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New parents need a little positive reinforcement to make up for the lack of sleep and other physical demands of caring for an infant. Fortunately a big toothless grin from baby can make even the drowsiest parent's heart melt. Let's find out a little more about smiles.

First, I want to dispel the myth that gas causes the first smiles. All the online research I did said that is hogwash. While the first smiles are thought to have no emotional content they are not related to tooting. Your baby will have fleeting smiles on day one. Researchers think these first tiny grins are innate muscle reflexes (but really who can prove this!).

When to get the camera ready? Around 6-8 weeks your baby will be waking up to the world around him. This is when you can expect that first genuine joyful smile. This smile will be a reaction to something--perhaps a silly dance you are doing or maybe a word like bok choy (hey, it made our second daughter crack up when she heard that word)--and believe me you'll feel like you've earned it!

It'll be a while longer before baby smiles to get a reaction from you or perhaps even a complete stranger. Doctors say that social smiles take place around eight months.

Momtrends Baby's First is Sponsored by Scandinavian Child and Cariboo. 
Want a way to elicit smiles from your baby? Try the Cariboo Activity Gym.

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