Why Does My Baby Grab My Face?

When your beautiful baby wakes up, one of the most amazing things happens.

You see their shining and happy face and all of your endorphins trigger, and you are just amazed by this tiny little person.

You are so happy, and you love your baby so much that you begin talking to him or her and singing as you go about your morning routine.

From wake up to bedtime, you want your little one to be happy, and seeing that special baby happy will, in turn, make you happy.

You have probably even stood there and just blissfully stared at your baby’s face while he or she is sleeping. In these precious moments, you take in how amazingly perfect your baby is to you.

Those adorable little ears and plump tiny lips are breathtaking. This little person is perfect in your eyes.

Now think about this for just a minute; what if your baby looks at you the same way that you look at him or her?

Let that sink in.

Every time your little one opens their eyes and sees your smiling face, they are instantly at peace, and all is right in their new world.

Everything about you brings peace and comfort, and your baby just wants to look at you. To your baby, you are perfection.

If you ever find yourself wondering, “why does my baby grab my face,” then consider this: why do you touch your baby’s face? The answer is to show affection.

Your baby is excited to see you!

Just as you are excited to see your baby, your baby is usually excited to see you.

When your little one wakes up or you pick him or her up from daycare, you probably touch their cheek and say hello.

You may also lean in for a tiny kiss or hold your baby’s hand. All of these are normal signs of affection.

Your little one is smart and is paying attention to these gestures. Imitation is the greatest compliment, and your baby is trying to imitate your behavior.

When you pick your baby up, he or she may try to grab your face to show affection.

Just remind baby to do so softly, and over time, the grab will be less harsh, and you will bask in the intentional love your little one is displaying.

Is your baby trying to get your attention?

Mobile babies may work their way to you and grab your face, hands, or body in an attempt to get your attention.

It does not mean anything is wrong; this simply means your little one wants your undivided attention.

Sometimes this is so they can show you something or make a funny noise that you will laugh at.

Other times it is because your little one wants to be held or may need a diaper change or is hungry.

This behavior does not happen until your baby is mobile, which is anywhere from 8 months to 18 months of age,

Younger babies may touch your face while you are holding them or wearing them in a baby sling.

This is to gently get your attention and look down at them while they are comfortably held. Babies love eye contact.

Your baby might be hungry.

If your little one is hungry, then the best way to get that point across is to touch your face or mouth.

Baby knows that they eat with their mouth and may try to get that message across to you in the same way. If you notice your little one touching your face and mouth and then touching their own, these are early communication skills.

Check the time and see if it is, in fact, snack time or mealtime.

Exploring can turn into grabbing.

Babies explore with their hands. Infants are held quite a bit or worn in baby wraps or carriers. This gives their hands time to explore.

The closest thing to them would be your face. It is completely normal during bottle or breastfeedings or while simply being held that a baby will touch or grab your face.

This is a chance to feel what that thing is on your face that is sticking out.

This is a wonderful chance to tug on your ear lobes. Use this as a learning option. Let your baby know, “That is my nose” “Those are my ears.” The words won’t make sense yet, but over time, they will become familiar.

Your baby is discovering textures and how things feel in his/her hands.

When babies begin discovering things, they almost instantly feel textures. If something is hard, they may not like how it feels.

If something is soft, they may enjoy holding it more.

The same is for your face.

Now that baby is exploring with his or her hands, he or she will want to touch your face.

The baby may even grab your hair because it is an entirely different texture for them to experience.

Your baby might be angry at you.

If your baby is angry, he or she will try to get your attention in any way possible.

If your baby can crawl or walk, then they may come right to you and grab at you. They want their problem solved, and they want to be soothed.

Your touch and holding them will soothe them, and then you can help find out what has made your baby angry.

…or even sad!

If your baby is sad, they may react the same way they did when they were angry. By picking up your little one and snuggling them, they will instantly feel happier and more at ease.

He or she may grab at your face so that you can better look at their tears. This gives you a chance to make everything right for them.

Perhaps your baby is scared.

If you are holding your baby and they are drifting off to dreamland, you may have noticed they get scared easily.

If noise occurs and your little one grabs your face, it means they are scared and grabbed the first thing that was closest to them that was comforting.

Take this as a compliment that your little one sought you out for instant comfort.

Your baby wants to show you something.

When babies become mobile, they want to share their world with you. After a while, you begin to shrug off some encounters because, honestly, you can only see the yellow ducky toy so many times.

Your baby wants to share their things with you and will grab your attention sometimes by literally grabbing your face. This is a phase so enjoy it while it lasts.

No matter what the reason, you should feel content knowing that your little one chooses you for comfort. Babies will often grab at the faces or bodies of their loved ones as a way to communicate their needs.

Pay attention to these cues and recognize them as early communication skills. Before you know it, your baby will be chatting away and no longer need to grab you for attention.

This non-verbal communication phase is short-lived but very precious.