Sharing a Smile

Birth-3 Months

FromStarting with Character,  Cathy Waggoner and Martha Herndon

What to have None needed

What to do Help infants learn to smile by smiling at them. Hold your face about ten inches from baby’s face (about the distance on which her eyes can focus in the first three months) and share your happy, loving expressions. The baby will enjoy watching your expressions and will begin responding to them. When you smile, you will eventually be rewarded with a smile in return.

Why Smiling transcends languages and cultures. It translates as an expression of enjoyment and a demonstration of caring feelings for others. Sharing a smile while making eye contact with a baby is a powerful way to demonstrate caring. Babies begin to watch and mimic facial expressions immediately after birth (Meltzoff and Moore 1983). They are drawn to smiling faces and will try to imitate a smile (Witherington et al. 2010). Your loving attention to infants helps to build their foundation of self- confidence and positive self- worth.

For more activities check out
Starting with Character: Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

By Cathy Waggoner and Martha Herndon Copyright 2016 Birth-3 Months

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