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'Babies can't smile until 6 weeks old' - Rubbish!

Why do people keep telling us babies can't smile until they are 6 weeks old. Our baby was smiling well before then!

baby smiling
picture of ...

When Amélie was first born I took a picture before she was even an hour old. I could have sworn she was smiling, I didn't quite get the moment on camera but I got a fraction of second after what looked like a smile. I've posted the picture with this article.

OK I know she wasn't really smiling then, but I'm sure she was smiling in the first few weeks of her life. If I had a pound for every time someone told us this was not possible I'd have .... well about 6 pounds, but that's not the point.

Clare's parents scoffed at us when we told them, 'they can't smile until they are at least six weeks old! What you saw was just wind' her Dad explained. We ignored it for a while but it started to become a bug bear for us, when people repeated this 6 week fact to us again and again. It's as if they are calling you stupid for not being able to discern a smile from a burp, or just a plain liar.

too many kids

The answer was simple, get photographic evidence. So I sat Amélie on my knee and started pulling stupid faces, and making funny noises. Immediately she looked at me with a broad smile and we snapped a dozen or so pictures. One of which I've also posted with this article.

They were promptly e-mailed out to the relevant individuals when Amélie was 3 weeks old. Perhaps when they mention the pictures to friends they will get the 6 weeks speech themselves and feel how insulting it is for someone to infer you are a liar or a fool.

Before we had printed the pictures off, we had the health visitor over. We were chatting about how everything was going and we were just about to tell her we were getting plenty of smiles. Clare and I both stopped and looked at each other too afraid to mention the smiles because of the reply we both expected. I gave Clare a nod meaning 'yes, I know let's not mention it' but she took it to mean 'yes tell her about the smiling'.

I was braced for the by now very predictable reply, but I was to be surprised. 'Great, the books say they can't smile but it's a load of rubbish. I've seen plenty of smiles, I've even got one baby at the moment who can roll over at 2 weeks old and that's not supposed to happen for a long time yet'.

So if your baby is smiling before 6 weeks old, and you get some know it all telling you it's not possible, then kick them up side down! Sorry I meant to say, then count to 10 in your head, and politely direct them to this article.