Do Babies Feel Emotions?

For the longest time, scientists did not know if kids feel emotions the same way as adults do. Here are some bits of research that will help you know more about it.

It has been said that the first two years of a person’s existence are crucial for their development, both physically and psychologically. When babies explore their surroundings, they pick up valuable information about their surroundings. Babies are learning how to navigate the world emotionally and socially as well as physically and intellectually. In this part, we’ll talk about how infants develop the ability to communicate their own emotions and those of others. Researchers always thought that all emotions could be taught via social contact, but recent studies have shown that certain emotions are present and innate from birth. However, Bronfenbrenner’s theory suggests that newborns’ emotional and interpersonal development are also strongly influenced by the experiences they encounter in their early environments.

From the moment of their birth, babies can exhibit a wide range of emotions, including interest, discomfort, disgust, and joy, through their body language and facial expressions. It is estimated that infants’ first “social grin” appears between the ages of 2 and 3 months and that their first genuine belly laugh occurs between the ages of 4 and 6 months. Between the ages of 2 and 6 months, newborns also begin to show expressions of other emotions, including anger, grief, surprise, and fear. Babies often start showing signs of fear around new people between the ages of 5 and 6 months. People holding or playing with them makes them uncomfortable, and they show it. They used to be friendly with strangers, even letting them hold them if they smiled. Babies learn how to express their own emotions, as well as how to read the emotions of others around them. When they are about 4 months old, babies may start to recognize the many facial expressions that indicate others’ feelings. Babies don’t start imitating facial expressions and emotions until roughly 6 months of age.

To begin with, infants have a hard time differentiating between adults and other persons who are caring for them because they lack the cognitive development necessary to do so. But as the days of their first-year pass, and their perceptual and cognitive capacities develop, infants begin to create a profound connection or relationship with their primary caretakers. Baby’s sensitivity to separation from primary carers increases as an attachment to that person grows stronger. Babies develop separation anxiety when they are away from their primary carers between the ages of 8 and 10 months. The degree to which this anxiety is experienced is conditional on both the baby’s temperament and the surroundings. When left alone, some infants will wail and fuss loudly and intensely, while others will react more subtly with whimpers and mild restlessness. Babies begin to frown as a kind of facial expression at 9 months old, typically indicating disapproval or grief. Babies’ temperaments, or underlying personality types, also start to emerge around this period. In a moment, we’ll go into further detail on temperament


Indrani Karmakar from Siliguri is a writer and artist. After graduating in Political science, she broadened her horizons and dived into the world of creativity. She loves adding humour and innovation to everything in and around her. When she is not working, you will find her collecting oddly shaped pebbles, doodling, crafting, and if you are really lucky- you can even catch her humming!
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