Babies begin to smile “properly” at around two months

Babies can reflexively pull their lips apart at an early age, but it is only at two to three months that they smile in response to their parents or caregivers when they are occupied with them or smile at them as well. The smile covers the entire face.

“There are individual differences and some children take a little longer to smile properly – perhaps also because they have a different temperament. If parents are worried because their child shows little reaction to their peers, or if after three months a child does not try to communicate with the other person through facial expressions and noises, or suddenly stops smiling, they should talk to their child and Talk to a youth doctor about it. This can have many reasons, such as vision or hearing problems, but an autistic disorder can also be the cause, ”explains Dr. Monika Niehaus, pediatrician and member of the expert committee of the professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ).

By four months, most babies can smile at people spontaneously. They often copy someone’s expressions and start babbling. They can now recognize familiar faces even if they are a little further away. Screaming also begins to change, depending on whether the baby is hungry, tired, or in pain.

At this age, babies reach for a toy and follow things that move with their eyes. When the baby is on their stomach, they will prop themselves up on their elbows to keep their head up and see more.

“During the preventive check-ups, the pediatrician also assesses the child’s development. Using certain “milestones” or “boundary stones”, he recognizes whether the child is developing similarly to his peers, whether there is a delay or a disorder. The observations made by the parents are very helpful in this regard. That is why parents can also fill out parent questionnaires for the preventive medical check-ups, ”explains Dr. Never house.

Parents can obtain the questionnaires from the pediatrician, for example, or download them from the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety at:


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