Babies when they are first born they really do not have or make a lot of expressions. Even when they do make some, some studies have said these expressions are just uncontrolled muscle movements as the muscles try to form and get into a rhythm. However, as they mature within the months of the first year, they begin to mature more and make more voluntary facial expressions and with this, you start to notice that they start to bond with you and those around them. This is usually referred to as an attachment process. Below are some things you would notice with your baby that shows they are starting to be attached to you
Your Baby Smiles: even if the smile is for a split second, it still means a lot. It shows that your baby is trying to express how they feel inside outwardly. It might not last because they can’t hold their muscles in that position for long but the smiles will get wider and stay on for longer as the months go by. The goofy newborn smiles may also be your baby reflecting your own smile. This means your baby is instinctively building a bond with you. The first true social smiles start brightening moms’ days between 6 and 8 weeks. Your baby may smile when he sees your face or another familiar face. He’s starting to associate your face with feeling good.
Your Baby Starts Giving Smooches: When your baby is nearing 1 year old, they would start to give mini smooches and kisses. Even though they are comfortable in their Snuggly Blankets they will every now and then try to wiggle out and grab onto you. They will be mostly wet and sloppy and they might fall over on your face. This is just them trying to make contact with you and to be close to you. Encourage this.
Your Baby will Flirt With You: Part of this flirting is your baby smiling at you and mimicking your facial expressions. It’ll also include coy looks, laughing, making funny facial expressions or knowing looks. These goofy games appear to be as important in cementing a baby’s attachment as your responses to her physical needs. At around 4 months, your baby will be unable to take her eyes off of you. By then, she’s gotten used to life on the outside, can suck and swallow and is physiologically more regulated that is they are no longer eating and sleeping like a jet-lagged traveler so she can begin to pay attention to more than just her immediate bodily needs. When this starts happening, you don’t need to shy away from flirting back. Reciprocate the facial expressions and make exaggerated ones.
Your Baby will Stare at you Intently: Right from birth, a baby can recognize their mother’s face, voice, and smell. The next step is linking those sounds and smells he trusts with something he can see. That’s why your baby will start studying your face as if he’s trying to memorize it. In a way, he is. He’s making sure he knows what comfort and love look like and memorizing it for next time. So next time you catch your baby’s eyes locked on you, give him time to drink you in.
Your Baby Knows You’re You: After the first few weeks, your baby can now recognize their parent or primary caregiver and will prefer them to other people. In one study, researchers put a nursing newborn between two breast pads, one belonging to her mother. The scent of Mom’s milk was enough to get the baby to turn toward that pad.
Your Baby Holds up Her Arms so You’ll Pick Her Up: At about 6 months your baby will start to stretch their hands towards you to signify they want you to lift them up or cuddle them. Even if someone else is holding them they will try to wiggle away. Many babies adore being held right from the start, but it takes about six months until they have the physical and cognitive abilities to ask for a pick-me-up. It’s a body-language expression of how much they’ve come to trust and adore their parents. It definitely makes the parent feel good. Whenever one of my nephews or nieces signify they want to be in my arms, it makes my heart warm.
While noticing all these interesting changes in your baby’s behavior and development of new patterns, you become the foremost expert on what your baby’s various behaviors and even cries mean. Relentless and desperate usually means hunger, abrupt might mean pain, and more plaintive can signal discomfort. You’ll figure it out through trial and error, eventually grasping nuances that will baffle outsiders. The better you know his language, the better you can meet his needs. When a baby’s distressed and his parents respond, he learns he can count on them for comfort and relief and that he matters. Also if your baby is the fussy type, they learn that after just one cry you’ll come running and sometimes they can overdo this and use it to their advantage to give you sleepless nights. Hence the phrase letting the baby “cry it out” to help them learn to build some type of endurance. This is of course quite controversial as there are other opposing opinions about the “cry it out technique”. What’s more important is that you will learn to recognize and respond when your baby needs you. “Your baby learns ‘I can rely on Mom. Even if I cry for a little bit, she gets to me soon enough that I don’t fall apart,’”
Babies past the 6-month mark are a lot more aware of the world around them and are developing new abilities practically every day. This is when it starts to get really fun. As your baby can now show her big-time affection for you in some pretty adorable ways. It is also around this time they start to crawl or move more and try to explore the world around them. They are better in control of their muscles (as already mentioned above) and this also includes their hand muscles and they will start grabbing at whatever they can lay their hands on like grabbing on your chain or your glasses or the dog’s ear etc. Try to keep them away from ropes and plugs or anything that’s easy to grab or pull.