Poems, songs, and films put love on a pedestal. But what is love? Love is a divine force of nature. It can surprise people like a summer storm and elevate them to new dimensions. Love is a deep and complex feeling: a mixture of physical stimulation, colorful emotions, deep trust, and rose-tinted glasses. Just like a rainbow, love makes people’s lives more joyful. It’s not only romantic love, though. There are many forms of love; some people love cooking, others have a love for knowledge, and so on and on.
Yet, the emotional bond between parents and their kids is one of the most precious forms of love, which blossoms like a cherry tree in spring. Once a baby learns to trust their caregiver - and parents get used to the new member of the family - their relationship will lift them up to the skies. It’s no surprise parents cuddle, kiss, and tickle their little cuties. After all, nobody can control the happy chemicals released in the brain when a parent feels love. Although not everyone is programmed to love their offspring, a parent’s affection shapes a child’s future.
Many moms and dads wonder if their little one loves them in return. Research shows that even newborns can experience complex feelings and feel attachment straight after birth. While an infant may show discrete signs of affection, a toddler will make sure their parents know how important they are. And when mama hears their first "I love you!" her heart will melt like a snowflake in the sun.
20 The Baby Recognizes Your Smell
Finding time for a shower can be challenging for many new moms. However, love has no boundaries; and even mom’s less-than-clean T-shirt can make her little bundle of joy love her more. Babies start learning already in the womb; they can actually hear and smell their moms. So, the fact your little one can recognize your smell is a clear sign of love.
As neuroscientist Lise Eliot says, "Even a 1-week-old will turn his head toward a breast pad soaked with his mother's milk. To your newborn, nothing smells sweeter than you." Love is in the air!
19 The Baby Recognizes Your Voice
People are social animals. In fact, all verbal and non-verbal forms of communication are essential. Babies learn at a rapid pace, and as a result, they are able to express their needs straight after birth. While it takes some time for parents to decipher what a baby’s noises mean, the sweet communication between parents and children can help them bond for life.
Psychologists agree that talking and reading to a baby can help them develop crucial speech and social skills, so don’t be surprised that your little bundle of joy is interested in your stories and funny sounds. In fact, they've fallen in love with your voice already in the utero and created a special connection with you.
18 The Baby Talks To You
Communication is not a one-way street. Babies are little geniuses who can master the art of talking fast. Experts reveal that the earliest sounds and coos a baby makes are directed to their caregivers, so parents should talk back and engage with their little one. Communication can help babies trust their surroundings and develop a secure attachment style.
According to parents.com, imitating noises and mimicking gestures is a sign of love. So, don’t be surprised when your 3-month old starts copying your facial expressions and hand gestures. They simply love you!
17 They Want You Around
Babies can experience strong emotions, including love; they can easily bond with their primary caregiver. In the beginning, these feelings are based on their physical needs; babies rely on an adult to survive. So, when an infant starts reaching for their mom or dad, this is a sign of delicate love.
Also, after 8 months of age, babies will develop stranger anxiety and become upset when their parents are not around. According to babycenter.com, they often cry when Mom leaves the room and smile when she comes back. So, enjoy the fact your little one wants you around, mama, because they grow up too fast.
16 They Stare At You
Eye contact is among the most important factors which can impact a child'd development. It benefits a baby’s self-worth and emotional well-being. Researchers claim that babies love looking at faces, as eye contact is like a survival instinct to attract attention. With time, mama, your baby will start to recognize your face – the most important face in their life.
So, next time you notice your cutie gazing at you, relax and smile – they’re trying to show you how much they love you. But never, we mean never, establish eye contact before you put your little one to bed. It can encourage them to get active and emotional.
15 Your Mini-Me Shares Your Interests
One of the most important ways babies learn about their surroundings is by imitating. As mentioned above, babies love copying gestures and sounds. Between 9 and 12 months of age, children will start intentionally copying their parents’ behaviors. Pediatrician Harvey Karp told babycenter.com, "It's a sign that your child is engaged with you and values what you're paying attention to." Which is a clear sign your little one loves and values you!
Personally, it’s really sweet to see my little daughter putting my shoes on, helping us decorating the Christmas tree, and watering the plants. A small clone full of love!
14 The Little One Loves Smiling At You
Parenthood comes with lots of joy and love. One of the most adorable things ever is to see a baby smile. Children’s laughter is full of innocence, pure joy, and magical energy. When your baby smiles at you, mama, they're trying to show you they enjoy your company. A baby’s smile is a sweet sign of love. Usually, it occurs after 6 weeks of age.
We should mention that there’s a funny phenomenon known as a reflex smile, often when a baby pees or poops in their sleep, which disappears around 2 months of age.
13 Stranger Anxiety - You're Their Hero
Babies develop at a rapid pace. Their temperament and experiences define the way they perceive the world. While some kids are social and happy, others are shy and quiet. Nevertheless, stranger anxiety is a normal part of a child’s development. Stranger anxiety is defined as a strong uncertainty of people, which can persist even in the presence of their primary caregiver. Usually, it peaks between 6 and 12 months.
It’s common for babies to worry in the presence of other people, even family members they don’t see often. As a result, their mom and dad become their heroes – a source of love, hugs, and comfort.
12 The Baby Mirrors Your Face And Gestures
Kids are like lovely sponges – they absorb their surroundings and copy everything they see and hear, especially between 9 and 18 months. When a baby starts copying their caregiver’s gestures and facial expressions, they show love and appreciation. Parents can see their own loving eyes reflected in their little one’s gaze.
