Development FAQ: 0-6 months – Smile?

When can I expect my 5 week old baby to smile at us? When can I expect my 5 week old baby to smile at us? I am sure he does smile but my mother dismisses it as wind. At times I feel he does look at me knowing who I am but no smile shows so maybe he is not really sure who we are yet.

You are probably right in thinking that he does already look at you with recognition in his eyes, as many babies do this before they learn how to control their facial muscles to form a smile. The kind of smiles your mother dismisses as “wind” probably are as they will involve just his mouth rather than his whole face.

From birth, you will have been looking at your son’s face whilst you feed him. Whether at the breast or having a bottle, his face will be close to yours and at each feed time he will be staring intently at your face and will sense when you are smiling at him. You will know when he does smile properly, as his eyes will light up and he will smile while watching your face. This normally happens around the sixth week, although it might be earlier or later than this; you may be asked if he is smiling at his 6-8 week check, as it is considered a developmental milestone. Some babies do smile more than others; personality and character are factors in this, but it does help if a baby sees lots of smiling faces.