Friday, June 10, 2011

Facial Expressions...Innate?

It is mentioned that infants react with different facial expressions to different taste stimuli, whether it is a sour taste or sweet like mothers milk. Infants are able to make these expressions which allows for us to read them. Not only do infants have expressions, but infants as young as two and a half months are sensitive to their mothers emotions. It is so important that mothers bond with their infants and this information is a big help in explaining why. Mothers that experience Postpartum Depression are at risk for showing their infants that there is a problem or feeling of sadness. Also, even an infant can pick up on their arguing parents or tense relationships between adults in the room, causing stress to the infant.
One of the most interesting points made is that an infant will cry a cry of distress when they feel pain and an infant smiles when feelings of joy are present. It is proven that a joyous infant will smile somewhat, but will smile larger if the mother is present and smiling at the child also. When the mother ignores the infant the smile will not be as large and encorposate more of the facial muscles in the smile. This shows that spending time with your baby, being face to face, and talking to them is really teaching them on multiple levels!


  1. This is very interesting but do you think you can spend too much time with an infant? Will this cause them to be be too attached to the mother as they grow up?

  2. This is so true, I work at a preschool/daycare and we have babies as young a 6 weeks old. You can really notice the facial expressions in the different things that they taste as well as the different cries they have depending on what is wrong. I think it is so interesting to watch how the babies react to different things and see their facial expressions change.