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Understanding and responding to the affection of your baby

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Your baby is a bundle of joy for you and your family. You are more or less likely to shower her with all your love and affection when you are around her. You know you’re the center of your baby’’s universe. For the first few months though, she may not exactly respond to it. But when she starts reciprocating your affection, your joy knows no bounds. These displays of affection are a good sign that she’s securely attached to you.

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Let her take her own time. Give your baby some time to learn to show her love for you. You may feel like kissing or hugging your baby whenever you see her, but she is going to take her own time to learn to reciprocate your affection and to initiate her own show of affection. Though your baby may not be showering you with kisses but she loves you and has her own little ways to show it.

Understanding the language of her affection.

The signs your baby shows to express her affection may look more like an inclination or liking towards you than a show of love. But as a matter of fact, she is genuine in her responses. These are steps towards her display of love and affection. However, you must remember that these signs differ for different stages for different babies.

At 2 months she smiles at you. By now, your baby is ready to display her first social conscious grin at faces that have become familiar, like that of parents.

At 4 months she imitates you. She may try to mimic your moves and expressions, a reflex that becomes more intentional as she learns that you seem to just love it. The more animated you get, the more she is going to copy you.

At 7 months she raises her arms to be held. Once she has the motor skills to grab for her favourite toys, she is going to start grabbing for you too. This is definitely a positive sign and a reason to be happy.

At 8 months she wails when you separate with her. Even if that is for a short while, this separation anxiety shows that she prefers you over others.

At 11 months she says "mama." The combination of such easy-to-make sounds and a desire to name what’’s important to her is often among the earliest words that a baby speaks. Most commonly, the first words sound like “mama”. But you must not worry though, if "dada” comes first. A mother anyhow remains the first choice of a baby!

At 12 months she gives you a kiss. Around her first birthday, your baby finally has the motor and communication skills to respond to your kisses. Though she may forget to close her mouth after bringing it close to your cheeks, but those first efforts show your special place in her heart.

Don’t give up your hope and patience.

You should not worry if your baby doesn’t reciprocate to your caress and kisses. Every baby is different and yours is too. With time she is going to know for sure how to show her affection in a way when she thinks is right. Give her some more time and do not panic. Don’t stop being affectionate to her if she seems to run out of your cuddles. Keep going and never force her to respond.

Build a relationship with visitors.

The rules of love and its reciprocation go for your visitors as well. A baby is definitely the cynosure of all the visitor’s eyes. But remind your visitors that your baby simply doesn’’t like hugs and kisses right away and that she needs to get used to being around them before accepting the love and affection. Suggest that they play with her for some time. Encourage them to follow her lead. This makes her feel safe and helps her build a strong relationship with them over time. Also, let your baby watch you give your visitors or relatives hugs and kisses. This lets her know that you love and trust them, and she can too. Eventually, she is going to surprise you by automatically offering her cheek for a kiss when your relatives stop by.

The joy of receiving love and affection back from your baby is above all. You just need to be patient with her. Let her grow up to her own feelings and come up with her own ways to let you know that you are the one who matters the most.

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