Why does my baby grab my face? This question is one that many new parents may have. The answer to this and more will be answered in this blog post.
Why Does My Baby Grab My Face?
Newborn babies are capable of some truly peculiar actions, but nothing quite compares to the sheer delight they get out of grabbing their parent's faces! The following are some of the reasons for this behavior:
1. They Are Mini Explorers
My baby constantly grabs my face! To a mom, this can seem like a nuisance, but it’s just their way of exploring the world. Babies' brains are developing rapidly and they want to discover everything.
Young ones learn mostly through physical exploration and that's what tugging at your hair or rubbing noses provides them – the chance to get familiar with you and understand the world around them. This is why allowing babies ample opportunity to explore help them grow healthier and stronger in mind, body, and soul.
2. To Build An Emotional Connection
Babies grab their caregiver's face for various reasons, the most important being to create an emotional connection with them. When a baby begins to form relationships with their caregivers, they become attached and look to establish a bond with one another. This establishes trust, which is vital in helping the child feel safe and secure.
Babies will often take facial features like ears, nose, and mouth to explore different textures and shapes of our faces. Parents should respond accordingly when babies reach out their hands towards them by providing soothing words of comfort.
Additionally, studies have found that holding and touching baby’s faces can increase oxytocin levels in both parent and child. It also releases a sense of calm whenever babies sleep. Overall, babies grabbing their parent's faces help them create a strong bond with one another as it creates feelings of safety and security leading to heightened feelings. These are essential for healthy development.
3. To Communicate
Babies looking for attention can become quite creative in their attempts to break through the language gap. One of the easiest ways that they show us how much they care is by grabbing your face while reading your facial expressions. Most babies love eye contact.
This is often done with a sense of excitement, as though they’re happily captivated by your features. This non-verbal communication can be taken as an expression of love; the newborn baby is thrilled to come into contact with you and wants to further strengthen her emotional bond by physically connecting with you.
In response, it's comforting and natural to stroke their hands or even their hair and predict a warm smile in return! At this age, younger babies are just learning to explore and understand what we are all about, so don't be surprised if your young babies reach out for you during moments when they need extra reassurance.
4. To Overcome Fear
Babies grab their parents’ faces for several reasons, but the overarching theory is that it is an instinctive reaction to fear. This behavior can surface when a baby is feeling overwhelmed, either from a loud noise or from too many people being in one room at once.
When confronted with these stimuli, babies may grab onto the familiar; in this case, their guardian's face or head. While this does not necessarily indicate any danger, it does show that the baby is looking for safety and comfort.
This behavior can often start as early as three months old and last up until 12 months old. It’s important to adjust the amount of stimulation faced by small children accordingly so they don’t become scared or intimidated by their environment. Reacting gently and calmingly by speaking in low tones to your little one helps promote feelings of security in them.
5. To Relieve Discomfort
Babies grab their parents' faces for comfort when they experience pain or discomfort. Babies have a limited range of ways to communicate what is wrong and grabbing your face may be one of them.
This can happen when babies are teething, as the physical sensation of putting something soft against their gums can be soothing and relieving. The same is also true for colic, gas pains, or other digestive issues as well as illnesses like a cold or ear infection.
When babies are uncomfortable, they often look to their parents for comfort - so next time your little one reaches out, take the opportunity to respond with love and affection. When you touch babies during this period, they feel comforted.
Also Read How To Wash Baby Clothes
How To Stop Your Baby From Touching Your Face?
Though this behavior can be very cute and endearing, it’s important to make sure that your baby does not excessively grab faces whenever she feels like it. If you want to stop this behavior, you can do one of these:
1. Redirect Their Attention
When your baby touches your face constantly, it can be quite challenging. Redirecting their attention is an effective way to break free from their grasp and discourage the behavior.
Start by offering them a toy or an object of interest to focus their attention on. You want to make sure it's something that can hold their attention and keep them engaged; bright colors, texture, sounds, and movement help!
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
If you are finding it hard to stop your baby from reaching out and touching your face when they are falling asleep, positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways. This means offering rewards such as verbal praise, hugs, or even small gifts when the desired behavior is displayed to encourage repetition.
You could also make it into a game and show them how far away they need to keep their hands to earn the reward. Show enthusiasm until your baby grows out of this phase.
3. Stay Consistent
It is important to stay consistent with the rules and expectations you have set for your baby so that they understand. When it comes to touching faces, remain firm and be consistent in your approach when disciplining them.
This may require some patience, but over time your baby will understand that this behavior isn't acceptable. Be sure to always respond positively and lovingly when they comply to ensure that the message is received.
In conclusion, a baby grabs parents’ faces for various reasons; exploring, creating an emotional connection, communicating, overcoming fear, and relieving discomfort. To discourage this behavior parents can redirect their attention, use positive reinforcement and stay consistent with expectations set for them.
Also Read Why Do Babies Stare?