I've been guilty of having bad habits my whole life. When I was a kid, I bit my nails. As a teenager, I lived contently in a room full of clothes cover every surface. And now as an adult, I have been plagued with the resting b*tch face, which is to say, not matter my mood, when I'm not engaged in conversation my expression is a bit curt. I'm aware that adults pick up on this B face, but I wonder if my kids do too. Without realizing it, you may have habits that make your baby think you're upset, when that's not the case at all.
In all fairness, moms get upset too, which is completely normal and fine. In fact, it would be to your child's benefit for you to model healthy ways to express anger and disappointment. However, there are plenty of instances when you're not mad at all, but your little nugget perceives you to be upset. Ever heard the saying, "it's not what you said, it's the way you said it?" This rings true for communicating with babies as well, since they are more intuitive than you might know. In actuality, your baby can pick up on these six habits you may not even realize you have, and start to think mama's in a mood.
1. Late-Night Fight
Little ones may be more tuned into their emotions than adults, and can even pick up on bad vibes while snoozing. As Smithsonian magazine reported, "parental bickering appears to have a visible effect on babies’ brains — even when the little ones are sleeping." So putting in a pin in that argument with your partner until after hours doesn't keep baby out of the conflict as much as you thought.
2. Using A Certain Tone
Not using your soothing "mom voice" when talking to your baby over pureed carrots? He may think something's wrong. Babies pick up on the sounds and expressions you make and can respond accordingly, as Parents magazine explained. Even if you're simply tired or bored, your little may interpret your tone as upset.
3. Waxing Sarcastic
Since we know babies are able to differentiate between tone of voice, hearing sarcasm may confuse them. The subtleties of being sarcastic are too advanced for babies to pick up on, so wires can get crossed if you are talking sarcastically to your baby, and they may believe you are upset.
4. Ignoring Their Cries
You can't always be at your baby's side when you have a list of other things to take care of, and sometimes you have to let her cry for a bit before you can tend to her. According to Psychology Today, when babies cry they are looking for comfort from their caretaker, and when they feel ignored they may think you're unhappy with them.
5. Sour Facial Expression
As Parenting magazine explained, babies can discriminate different facial expressions between 2 and 6 months old, and research has shown that when a mom has a blank expression, her baby will attempt to inspire a smile by grinning and cooing. Catching your face in a not-so-friendly shape, may trigger your baby to think you're mad, angry, or upset. (But how sweet that she'll try to make you smile.)
6. Having Strong Reactions
You may be one of those passionate people who have very strong reactions to things that make your blood boil, but you can't fool your baby, even if you plaster on a fake smile. As What To Expect's website pointed out, your baby not only senses that you're angry, but can mimic those same emotions as well. Mom's are human too, and bound to get upset in front of their child. It's important for kids to see the full spectrum of emotions and healthy ways to mange those feelings.