Exploring the Mysteries of Newborn Smiles: Why Do Babies Smile In Their Sleep?

Jan 5, 2023 | Newborn Photography

Babies are one of life’s greatest mysteries; their tiny, precious smiles are a source of joy and wonder for parents, family, and friends. The delight that a newborn’s smile can bring is hard to describe. Even more mysterious is the fact that babies often smile in their sleep. Have you ever wondered why newborns smile while they are sleeping? Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for years, and while the exact cause remains unknown, some theories suggest that a baby’s smile is a physical response to pleasant dreams or a way of expressing joy and contentment. Whatever the reason, one thing is certain: a newborn’s smile is a beautiful and heart-warming sight.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling With Teddy Bear

What is a newborn smile?

Newborn babies usually begin smiling in their sleep between the ages of two and three weeks. At this point, their brains are fully formed and they can produce and respond to stimuli. In addition, they have enough energy to make eye contact, turn their heads toward sounds, and smile while they are sleeping. Although some babies tend to smile more than others, all newborns can smile. A newborn smile can appear when a baby is sleeping on their back, lying on their side, or being held in a parent’s arms. It is important to note that true newborn smiles are accompanied by squinted eyes, slow blinks, and a soft gurgling or cooing sound. Newborns often smile when they are dreaming, but it is not possible to know what they are dreaming about.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling With Dad

Theories behind the reasons why babies smile in their sleep

a. Physical response to pleasant dreams – Some experts believe that newborns smile in their sleep because they are dreaming about pleasant experiences, such as being in the womb or breastfeeding. When babies dream, their facial muscles are activated. This may cause them to open their mouths and create a smile-like facial expression even while they are sleeping. Similarly, a newborn’s smile could be a physical response to the feeling of being cradled and held.

b. Expression of joy and contentment – Another theory suggests that a newborn’s smile is a physical expression of joy and contentment. When babies are sleeping, they may be dreaming about pleasant experiences, which causes them to smile, even if they don’t know they are smiling. Some experts believe that this explanation is more likely because a newborn’s smile is accompanied by other positive physical reactions, such as slow blinks and cooing sounds.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling On A Bucket

The mystery of the newborn smile

The reason behind a newborn’s smile is a mystery. What we do know is that it is a beautiful and heart-warming sight. When a baby smiles in their sleep, it can help them to stay calm and restful. When babies are relaxed, their brains release a hormone that is associated with feelings of calmness and comfort. The same hormone is released when a baby is held in their parent’s arms. This may explain why babies often smile when they are being held. When newborns smile in their sleep, it is also important to remember that they cannot control the muscles in their faces. So, if your baby has a smile on their face, there is no need to worry. Simply enjoy the sight and be thankful for your little one’s joy and contentment.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling Sleeping

Benefits of a newborn’s smile

Besides being a beautiful sight, a newborn baby’s smile can have many benefits for the baby and their parents. It can help parents stay calm and relaxed. A relaxed parent is less likely to make mistakes when caring for their baby. It can help newborns to stay calm and restful. It can help a parent to know that their baby is comfortable and happy. It can connect a parent to their baby. A smile is a great way to connect with your baby. When your baby smiles, it is a great opportunity to smile back. Make eye contact with your baby and smile while they are awake and while they are sleeping. This can help you to build a connection with your baby. It can help a parent to know if the baby needs anything.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling Funny Face

Tips for encouraging baby smiles

If you are expecting a baby and have heard about newborn smiles, you may be wondering when and how you will recognize one. Here are some ways you can encourage your baby to smile.

  • Make eye contact with your baby. Once your baby is old enough, encourage them to make eye contact with you. This can help you to build a connection with your baby.
  • Hold your baby in your arms as often as possible. This can help your baby to relax and release the hormone associated with feelings of calmness and comfort.
  • Be aware of what your baby is doing while they are sleeping. If they are smiling while they are sleeping, be sure to take a moment to enjoy the sight.

Newborn Photography Calgary Newborn Smiling Headband

Conclusion

The smile of a newborn is a sight that is both beautiful and mysterious. There is no way to know why babies smile in their sleep, but one thing is certain: the sight of a newborn’s smile is breathtaking and amazing. The smile of a baby is a great way to connect with them, calm them down, and help them to rest, and it can also be a great way to help parents stay calm and connected with their baby.

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I'm Amanda

Welcome to my website! I am an award-winner maternity, newborn, baby and family photographer in Calgary, AB.

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