As parents, it’s in our nature to worry. We worry when our babies are sick. We worry when they’re sad. And sometimes, we even worry when they’re too happy.
In general, having a happy and excited baby is a good thing and baby’s first smiles are one of many parents’ favorite milestones. As she learns and grows, the world around her (including you) will make her smile and laugh. But, if you notice her smiling and laughing a lot and showing signs of a developmental delay, it could be something more.
Read on as we dive into signs your baby is happy, when she will give you that first sweet smile, and how you can tell if she’s happy versus excited.
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Why is my baby always happy?
It’s not very often that you will hear parents complain that their baby seems too happy. In fact, when baby isn’t crying, as parents, we’re pretty glad, and maybe even relieved!
Other than baby not crying, there are other ways to tell baby is happy. Her smiling at you, eating well, making sweet little babbling and squealing noises, and sleeping well are all good signs that she is happy and content.
While her first smiles may not be related to you as much as they are a natural reflex, as she continues to grow, she will learn how to social smile and even mirror your smile and other facial expressions you make.
Of course, as a baby is learning new things about the world around her, she will likely get more excited. When she’s excited, your baby is likely to wiggle around and make funny faces.
If you notice that your baby is smiling and laughing a lot, and she shows signs of developmental delays, you may want to talk to your pediatrician about the possibility of it being something more serious like Angelman syndrome.
Signs of a happy baby
Before your baby can clearly communicate to you that she’s happy, there are a few ways that she will show you.
Here are the top ways your baby can show you she’ll happy:
- Smiling – This first one is the most obvious. If baby is content, she will flash that sweet smile at you.
- Appetite – If baby is comfortable, she will nurse or take her bottle happily.
- Noise – Babies tend to squeal and make noise when they are happy, often babbling away!
- Sleep – When baby is content and feeling good, she will be able to sleep well.
- No Crying – This one is the opposite of her squealing. If baby isn’t crying or fussing, you can bet she’s probably pretty happy.
What does it mean if your baby smiles a lot?
A baby’s smile may mean different things at different stages in her life.
While at first, it may be more of a reflex, or even gas, as she gets older, her smile will become more social – and have meaning behind it.
If baby smiles a lot, she’s probably just a happy little baby! But, if you start to notice developmental delays along with constant smiling, then it could be something more serious like Angelman syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. If you are concerned, it’s best to consult your pediatrician.
When do babies start to smile
You will probably notice baby starting to smile in the very first weeks of her life. And while as parents, it would be nice to think that she just adores you so much already that she is smiling at you, it’s not likely.
In fact, the first smiles baby gives you aren’t really intentional. She doesn’t necessarily mean to smile at you, but rather, her smile is simply a reflex. A lot of parents notice newborns even smiling while they are sleeping, and it’s also often thought that early smiles are a sign of passing gas.
Usually, between 6 and 8 weeks old, your baby will begin to show a social smile. She will look at you with that sweet little smile that really is meant for you! Her first social smiles are actually an important developmental milestone, too. This indicates that she is starting to understand human behavior, that she can get your attention by smiling at you, and that she is developing her communication skills.
By the time baby reaches 5 months old, she’s likely to start those adorable baby giggles that will likely have you laughing yourself. There’s nothing sweeter than a baby laughing and squealing with joy.
Are happy babies more intelligent?
Although there are innumerable factors that contribute to your little one’s intelligence (and even more ways to measure it!), it’s possible that smarter babies tend to be happier overall.
A study shows that happier babies are more likely to graduate from both high school and college. Not just this, but the study also indicates that happier babies saw higher growth in their IQ scores between infancy and childhood.
That would seem to indicate that happy babies learn more during this time period. The overall conclusion here is that happy babies are not only growing up to become successful adults but also happier adults.
Now, whether or not this is actually the case, we can all agree that we want our babies to be happy and want them to grow up to be successful adults.
How can you tell if a baby is happy?
Besides baby smiling at you, there are other signs she will give you to let you know that she is happy and content.
Even if you’re baby isn’t smiling all the time, here are some signs she’s happy:
- Eye contact – Even if your baby isn’t quite able to make eye contact with you yet (in particular, newborns), she may turn her head toward you to indicate that she is comfortable and content.
- Cooing – Once your baby is able to smile socially, she will also begin making those sweet little cooing noises as she attempts to have a conversation with you. This is not just a good sign she is happy, but also a great opportunity to babble back to her.
- Laughing – If you can get baby laughing, then that’s a pretty clear sign she is happy. And let’s be honest – who can get her laughing better than her dear old mom and dad?
- Checking in – Another way to tell if your little one is content is if she is checking in with you. Maybe she is in the middle of an adventure, crawling around on the floor, exploring the room. But every now and then, she looks back at you, checking in. You are, after all, her safe zone.
Why is my baby always so happy?
It’s entirely possible that you just have a very happy, content baby! Congratulations!
If your baby seems to be smiling, laughing, and hand-flapping frequently and also exhibiting developmental delays, it could be a sign of an underlying disorder.
How can you tell if a baby is excited?
You can tell if baby is excited by how she acts. Being excited looks a little different than her being happy.
When she’s excited, she has a lot of energy and is likely to wiggle or squirm around and make noises too. You may also see her face light up with fun and interesting facial expressions, showing you just how excited she is!
Her excitement is caused by her growing and learning new things, so make sure to engage with her so she knows you’re excited too.
Why does my baby get over-excited
Sometimes baby may get overly excited.
This could be due to overstimulation. If she’s in a new environment or there is a lot going on, it could cause sensory overload for her.
It may help to take her to a quiet spot to spend some time relaxing.
Can my baby be too happy
If you find that your baby is smiling and laughing all the time, and is exhibiting some developmental delays, it’s possible that your baby could be showing signs of Angelman syndrome.
These development delays are usually noticeable between 6-12 months of age and are often the first sign of Angelman syndrome. As your baby gets older, between the ages of 2 and 3, she may begin to have seizures as well.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, keep track of the potential signs and discuss them with your pediatrician.