The fun has already started for your tiny tot as faint coos turn into noisy gurgles and clumsy claps into unwavering waves! Cheer on your little one’s cutest milestones and pave the way for bigger things to come.
1. Smiling (6 to 8 weeks) While your baby sleeps, you see the slightest upturned lip, rush to grab your camera, and find yourself half a second too late. “Before one month, baby’s smile is predominantly an inborn behavior,” says John Ong, M.D.,pediatrician at The University of Santo Tomas Hospital in Manila. It is a reflex rather than a response to something he sees, hears, or feels, he adds. Give your baby a few more weeks before he flashes his first social smile. When he does, you will see movement of all his facial muscles, including his eyes and cheeks.
Let’s practice! Sights and sounds, like a favorite toy or mommy and daddy’s faces, usually elicit a social smile, says Dr. Ong. Your baby learns best by imitation. Keep wearing your grin and he will indulge you with picture-perfect smiles.
2. Lifting his head (3 to 4 months) Look at your baby bopping his head up and down, trying with all his might to keep it still. He lies on his tummy more frequently to accomplish this curious feat, raising his head to get a glimpse of his world.
Let’s practice! “The cutest practice drill that is motivating to the baby and satisfying to mom or dad is having baby lie face down on the parent’s chest while propping both elbows forward,” suggests Abbie Mensenares, pediatric physical therapist and managing director of Movement Matters Therapy Center in Quezon City. While moving a toy in different directions can make him curious enough to lift his head and follow the movement, nothing beats hearing the sound of your voice and seeing your face to encourage him.