You can expect your baby to smile for the first time when they are between four and eight weeks old.
However, all ʙᴀʙɪᴇs develop at ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛ ʀᴀᴛᴇs, so try not to ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ᴏɴᴇ to other ʙᴀʙɪᴇs who may be at different stages. ʙᴀʙɪᴇs learn to smile by copying people who smile at them, so one of the most important things you can do to help your baby reach this milestone is to smile at them yourself as much as possible! You will most likely be doing this naturally anyway, but if not, try to remember where you can.
Even if you don’t feel like smiling much all the time, it’s worth trying to do so sometimes for your baby’s sake. But don’t worry too much, as they’ll probably still see plenty of smiles from other people.
Remember that if you are feeling ᴘᴇʀsɪsᴛᴇɴᴛʟʏ low, though, it’s worth reading up on the symptoms of postnatal depression, so that you can get some support if you need it.
Your baby’s early smiles will mostly be given in response to somebody smiling at them, as they learn to process faces. So don’t feel upset if their first smiles are towards another person. Your baby will likely smile at any friendly face that enters their horizon! However, as they get older, they will certainly be saving their biggest smiles for you.
If you want to encourage your baby to smile, try talking to them as well as smiling at them. They’ll most likely smile in response, and they’ll also start to make those adorable cooing sounds. Talking to your baby about what you’re doing and what you see when you’re out and about will also help with their language development in the future.
Plus, as your baby begins to process faces and to follow objects (and people) around the room with their eyes, they will smile when you have been out of sight and return to where they can see you. So, try nipping out of their line of sight and back in to see if they respond
How can I encourage my baby to smile?
To help your baby along, smile at her, cuddle her, play with her and talk to her often. You can’t spoil a newborn, and eɴᴜᴍᴇʀᴏᴜs sᴛᴜᴅɪᴇs have shown that babies who receive lots of parental care and affection early on develop faster, have larger brains and are more sociable. So if you can’t wait to see those first real smiles, snuggle away, and smile at her like she’s the best thing since sliced bread (which, really, she is).