I have always felt that the first two months of a baby’s life are like an extension of the nine months in the womb. They need total care and sustenance from you, and they spend most of their time sleeping .
Occasionally their eyes meet yours and a dreamy connection is made. But it is not until about two months of age that not only do their eyes open widely at the sight of your face, but they give you back something wonderful- a smile.
What an honor! A baby’s smile is the first social gesture that they make in this world. And you are the first to receive it. This is the beginning of your relationship with your baby and it signals the end of the newborn period and the beginning of infancy.
Every month your baby will grow at a rate faster than at any other time in their life besides adolescence. They will develop large muscle skills, fine motor skills, the beginnings of language, and an increasing ability to socialize with the world. When your baby first smiles it means that he or she understands that connecting with others is what life is all about.
Discovering the uniqueness of your baby is one of the joys of becoming a parent. You will soon learn that your baby is a unique combination of innate traits, genetic material, environmental influences, and something called temperament. All of these combine to form your baby’s personality — who they are and how they interact with the world and with those who share our world.
Throw away the idea that all babies are created equal. Since every baby is different from the start, what works for one baby-parent may not work for another. If you are having difficulty, it’s easy to think, “I’m a terrible parent” as you see other mothers “easily” handling their infants. But try not to get too discouraged, and don’t take it as a reflection of your skills as a parent. It is true that some babies are innately more of a challenge than others, and it may be that you have been blessed with just that – a challenge! Remember – the “easy” parent’s next baby might not be so compliant. Then they too will understand the trials, and joys, of raising a more challenging child.
You will, however, receive so much advice from so many sources that you may begin to feel unsure of yourself. Remember that because of the special bond that begins with that first smile, no one else will be able to understand your baby better than you do. Trust your instincts and keep it simple. Babies need only to be fed, kept reasonably clean, played with by you, and loved a great deal. Enjoy your baby.