When my daughter was born, my son was a toddler. Like most 3 year olds, he was always getting into things, especially when I was busy feeding or changing the baby. I remember raising my voice often to call out to him or get his attention from another room while holding my daughter in my arms. She would jump and sometimes cry at the sound of my voice. As a parent, you might have unintentional habits that make your baby think your angry because they're still too little to understand the world around them.
According to the website for Parenting, babies know their mom's voice before birth, somewhere around seven months gestation. This means that by the time you give birth, your little one already knows who you are just by the sound of your speaking voice. Baby Center noted that research done at the Pacific Lutheran University found that unborn babies actively listen to their mothers in the womb during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby knows you, but it will take time for them to learn the nuances of language and facial expressions. In the meantime, your baby may mistake these five everyday habits as signs that you're angry.
1. You Have A Serious Expression
Babies can recognize their mothers' faces within a week after birth, according to Parents. Because babies spend so much time at a close distance to their moms' faces, they become somewhat of an expert on facial recognition. If your baby is used to seeing you smile, a serious expression may be interpreted as anger.
2. You Let Them Cry
Psychology Today noted that for a baby, being left to cry can feel like torture. Babies cry because they are looking for comfort and, if they are ignored, they may take it as a sign of anger.
3. You Talk Loudly
In my family, we tend to speak loudly. It's a cultural thing, and our babies tend to get used to it rather quickly. However, in those early days when babies are used to the muffled sounds of the womb, loud talking can sound like anger.
4. You're Stressed Out
It's totally normal for a mom to feel stressed out, but did you know your baby will pick up on those emotions? According to What To Expect, babies pick up on the bodily responses accompanying your emotional state and immediately begin to feel those same negative emotions in their own bodies. If you're stressed, your baby will be, too.
5. You Bicker
Babies start to distinguish between happy and angry voice inflection early on. Smithsonian Magazine reported on a study that found that babies whose parents bickered regularly had a strong neurological response to angry tones. Ben Hinnant of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. told Smithsonian that the burnout babies face from bickering parents could lead them to have trouble handling frustration in the future.