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Why Babies Smile During Nursing – A Guide for New Parents

Breastfeeding is a cherished period for both the baby and the mother. It’s a time of bonding, comfort, and nourishment. One heartwarming gesture you might notice is when your baby smiles while breastfeeding. In this post, we will explore this endearing behavior further, asking why it happens and whether it’s a common occurrence. We will also investigate the effects it may have on feeding time and provide tips on how to manage it.

What are the behaviors of babies while breastfeeding?

Babies show a wide range of behaviors while breastfeeding. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Sucking and Swallowing: This is a clear indication that the baby is breastfeeding. You can usually hear or see the baby swallowing the milk.
  2. Hand Movements: Babies often use their hands to explore and touch their mother’s breast during feeding. This is a normal behavior and is a part of their learning and development.
  3. Eyes Opening and Closing: Some babies keep their eyes open and maintain eye contact with their mother during breastfeeding, while others may close their eyes and relax.
  4. Movements and Sounds: Babies might make contented sounds and may move their bodies rhythmically during breastfeeding.
  5. Pulls Off Frequently: Some babies pull off the breast frequently. This could be due to several reasons such as a fast let-down, distractions, or they might just be full.

How can I tell if my baby is nursing or pacifying?

You can tell whether your baby is nursing or simply pacifying by observing their behaviors:

  • If the baby is nursing, you’ll notice rhythmic sucking movements accompanied by swallowing. You might also notice that their ears or temple are moving subtly. This means they are getting milk and swallowing it.
  • If the baby is merely pacifying, the sucking motions will be lighter, and there will be minimal or no swallowing. This often happens after the baby is full but still wants to suck for comfort.

What are the 4 signs of good attachment?

Good attachment during breastfeeding is crucial for your baby to get enough milk. Here are four signs that indicate good attachment:

  1. Mouth Wide Open: The baby’s mouth should be wide open, and the lips should be flanged outwards (like a fish).
  2. Chin and Nose Touching the Breast: The baby’s chin and nose should be touching your breast, and their head should be slightly tilted back.
  3. More Areola Visible at the Top: You should be able to see more of the areola at the top of the baby’s mouth than at the bottom.
  4. Comfortable and Effective Feeding: The baby should appear comfortable, feed for a reasonable length of time, and show signs of satiation after feeding (such as releasing the nipple and appearing relaxed).

Why do babies smile when they see their mother?

Babies often smile when they see their mother because they associate her with comfort, food, and safety. The mother’s face is one of the first things a baby recognizes, and smiling is a way for the baby to communicate their happiness and contentment.

Baby Stops Nursing to Smile

If your baby stops nursing to smile, it’s usually a sign that they’re comfortable and happy. It might also indicate that they are full or need a brief pause in feeding. It’s a lovely interaction moment between mother and baby.

Why Do Babies Cover Their Face When Nursing?

Some babies cover their face when nursing as a self-soothing mechanism. It can also be a way for them to block out overstimulating sensory inputs and focus on feeding. However, if your baby consistently covers their face while nursing, it could also mean they are feeling discomfort. If you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician.

Newborn Smiles After Feeding

Newborns often smile after feeding because they feel satisfied and comfortable. The act of feeding not only satisfies their hunger but also provides them with a sense of security and warmth. This might trigger their reflex smile, which will gradually turn into a social smile as they grow.

Decoding the Baby’s Smile During Breastfeeding

If your two-month-old suddenly flashes a smile at you in the middle of a feed, you might find yourself puzzled. Is it normal? What does it mean? Rest assured, babies, though they may be tiny, are also little social beings.

Unable to express love and appreciation through words, they often resort to non-verbal cues like smiling or giggling. This heartwarming social smile is a common sight during breastfeeding.

As a mother, the best response is to reciprocate their smile, fostering your bond and communication.

Is a Baby Smiling While Breastfeeding Normal?

Yes, indeed! Newborns might smile unconsciously, but as they grow a bit older, around two months, they begin to smile intentionally. This adorable behavior is a way of expressing their emotions and needs, particularly during intimate moments like breastfeeding. So, if you see your baby smiling while nursing, it is completely normal and a healthy part of their development.

Does Every Baby Smile While Breastfeeding?

Absolutely! Since babies have not yet developed the ability to speak, they use gestures to express their needs and emotions. Smiling during nursing is a common occurrence amongst breastfeeding babies. As long as they are comfortable and healthy, babies will often express their contentment through smiling, giggling, or laughing. It is their way of communicating that they are happy and satisfied.

Does Smiling While Breastfeeding Have Any Impact?

Although smiling is a joyful and healthy sign during breastfeeding, it can lead to distractions. This behavior can have an impact on both the baby and the mother.

Smiling can lead to short and frequent nursing, potentially affecting the milk supply. This is because breast milk production operates on a demand-and-supply basis. Also, due to the interruption in feeding, the baby might feel hungry sooner, leading to more frequent breastfeeding sessions. This could be challenging for a mother trying to stick to a schedule.

Moreover, establishing a regular nursing routine is beneficial for the baby. It aids in developing appropriate feeding habits and can also help them sleep longer at night, providing some well-deserved rest for the mother too.

How Can Assist?

At, we are dedicated to helping parents and babies enjoy peaceful sleep. Understanding behaviors like a baby smiling while breastfeeding can play a crucial role in creating an optimal sleep schedule.

By ensuring a proper and uninterrupted breastfeeding routine, your baby can have a more satisfying mealtime, which can lead to better sleep patterns. Check out our resources on for more helpful advice on baby sleep.

How to Minimize Distractions While Breastfeeding?

To ensure a less distracting breastfeeding session, consider nursing your baby when they’re a bit sleepy or have just woken up. At these times, they are typically less active and less likely to smile or giggle.

Additionally, you could try breastfeeding in a lying down position. Avoiding direct eye contact might also lessen the chances of your baby breaking into a smile and interrupting the feed.


While it’s a joy to see your baby smiling while breastfeeding, it’s also essential to balance these precious moments with the practical needs of feeding. Employing certain strategies can help you manage this endearing but sometimes disruptive behavior, ensuring your baby gets a good meal every time. Remember, it’s a learning process, so don’t be too hard on yourself or your baby.