Newborn + Reflexive Smiles

The little facial expression that gives us the satisfaction that all is right in the world. Experts argue whether newborns are smiling in response to sensory experiences, such as in response to sweet smells or taste or is it because they truly are having a pleasant social interaction? Many experts believe that it is not truly a smile until approximately 2-3 months old when social smiles begin. In other words, social smiles occur when babies smile in response to funny faces, tickles, or the sight of familiar family members. Social smile or reflexive smile I can agree that it is the best thing in the world.

My little one isn’t smiling just yet?

My tip as an occupational therapist is to do the things that babies do and enjoy! Why is that? A baby’s occupation is playing! Engage you little one with arm/leg movements in rhythm to their favorite song. Pick your baby up and bounce them gently as you make silly noises. Since babies at this age are not yet talking be sure to watch their facial expressions and stop at any signs of discomfort (grimacing, etc). Be sure to check out later post about how to engage babies 3 months and younger with age-appropriate toys!

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