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Life with Baby

5 Signs Your Baby Loves You

The not-so-secret signals your baby thinks you’re the best

The love you feel as a new mom may know no bounds—but does your babe feel the same way? Even though your baby can’t say it with words, he/she does. Here’s how to see it for yourself.

1. Your baby knows your voice. Your baby comes into the world actually preferring your voice to that of other women—it’s because he/she was listening while in the womb. Chatting up your newborn and reading to her deepen that bond, says Kate Eshleman, PsyD, a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

2. Your baby smiles at you. Around 6 to 8 weeks, you’ll see a sweet, gummy grin—and by 16 weeks, he/she will do it with a purpose: to get you to grin right back. Studies show even babies who are only a few days old can demonstrate a definite preference for your mug over someone else’s.

3. Your baby makes eye contact. When your baby stares, he/she's showing affection—and your baby likes to make eye contact. "You can tell your baby really loves you when her eyes and face actually light up when she sees you," points out Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta and co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn.

4. Your baby wants to be held. A baby as young as 2 months will still their body and even stiffen to make it easier for you to pick them up. They want to be hugged—and get ready when you reach out your arms. "Babies tend to relax and calm down when you hold them, which is another good sign of your strong bond," says Shu.

5. Your baby cries when you leave. The tears may temporarily break your heart, but infants who have bonded well with their caregivers will cry when they leave. Try not to get too upset—it's your baby's way of communicating. Before you know it, he/she will be using gestures and words to get your attention.