Crazy about your baby? Then you’re gonna love this Post : The feeling’s completely mutual! Here are seven sure ways to tell that your baby is crazy about you as much.
Even before they can speak, babies have a whole bunch of tricks up their sleeves to show you that you’re special to them. Infants start developing an attachment to their caregivers right out of the gate. And the way they express love constantly evolves, changing as they grow. How, quickly, or slowly, your child will show any particular display of affection toward you or another family member can vary widely, depending on everything from his temperament to his experiences. (If you always keep at the cat away from him, for example, he won’t give her as much sugar as a tot who curls up with Tabby at nap times.) But there are certain behaviors babies tend to show at certain ages. Read on the signals that your baby thinks you’re better than a pureed banana, his No.1 lovey, and a chilled teething all rolled into one.
Sweet On You Sign #1
He Knows You’re You: “Within a few weeks, babies can recognize their caregiver, and they prefer her to other people,” says Alison gopnik, Ph.D., author of The Philosophical Baby and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Partly, your little one’s just following her nose: In one study, researchers put a nursing newborn between two breast pads, one belonging to her mother. The scent of Mom’s milk was enough to get the baby to turn toward that pad.
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: Become the foremost expert on what your baby’s various cries mean. Relentless and desperate usually means hunger, abrupt might mean pain, and more plaintive can signal discomfort. You’ll figure it out through trial and error, eventually grasping nuances that will baffle outsiders. The better you know his language, the better you can meet his need. “When a baby’s distressed and his parents respond, he learns he can count on them for comfort and relief, and that he matters,” But don’t worry if you can’t always nail the wail: “You don’t have to be perfect,” says Gilkerson. In fact, she says, research shows that caregivers are in perfect sync with their babies only about 40 percent of the time. What’s more important is that you will learn to recognize and respond when your baby needs you. “You baby learns’I can rely on Mom. Even if I cry for a little bit, sshe gets to me soon enough that I don’t fall apart,’” Gilkerson says.
Sweet On You Sign #2
She’ll Totally Flirt With You: “Within a month or so being born, babies respond to the facial expressions of their mothers, and without thinking about it, the moms start doing it right back, says Gopnik.” We’re talking about the smiles, the meaningful looks, the coy looking away and back again (think back to ninth-grade study hall; you get the idea!). These goofy games appear to be as important in cementing a baby’s attachment as your responses to her physical needs. At around 4 months, she’ll also be unable to take her eyes off of you. And who can blame her? By then, she’s gotten used to life on the outside, can suck and swallow, and is physiologically more regulated (i.e., is no longer eating and sleeping like a jet-lagged traveler), so she can begin to pay attention to more than just her immediate bodily needs, explain Gilkerson.
Little Ways to Make Love Grow: Flirt back-and don’t be afraid to us exaggerated expression. “Face-to-face interaction is part of how babies learn about positive give-and-take,” says Gilkerson. Your child’s starting to realize that with a single look, she can show you how happy she is that you’re around-and that it’s a feeling worth sharing, since you’ll beam back.
Sweet On You Sign #3
He’ll Latch Onto A Lovey: Babies often pick a favorite object, like a stuffed animal or a blankie, at around a year old. Gopnik explains that these transitional objects symbolize you and your affection, which explains the histrionics if you-heaven forbid!-put it the wash for an hour. “It represents your love, but in a way your child can control,” she says.
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: Let your child keep his lovely close by in situation where he might feel insecure, if that’s possible. Don’t worry that there’s some set time to get rid of it, as with a bottle. Chances are he won’t be clutching it as he walks down the aisle on his wedding day (though, let’s be honest, many of us still have Mr. Fuzzybear tucked away somewhere).
Sweet On You Sign #4
She’ll Pull Away From You, And Then Run Back: You’ll start seeing this as soon as your baby crawls. “You’re your child’s warm, cozy, secure base. But she’s also thinking ‘Hey, wait! I can crawl! I want to get out there and find out what’s in the world!’” Gopnik ex-plains. So she does, until she gets insecure. Then she’s all “Let me go back and make sure Mom’s still there.”
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: Freedom to explore-and then bungee back to a safe place-is what this is about, so let her do it. Of course, for many momss, this is harder than it sounds. But instead of hovering, put your energies into some extra babyproofing.
Sweet On You Sign #5
She’ll Accept No Substitute: Sometimes between 9 and 15 months, your child may decide you’re the only who’s worthy of wrestling her into her car seat. Though occasionally Grandma gets the honors. Or perhap her “preferred parent” will be Dad-it’s usually the one who meets most of the baby’s everyday needs, says Gilkerson.
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: Your main challenge is ego management-yours. Althought it’s tempting to keep your groupie all to yourself, it’ll do her more good to learn she can rely on others, too. Find ways to engage your child with people besides you who are close to her and care for her-your spouse, for instance. Stay close by, but try not to explain to Dad that she especially loves it when you tickle her chin. “Your baby will soon learn about your different styles,” says Gopnik. And steel yourself.
Sweet On You Sign #6
He’ll Freak Out When You Leave: Starting around his first birthday, and often continuing until he’s 3 or so, your child may get upset when you have to part-and rejoice when you return. “Separation anxiety is a sign he knows that the person he loves is different from others, and he’s beginning to have permanence-an understanding that people and things don’t disappear the minute they’re out of sight.
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: This is one behavior you don’t want to reinforce. Because, let’s face it, it can be excruciating to listen to your child’s wails as you leave him in daycare. Offer reassurance: Say “I know you’ll miss me, but Mrs.Rossie will take great care of you, and I’ll be back to pick you up.” Rest assured that he’ll be fine, says Gopnik, and know that you’re teaching him that he can count on you to come back for him later.
Sweet On You Sign #7
She Wants To Marry One Of Her Friends At School: At 3 or 4, she’s figured out that getting married means you love someone. Even if she doesn’t push for wedlock with her pals, she’ll start to love certain friends in a way sshe didn’t when she was younger than 2 and it was all about her parents. “It’s an extension of the bond she feels with her intimate caregivers,” says Gopnik. As kids enter kindergarten, their friends become more central to their lives. Wanting to marry a buddy isn’t a direct expression of her love for you, but it shows you’ve created a caring environment for her, both at school and at home.
Little Ways To Make Love Grow: Arrange playdates and praise her when she does thingss like sharing or hugging. Just be aware that some kids go a little over-board with displays of affection. Teaching your child how to recognize when someone’s feeling a bit smothered (“Sweetie, see how she’s pulling away?”) will help her learn to respect others’ boundries.