posts, if you’re worried after reading this post that your baby isn’t hitting milestones (e.g. smiling at all) then we’d recommend seeking professional advice from your local medical professional who will be able to best guide you on improving the situation.
Thanks for reading!
My name’s Alex and I’m a husband, dad to beautiful identical twin boys, cyclist, photographer and connoisseur of great coffee!
Help I’m Having Twins has been created for me to share what I found useful as a new parent and dad to twins.