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10 Signs Your Baby Loves You

by Dianna Graveman | May 9, 2012 7:11 AM
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10 Signs Your Baby Loves You

Most moms fall in love with their newborns immediately. But brand new babies aren't able to show affection back--at least not in ways we immediately recognize. Within just a few weeks, however, your baby will begin to show just how attached she is to you in some simple, easy-to-spot ways.

Recognition

Your baby will start to recognize you, even by smell and touch, as early as a few weeks. He will show you in tiny ways, like turning toward the sound of your voice, that he prefers you to other people. This attachment increases if you have learned to identify your child's cries so that you can most efficiently meet his needs, whether he is hungry, in pain, or simply uncomfortable. He will quickly learn he can count on you when he is unhappy.

Facial Expressions and Eye Contact

Very early, babies begin to respond to the facial expressions of their caregivers. By four or five months, most babies will stare at their mothers intently and mimic her facial expressions.

Smiles

Decades ago, a newborn's smile was nearly always dismissed as "gas". New research now suggests that while a very young baby may not intentionally smile out of happiness or joy, it is possible she is mimicking the facial expression of her parent, or reflecting the happiness she sees in your face. By six or eight weeks, your baby may truly smile when he sees you because he knows he can count on you to meet his needs and make him feel better.

Happy Homecomings

Whether you're gone for a few hours or for a few days, your baby will wiggle all over and make joyful sounds she sees you--because she loves you and misses you!

Stressful Partings

By the same token, most babies go through a period of separation anxiety and often appear greatly distressed when their mothers disappear, even for a few minutes.

Toddler Kisses

Another way your child will imitate the ways you show affection as she gets older is through kisses. She's seen you and felt you use your mouth to plant these little signs of affection on her and others, and by a year old, she will probably give it a try. These kisses are not practiced and are usually open-mouthed and a little on the wet side, but she is showing she cares about you by copying the way you show affection to her and others.

Show of Independence

Soon enough, your child will begin to yearn for freedom and exploration--a little at a time. When your baby squirms to get off your lap and crawl or toddle away, then almost instantly comes back, she is testing her independence, knowing you will still be there and she can depend on you to keep her safe.

Hugs and Body Language

About the same time he starts giving you smooches--or maybe even before--your toddler will begin seeking hugs when he needs comfort. He may even wrap his arms around you simply to express his own joy in being with you. When your toddler lifts his arms to you as a plea to be picked up and held or carried, he's showing trust. He knows you can "speak his language" and understand that he needs to feel close to you.

Flattery

Your baby or toddler won't necessarily compliment you, at least not in the traditional sense. However, she will flatter you almost constantly through imitation. By the time she is toddling, she will not only imitate your facial expressions, she will imitate your actions. You will know she's been watching you closely when she rocks her baby doll or holds it close and attempts to feed it a bottle.

Unconditional Love

You may think your child is not expressing love when he saves his best tantrums for you and behaves delightfully for the sitter. The truth is that your child is showing you he knows you love him unconditionally. He has to be on his best behavior for others; he doesn't trust them the way he trusts you. He knows you'll love him no matter what, and he loves you the same way.


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