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Why do newborn babies smile when they sleep?

Why do newborn babies smile when they sleep?

 
Why do newborn babies smile is a question I’m often asked in the studio. New parents also ask similar questions; do newborns smile because they’re happy? Is it rare for a newborn to smile? Often parents are told that it’s just baby passing wind which often isn’t the case. Within just a few days most parents soon come to recognise what a poo face really looks like! Believe it or not I’ve had parents actually put off by pictures of their newborn baby smiling because they think it is wind. The generally widespread view to why newborn babies smile is that it is simply a reflexive smile. “During REM sleep your baby’s body goes through physiological changes that activate certain reflexes, and one of those is a smile,” says Pamela Garcy, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Dallas. At this point it’s probably just a physical reaction, not an emotional sign. Most of the time it is not until baby is 6 to 8 weeks old that you start to get responsive smiles from a baby. This is a smile that comes from sensory experience like a cuddle or a delicious toy. After 8 weeks you usually start to see social smiles. This is when babies really start to react to silly noises and games like peek-a-boo. This is why after the the newborn stage we recommend the next best age to have your baby photographed is about 12 weeks old.
Do newborns smile because they’re happy because my baby smiles all the time? There is research to suggest that babies’ first “social smiles” occur just after four weeks on average. In fact one study found that new mothers looked at their 16-hour-old babies 80% of the time and smiled at them 34% of the time.
When photographing newborns in the studio over the years I have certainly noticed that babies smile more the younger and smaller they are. I would find that two week old twins born at 36 weeks highly likely to smile in their sleep for example. Whereas a 3 week old baby weighing in the top 10 percentile a lot less likely to smile…or sleep to be fair.
The smiling almost always occurs when baby is drifting off into REM sleep and it is more frequent the warmer the studio and the more closely wrapped the baby. It is in my unqualified yet experienced opinion that the reason that newborn babies smile is simply that they are in fact content happy babies. After all what’s not to be happy about when your fed, wrapped and put to bed in a warm cosy room?
So why wouldn’t you want a picture of your smiling happy baby on your wall?
Smiling newborn wins Wall art prize. It’s no surprise that this lovely image of a 11 day old newborn won our monthly wall art competition on our Facebook Page. What’s not to like? Every month all of our clients are given the option to enter our free monthly wall art competition. It’s is free to enter and always popular as you can imagine.
Why do newborn babies smile is a question I’m often asked in the studio. New parents also ask similar questions; do newborns smile because they're happy? Is it rare for a newborn to smile?
Create a smiling baby artwork for your home. If a picture of your smiling newborn doesn’t put a smile on your face every day then you have a heart of stone. There’s no sense hiding away that picture so why not get it on your wall Option to enter our free monthly wall art competition. It’s is free to enter and always popular as you can imagine.
I created a couple of versions of our smiling newborn in different wall art to give you a little bit of inspiration.
 
Acrylic Wall Art
One of our most popular types of wall art as it’s both contemporary and has a real impact. For this type of newborn baby image I would recommend going for a Matt finish acrylic over the glossy version. The acrylics are beautifully finished with a simple black or white frame which makes the piece appear to float within the frame.
 
Framed Canvas Wall Art
Our style of newborn photography leads itself well to the texture of canvas. Personally I really like our chunky framed canvas to really add some extra wow to an image.
 
Bespoke frames
We offer a variety of framing option and something just that little bit different. Fine art prints and be floated in the hand painted solid wood frames. These are contemporary yet classically simple and elegant all at the same time.
 
Whatever wall art style takes your fancy we are here to offer expert advice to guide you through the process. All of our wall art is made onsite by our print and framing partners who are some of the very best in the business.
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