As a parent, it's kind of amazing how good you get an interpreting your baby's facial expressions. The flickers of joy, the "about to cry" face, the cheeky, mischievous look — you know them all. Sometimes it's pretty obvious what your baby is trying to convey, but the "scrunch face"? That is one expression that can have many meanings. If you're trying to decode the often perplexing scrunchy face, know that there are at least nine logical reasons your baby is scrunching their face.
My youngest daughter was a known scrunch-facer. She definitely had a phase where she'd squish up her face and kind of grunt and giggle, and at first I was more than a little confused. Then I realized that was just her way of getting a good laugh out of me... or really anybody in her vicinity, if I'm being honest. Many a stranger witnessed the spectacle, to say the least. She was just being a ham, and it was adorable and hilarious and in no way was it a sign that I should be worried or contact her pediatrician immediately. In fact, I would joke that she was in "gorilla mode."
But no two kids are exactly alike, and that scrunchy face can mean oh-so-many things. Below you'll find nine interpretations of the scrunchy face to help you decipher exactly what's going on when you catch a glimpse of some seriously cute resting scrunch face.
1. They're Working Through Something
Yep, they're working through something and that something is poo. Every baby has their own unique poop face, and once you identify your baby's particular look it's actually pretty hilarious and kind of adorable.
2. They Really Not Into That New Food
Introducing any new food is likely to be met with some resistance and some memorable facial expressions. Even if you're introducing something as bland as a banana, have your phone camera ready to capture that, "You' want me to eat what?" scrunch face!
3. It's Gas
If you're baby is doing the scrunch face, along with some grunting and crying, the culprit is probably gas, according to The Bump. "Try rubbing his belly gently to relieve it a bit," explained writer Kaitlin Stanford.
4. The Waterworks Are About To Start
It's both heartbreaking and heart-melting to see a little baby fight back tears, only to succumb to the waterworks after putting up a valiant fight. If you see your baby's face scrunch up along with their little lip puckering up, you know there's some crying about to get underway.
5. They're Not Entertained
Maybe they're merely trying to make sense of the big wide world around them, but sometimes babies can shoot some pretty judgmental scrunch faces.
6. They're Confused
Say what? Yeah, sometimes a baby's scrunch face might just be what you think it is. They're wondering, "What exactly is going on here?" And can you blame them? Two seconds ago they realized they had toes.
7. They're Excited AF
Sometimes that scrunched up face just means that your baby is really, really excited by what's going on. Whether it's a bite of their favorite food or you just entering the room, the excited scrunched face is by far the best!
8. You Can't Not Squeeze That Face
OK, let's be honest: sometimes you're the one scrunching your baby's face. With those chubby cheeks and super soft skin, it is kind of hard to resist giving them a good, loving squish once and awhile!
9. Yeah, It's You Again
Yep, it's you again. Sometimes babies are just too damn cute not to want to give them a little squeeze!