When your newborn baby doesn’t seem to be doing much other than sleeping and eating, you might be surprised to know that he’s actually starting to develop his social skills. Babies show signs of a natural inclination to socialize with others soon after birth. Even infants who are a few days old prefer to look at patterns that look like faces than other types of patterns.
And they already notice if people are looking at them. Infants in one study were more interested in open eyes than closed ones. Newborns also seem to copy other people’s facial expressions. For example, a newborn may stick out his tongue when looking at an adult who does the same.
Experts believe that these are the earliest stages of learning to imitate others. Behind the scenes, the natural chemicals in your child’s brain help him form a social bond and bond with you and other caregivers. Both moms and newborns have these chemicals, including the hormone oxytocin.