Though your baby can’t tell you with words that he loves you, you can see how much affection he has for you through the little things that he does. Just pay attention.
1. They prefer you over other people
“Within a few weeks, babies can recognize their caregiver and they prefer her to other people,” Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., author of The Philosophical Baby, tells Parents. The more you pay attention to your baby’s needs and respond, the more your baby will learn that he can rely on you.
2. They stare at you
When your baby looks straight into your eyes, that’s a sign of your baby’s efforts to get to know you, says The Bump. Even newborns, who don’t have very good eyesight, will try to look for their caregiver’s face. Your baby will even mimic your facial expressions, making them feel closer to you.
3. They reach for you
Your baby reaches for things that they want—that includes you. According to Romper, once babies understand that reaching for things gets them what they want, they’ll start reaching for you too.
Find out about more ways to know that your baby loves you on the next page.
4. They talk to you
According to BabyCenter, your baby’s first coos are his attempts to communicate with you. He won’t just start talking to himself. Engage your baby and answer back. Even though neither of you can completely understand what the other is trying to say, your connection will be undeniable.
5. They turn towards your voice
Your baby starts to hear sound 20 weeks into pregnancy, so that by the time they’re born, they’ll be well-acquainted with your voice. Young babies like familiar sounds, and so will turn their heads towards the sound of their mother’s voice.
6. They hate to see you leave
So many new moms have talked about how hard it is to even go on a bathroom break with a baby, as just stepping out of the room can send their baby in distress. Your presence is comforting to your baby. Even though your baby’s cries aren’t pleasant to hear, they’re indications of your importance to your baby. Also: pay attention to how your baby lights up when you enter the room.
7. They pay attention to your interests
Ever noticed how your baby shows an interest in things you’re preoccupied with—whether it’s the dirty laundry or your phone? This behavior, according to BabyCenter, starts when your baby is just a couple of months old, but is more pronounced at 9-12 months. Pediatrician Harvey Karp says that this is a sign that your baby “is engaged with you and values what you’re paying attention to.”