A mum and baby rub noses while smiling

How Do Babies Tell You They Love You?

When babies are really young, is there a way for them to tell us that they love you?

Your bond with your baby starts before birth, and they can hear voices of loved ones in the womb. Babies will then form strong attachments to the special people in their life. When they are very little, they will not be able to say the words “I love you,” but they will definitely show their love!

Let’s look at some of the ways babies share their love – and appreciate how cute they are!

In The Early Months:

You’ve probably heard of the term the “4th trimester” – the first 3 or 4 months after birth, when a newborn is still adjusting to being outside the womb (and the mother is too!). Babies love being held especially at this time, when they are used to being held by the cosy womb.

In your baby’s first few months, look out for these cute actions that our babies use to tell us that they love you:

  • Little smiles and gurgles – from around 6 to 12 weeks, babies often start smiling (and not just because they have wind!). This shows they are pleased to see you, and their little gurgles will be their way of talking to you before they can communicate with words and actions.
  • They like looking at you, and hold your gaze – from birth babies can only see as far as your face when you hold them in your arms, and enjoy eye contact with you.
  • They reach out for you – when they see you come into the room, or want a hug .
  • They recognise your smell, and recognise your voice – even from birth a baby will be able to identify their mother by her smell, and be able to recognise familiar voices.
  • They will look at things you look at, and try to copy you. If you poke our tongue, they may do the same!
  • They grab your nose or your finger – those little hands have a good grip.
  • They want to be held you – babies enjoy the warmth and security of being held by a familiar person.
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A mum cuddles a young baby as they sit on a bed

From Around 12 Months:

As they get a bit older, babies will be able to tell you they love them in more ways. Maybe you have seen some of these actions in your older baby/toddler:

  • They might blow kisses or give your a kiss – even if those kisses can be a bit snotty!
  • They look to you for reassurance, or how to react in new situations – maybe in a new place or with a new person, they will look at your reaction to check they are in a safe place.
  • They want to be close to you – that is why they often follow you to the bathroom!
  • More smiles and giggles – you will get even more smiles and giggles as your toddler is getting good at social cues.
  • Might call to you, little words like Mama, Dada, or whatever names you use – calling to you or using your name to get your attention.
  • They might be sad when you leave them – they may show a little bit of separation anxiety, which is a normal part of their development.
  • They might share their food with you/ push their food into your month – even if that food has been in their mouth already!
  • Acting up – although not an obvious sign of love, it shows that they are comfortable with you. You may notice that they will behave different at their childcare setting or for other family members that they do not know as well.
  • They copy you, and take an interest in things that you do – maybe they try to type on your laptop.
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A dad holds up a toddler and they touch noses happily

Why Is A Parent or Carer’s Touch So Great?

Cuddles with your baby, skin to skin time, and even just holding their hand, is soothing for them. This creates happy hormones for baby and parent/carer, and is calming for you baby.
It creates a bond between baby and parent. Your interaction with baby helps them to learn social skills such as eye contact and “conversations,” maybe they coo back at you when you speak to them. It is impossible to spoil a baby by holding them too much, so enjoy those sleepy cuddles!

Enjoy Special Time Bonding With Your Little One

It is really special when our babies tell / show us they love us, and it is an amazing feeling as a parent to see this bond grow. Baby classes are a wonderful way to spend precious time with your baby, and have a chance to meet other families too. There are a huge list of benefits including combating loneliness, giving structure to your week, and enjoying seeing your baby develop new skills. There are plenty of free and cheap classes too. Search for classes near you on Happity today!

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Helen Holding

Helen Holding

Happity's Growth Marketing Assistant. Helen works hard to get more classes around the UK onto Happity, connecting more parents with activity providers every week. Mum of one beautiful daughter, Lyra. When she's not working she is usually enjoying toddler classes with Lyra. Their current favourites are toddler gymnastics and Forest School!