You probably learned the signs (and sounds) of an unhappy newborn early on. But the signs of happiness can be more mystifying. Baby doesn't even hit the first true happiness milestone, smiling, until after the first month! Here's how HappyMom.Life is to tell if your baby is feeling fine.
0 to 3 months: Holding Patterns
When your baby conforms her body to your arms and doesn't arch her back, it's a sign that she's comfortable. At this age, they 're happy when you meet their basic needs: You respond to cries, feed them, change their diapers, and lull them to sleep.
1 to 3 months: Grin and Share It
Somewhere between 4 and 10 weeks of life, babies start to smile spontaneously rather than reflexively. Before now, your baby's smile came from an internal comfort, like passing gas, or as a reflex (ever seen your baby smile in its sleep?). But now, they smile in direct reaction to something someone has done with them.
3 to 6 months: A Laughing Matter
Things get more exciting as smiles graduate to laughter. What gets babies going? Quality bonding with you! They're thrilled by funny noises and touches. At around 6 months, the element of surprise becomes a big hit. They get tickled by having their expectations upended.
4 to 7 months: A Tower of Babble
At first, "speech" is a series of consonant sounds strung together. Really informative, right? Actually, yes! Babies pick up these sounds (and along with them, your intonation) from listening to you. Now they can communicate their emotions vocally. When babies babble in a higher and higher pitch, they're showing interest in something or pleasure in their interaction with you.
12 to 18 months: Now That's Comedy!
Around the 1-year mark, kids gain a sense of humor. In an effort to make you laugh, they might put a diaper on their head or talk into their sippy cup. The research on the development of humor in kids shows that doing silly things with objects is, in general, a source of hilarity. Daddy trying to put the baby's shoes on his own feet -- that's really funny!
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