Whoever came up with the observation, “Smiling is contagious,” hit the nail on the head. No one can resist giving at least a small smirk when they receive a smile from someone, let alone when they see a smiling, happy baby. If that doesn’t warm your heart, than I’m not sure what will! Smiling is a worldwide sign of communication. In fact, for each of us, smiling was our first form of language. One of the happiest moments in parenthood is when you baby first smiles at you. To many parents it’s a sign of love and recognition.
However, all babies are different, and some may take a little time before they fully develop their smiling capabilities. Many parents worry there might be something wrong when their baby doesn’t smile or show signs of affection, but this can be completely normal for a baby. In fact, most babies spend much of their time smiling when they are asleep. As they grow they will become more in control of their emotions and more aware of their environment.
Smiling has a wonderful and positive impact on babies and young children. It boosts moods and encourages positivity and reduces stress, which in return keeps the immune system strong and healthy. When a child sees their parents smiling and laughing they will mimic this optimistic attitude. This is the same for babies. When a baby is showered with love and lots of smiling they are more likely to repeat this act.
Smiling also does a lot for the body. Because smiling reduces stress due to the boost of positivity in our moods, it releases endorphins from the pituitary gland, which makes you feel happy and more relaxed. It also reduces your cortisol levels which are stress hormones. Furthermore, when you smile or laugh you’re expanding your lungs and muscles and stimulating homeostasis, which is your body’s ability to function and maintain stability.
To promote smiling, experts recommend interacting with your baby from infancy. They suggest smiling at them, making funny faces, and encouraging laughter. It’s important for parents to remember every baby is different and they shouldn’t worry if their baby is taking their time before giving a smile. Instead of worrying, encourage your baby’s development and inspire their progression with love, joy, laughter, and lots of smiles.