Love, Babies and Being There

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How you respond to your baby teaches him a lot about love! Discover how he grows love in his heart, too.

Love, in the very simple sense of shared positive feelings, starts very young for babies research says. For parents, meeting their infant for the first time brings an overwhelming flash of love to the heart. Love makes the world go round — so they say — and for families in tuned to each other, it’s true. Here are numerous ways parents and babies share love:

Ways Babies Show Love

• When your baby is distressed and you respond to him, he learns he can count on you for comfort and relief and that he matters — that’s love.

• Within a month of birth, babies begin responding with facial expressions and parents start doing it right back.

• At around 4 months, your baby will be unable to take her eyes off of you — that’s love.

• Your ability to provide face-to-face interaction to your baby will solidify the internal feeling the baby has that he matters and that he is loved!

• She smiles when she sees you because you are so important to her — that’s love.

• At around 1 year old, your baby may latch onto a stuffed animal or other “lovey.” Transitional objects actually symbolize you and your affection.

• When a baby starts gumming on your face or hand — that’s how he’s showing love!

• When baby starts reaching for you, it’s not NEED as much as it is LOVE.

Source: The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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