Is there anything more adorable than a baby’s gummy grin? it’s a sight that sends new parents and grandparents swooning–and then wondering if their little one’s smiles are intentional or just a cute copy-cat gesture.
Science has spoken now. Babies smile for a reason, and it’s simple (and sweet): They want you to smile back, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego. In fact, the study found that even babies younger than 4 months are pretty savvy. Their goal is to maximize the number of minutes their parents keep beaming, so they time their grins quite deliberately–and smile less often than their mom and dad.
Pretty good trick, baby! And we keep falling for it every time.