What Baby Really Needs from You
At every stage of their tiny lives, babies will depend on you for different things. For the first two months, your baby will simply need to have basic needs met; you will bond with baby while feeding, changing, or rocking baby. Until the first spontaneous smile is given to you, you won't have tangible evidence of bonding.
After two months, baby begins to develop a personality, building on patterns established during those first few months. Baby is becoming your little buddy. At this stage, you begin to notice patterns. When baby is wet, the cry is even pitched; but when the baby is hungry, the cry may become quite high pitched. Baby is dependent on you at this point to learn his or her signals.
Baby's distress signals are relatively easy to deal with. All you have to do is go down the list of baby's basic needs: Does the diaper need to be changed? Is baby hungry again? Does baby need a nap?
A contented baby is a happy, quiet little one who seems perfectly at ease in whatever she is doing at the moment. For instance, a contented baby will swing for a half hour and not cry frantically when she is picked up to go to bed.
Do babies get angry?
Yes — but not usually until they are at least six months old. That's because anger is primarily about something that has changed or been taken away, and baby doesn't usually notice such disturbances until he or she is at the six-month mark. The emotions of an infant are, at best, crude attempts to get needs met.
Other emotions are a little more perplexing. A baby's smile, for instance, gives rise to arguments over whether the baby is truly happy or has just passed gas.
What is baby really smiling about when he or she flashes that toothless grin? Babies begin life with little if any muscle control in their faces; thus, the first smiles are actually reflex smiles. After the baby is a few weeks old, the smile becomes more controlled but is still quite random. Baby will smile at happy voices or at tummy gas, but the smile is not directed to anything specific. The best smiles, of course, come between four and six months, when baby begins to smile at the puppy, or the toy, or directly at you (returning your smile).