Is there anything more touching than seeing a smiling baby? Even more touching is the newborn's first smile, sometimes known as the angelic smile. No wonder we call it that, because for many parents it is usually a long-awaited moment that offsets the fatigue and sleepless hours of the chaotic but wonderful first months to some extent.
This magical moment usually occurs more often when the baby is asleep. Is the baby dreaming? Do you remember the time you spent in mommy's tummy? Bright Side asked the same question and wanted to know what babies were hiding behind their dreamy smile.
Babies smile before they are born.
If you're lucky enough to see your baby smile on an ultrasound, don't think that you're imagining things that won't happen. A study of more than 500 pregnant women with 4D ultrasound found that up to 31 fetuses actually smiled. They all smiled an average of 3.21 seconds. In this way, scientists have discovered that spontaneous smiling already occurs in the womb and before birth.
Thanks to the development of new technology that allows us to look at babies in the womb to see what's going on there before they are born, fetuses can yawn for as long as 18 weeks after conception. From the 26th week of pregnancy, they can smile, blink, and even cry from birth - these facial expressions are an unconscious reflex they develop, so to speak, in preparation for birth.
The first smile is a spontaneous and unintentional act.
As mentioned earlier, these actions performed by the baby in the womb are called reflex actions. That is, they are an immediate response to a stimulus, which in infants is largely a feeling of inner well-being. Unlike most of us, babies are most likely not aware that they are smiling, so we are talking about involuntary muscle movements, such as kicking or sucking their thumb.
The right time to smile
During sleep, newborns usually go through 2 phases of sleep: active sleep and deep sleep. The active phase, also known as REM, which is an acronym for rapid eye movement, is believed to be produced by intense brain activity. This happens about 60-90 minutes after you fall asleep, but sleep works in cycles, so REM also alternates with deep sleep. Nonetheless, during REM sleep, we are more likely to find our babies smiling, grimacing, or stretching their legs as an involuntary action on their bodies.
Smile in response
Since they can't talk, smiling and crying are baby's primary means of communication. This is true at least in the first moments after birth. However, you should keep in mind that another separate study group has shown that babies are social creatures days or even hours after birth.
Therefore, your smile can also be a reaction to positive feelings or soothing sensations, such as caressing your cheek or feeling holy again. Pleasant memories such as sounds, smells and tastes can also make a baby smile.
Newborns don't dream, but they have memories.
And when we see a baby sleeping soundly, we often see his smile, it doesn't necessarily mean he's dreaming, even though it seems so. In fact, this is nearly impossible because newborns don't have enough experience to remember, don't have imagination, and their brains are still developing to acquire these skills.
Sleep in the first few weeks of life has several very specific functions, including helping babies develop their brains, process information, and strengthen memories that are starting to form in the womb. The latter can actually be proven by observing how babies do not recognize the voice of their mother or father until several hours after they are born.
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