One of the most amazing things you get to experience as a parent is your baby’s first social smile. The social smile typically develops between 4 to 6 weeks of age and is markedly different from the “gassy” smile which is usually followed by a cry or an earthshaking eruption from your child’s diaper.
The social smile makes all that hard work you have been putting into your little one truly pay off.
At the same time the social smile is just as rewarding for babies as they begin to discover that, in addition to crying, they can gain some control over their environment through smiling.
My Daughter’s First Social Smile:
My 3 week-old daughter recently had her first social smile. Our eyes met. Hers widened and twinkled. Mine widened. Her lips went up at the sides. Mine did too. I tickled her cheeks and got the same wonderful reaction. Then nothing. She was finished.
For the next couple days I kept trying to make her smile, but she did not appear to be in the right mood. She was hungry. She was tired. She had gas. I was beginning to worry it would be days until I saw that smile again.
My toddler son had no such worries. He is all heart and no brain at this point – he has learned the art of quieting the mind without having to actually learn how to do so – it’s organic.
He came over to me and asked,
“Sure, son, you can give your sister a kiss!”
I lifted him onto the bed and he nuzzled into his sister with his long, wavy hair falling all over her face.
He puckered up and
…the bed beside her.
“Good try, son!”
Then he lifted his head away from hers – his hair rising from her face like a curtain. Show time. The room lit up. There she was with the most angelic smile I have ever seen. She smiled. She smiled some more. She kept smiling. I got my phone out and took exactly 15 pictures of her never-ending smile.
After the smile ended and I had a chance to come down from my social-smile high, I thought about a few things:
- My daughter requires genuine smile-worthy content.
- My son already has a major impact on his sister. He doesn’t know this, but it doesn’t matter. He is all heart and his sister either finds this funny or admirable.
- Kissing the bed is totally worth it.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your baby’s first social smile – except for maybe watching one of your other children evoke this smile for the first time.
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