November 2012 Moms

3.5 week old not "cooing" or smiling intentionally


My 3.5 week old is not "cooing" yet or smiling intentionally.  She grunts a lot, and smiles when she's pooping or passing gas.  Is this normal?  I read that she should be doing both by 1 month, which is just a few days away.


Re: 3.5 week old not "cooing" or smiling intentionally

  • Neither is mine and I'm fairly certain my oldest wasn't doing those at this point either. I thought it was more like two months?

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  • I really don't think many babies are smiling intentionally at this stage. Remember milestones that you read about are just "guesstimates".

    Huh? My baby is almost 6 weeks old and I don't know that I've caught an intentional smile yet...

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  • I think 1 month is the EARLIEST for these things.. closer to 2 months is probably more normal.. I know my oldest was 6 weeks before she started smiling at all..
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  • image Idani:
    Neither is fine and I'm fairly certain my oldest wasn't doing those at this point either. I thought it was more like two months?

    This site ( says a few baby's can smile at one month and about half can at two months.  Usually they don't start worrying about development problems like autism until 6 months. So don't worry about it.

    My baby started smiling intentionally at about 3.5 weeks, but that's early and every baby is different.  


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  • I'd always thought the average for that was 2 months, too.

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  • What everyone else said.

    I haven't caught an intensional smile, I've heard some hints of new sounds but they also tend to happen when she is almost asleep so I don't count them.

    One thing she has started to do in the past two weeks is really study faces and maintain eye contact for longer than a few seconds. So maybe keep an eye out of that to start happening and give her lots of smiles to copy :) 

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  • Don't worry - intentional smiling isn't something developmental experts expect until 2 months and even that is just an average - some babies so it earlier and some later and it's all normal.  Same with cooing.

    I've worked w/ a lot of early intervention specialists (in my former professional life) and from what I've seen they would ask you if she is interested in people and interacting.  Does she look at you?  Respond when people interact with her?

    Sure she's fine, don't let the 'milestone' numbers get to you! 

  • Everything above. Dd smiled a few times while I was being silly but even that could still be reflex. And she has made a coo noise for .02 seconds a few times. I won't expect more consistently for another month or so. A don't look at dates as exact, it won't just happen on the day they turn one month, etc.

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  • My DD is 6 weeks and still hasn't done either. We read that most babies have their first social smile by 8 weeks so that's what we're hoping for. She's getting close though!

  • Yeah, a lot of milestones are pretty iffy - more like vague guidelines really. If your kid doesn't smile intentionally until 3mo, there's nothing wrong with her. DD1 was a very serious baby - took a long time to smile, coo and laugh. But eventually she did. She's just very sensitive and a lot of things that other babies liked scared/overwhelmed her. She's still on the sensitive side, but completely normal.

    Also, when you go to your 1mo checkup, your pedi will probably ask a boatload of questions about is she doing X, has she done Y? Some of those will be milestones for this month, some will be milestones for next month and she's trying to see where your baby might be ahead. So don't be freaked out if you find that you're saying no to a lot of the pedi's questions.

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