Interestingly, according to parents.com, around 12 months of age, babies start copying affectionate behaviors, such as kissing and hugging. Kids can imitate kissing, and with time, they will start associating this behavior with positive emotions. Soon, mama, your little bundle of joy will give you a real kiss full of divine love.
11 They Want You To Guide Them
Raising a kid is a huge responsibility. Kids need boundaries and love in order to learn vital social skills. Most of all, children need a role model who they can take cues from.
Don’t be surprised if your little one copies you and follows in your footsteps, mama! Your little bundle of joy just wants you to guide them through life. Pretend tea parties, holiday celebrations, and new friends – they need you to show them how to act and manage their surroundings. This is a clear sign they trust you and value your opinion. Isn’t that adorable?
10 Copy-Paste Behavior
Babies learn by imitating. It’s no surprise that all babies and toddlers love mimicking their parents’ gestures and copying their voices. Expert Karp told babycenter.com, "They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but for toddlers, it's also a sincere form of respect and love."
We should mention, though, that copying bad language is also common in toddlers. Therefore, mind your own language, mama. As your toddler is like a sponge, try to teach them respect and manners instead. For your mini-me, you’re the most special person in the world, and they’ll do anything for you. Simply because they love you!
9 They Seek Comfort And Safety From You
You don’t need big muscles to be like Hercules. For your toddler, you’re a hero. They know you can make the monster under the bed go away and kiss them to make them feel better. Educator Mary Kurcinka says, "She trusts you to help her, and that's a way of showing love."
When a baby learns to trust their caregiver, they can establish a secure attachment style based on love and understanding. So, next time your little bundle of joy raises their hands, smile and hold them in your arms: they simply want to say they trust and love you.
8 You're Their Home Base
Babies love exploring their surroundings. They have to touch, lick, and see everything around them. Children are like little explorers who are ready to conquer the world. Yet, your brave mini-me will always run towards you when they get scared. It doesn’t matter if it is a thunderstorm, someone dressed as Santa, a barking dog or an annoying song - you’ll be their home base.
Psychologist Linda Acredolo says that such behavior is a clear form of trust and love. When a child knows they can find consistency and comfort in their caregiver, they can develop a secure attachment style and high self-esteem later in life.
7 You Are Their Role Model
Babies need their caregiver’s love to thrive and develop. With time, toddlers begin to understand that there’s more than basic needs, such as food and nappies, that parents can provide. As explained above, kids seek comfort, safety, and approval from their parents.
What’s more, little children need a role model to find their place in the world. Expert Karp told babycenter.com, "To your child, you are a rock star." So don’t be surprised when your child dances with you or pretends to breastfeed their dolls. Note that preschoolers have even more advanced ways to copy their caregiver’s behavior – with the sole purpose to be like them.
6 They Try To Comfort You
Babies can recognize emotions. They can feel when someone is scared, upset or happy; and they can often mirror strong emotions. It’s important to talk about emotions with children to boost their emotional intelligence. When a toddler, for instance, knows that it’s not okay to laugh at someone in pain, they’ll try to respond accordingly. It’s common for kids to comfort someone they love.
To be honest, I find it really sweet when my 2-year old girl comes to me and gives me a kiss when I accidentally hurt myself... trying to collect her toys on the floor.
5 They Can Challenge You
Love is not all butterflies and candy. Love can be challenging. Believe it or not, when a child tries to upset or challenge you, they want to show they love you. Older kids want to push boundaries to make sure you’ll be there for them, mama. Always!
Some kids may even insult their parents when they’re upset, but experts say this behavior is normal. In fact, Karp told babycenter.com, "An insult is a more concise way of saying, 'You matter so much to me that you can make me more upset than anyone else, so I want to hurt you back.'"
4 They Celebrate Your Return
Psychologists reveal that when a baby learns to trust their caregiver, they can develop a secure attachment style. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that your newborn gets upset when you leave the room and smiles when you hug them. This behavior is a sign they need and love you. Kids who have responsive and loving caregivers can develop vital social skills later in life.
Toddlers and older children can express their joy in more colorful ways. They can literally celebrate their parents’ return, jump, scream, and give gifts. So, forgive them if they accidentally break your favorite vase!
3 They Give You Gifts
From icky worms to funny drawings, gifts are a sign of gratitude and love. Older kids may try to make breakfast for their parents to show they care.
Toddlers can even express affection towards their friends. By letting other kids play with their favorite toy, your little one shows they enjoy the company of their playmates. Nevertheless, according to parents.com, moms and das should monitor their kid’s behavior because children can get bossy or pushy. Psychologist Lyness says, "Through play experiences, toddlers learn social rules. That's why it's so important to take an active roll in your toddler's social encounters by setting limits and offering frequent reminders of what they are."
2 They Brag About You And Show Gratitude
Another cute – and obvious – sign of love is when a child brags about their Mommy or Daddy. One can hear a child say that Mommy is the most beautiful person in the world and Daddy can fight the monsters under the bed.
Older kids will start to show gratitude and accept their parents. Children become more flexible and thoughtful. If a preschooler sees that their mom or dad is tired, they might give them some me-time... even if they really want to play. In addition, expert Kurcinka says, "When children say thank you to us, they're really expressing respect and love."
1 They Tell You I Love You
Babies learn to communicate already in the utero. From the first kick to their first word, your baby wants to connect with you, mama. They copy social skills, empathy, and positive attitude. In addition, toddlers and preschoolers enjoy sharing with their parents; they might even ask for a solution to a problem. As explained earlier, older kids also argue and negotiate with their parents, which is a sign of deep love.
Till the moment your little one verbally expresses their love. And trust us, mama, their first "I love you!" will be more radiant than the sun above you.
Sources: babycenter.com, parents.com