Certainly, babies love more things than the ones on the list. Nipples, for example, whether human or bottle. World peace, even if they don’t quite know it yet. Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, though, it covers a lot of the basics.
Faces: Okay, more than anything, Baby loves your face, but when your face isn’t available, or when other faces are being particularly mobile and interesting, those are fun too. Baby’s face obsession may be an evolutionary survival mechanism, as all that eye-contact definitely strengthens the parent-child bond, but it’s also an important way Baby learns about emotions, cause and effect, and communication.
Gentle touch: Babies love and crave touch, as well as your attention. So snuggling with your little one, holding them gently, engaging in skin-to-skin contact, caressing their face, holding their hands, or touching their toes are all beautiful ways to bond.
Bouncing: Maybe it’s because it reminds them of the womb, or just for the fun they get bouncing in a “standing” position, but bouncing really is one of every baby’s favorite activities. And it doesn’t stop at babyhood – just think about how much big kids (and adults) like jumping on the bed!
Mirrors: Baby’s love of mirrors goes hand in hand with their love of faces. They are still a ways away from recognizing the baby in the mirror as themself, which is a realization babies usually don’t make until they’re between a year and 18 months old. What they does see, though, is a face who is willing to be active and engaged with them for exactly as long as they want to play.
Colors: After months of not seeing in full color yet, and being drawn most strongly to extreme contrasts of dark and light, Baby is at the point now when they are starting to see more and more colors – first red, then blue, then all of the rest – and they love them! The brighter the better.
Ceiling fans: Strange but true – one thing babies love long before they get attached to a teddy bear is the motion of a ceiling fan. At home, in public, old and grimy or squeaky clean, ceiling fans draw babies in like moths to the back porch light. This is because they can pick up on the contrast between the motion of the fan and the stillness of the ceiling from a very early age. It’s a totally normal interest, so if you see Baby bonding more closely with your ceiling fan than they do with your mother, don’t worry about it. They will pick up other hobbies as they get older.
Noise-making toys: It’s actually kind of a chicken-or-the-egg question – did Baby pick out the toy with the most annoying repeating sound possible to be their favorite thing this week? Or was the toy actually fine before, but Baby’s enthusiasm for it has slowly transformed it, until one day you realize that there has never in the history of the world been a more irritating rendition of “Row, row, row your boat?” If you haven’t encountered this phenomenon yet, count yourself lucky, but brace yourself – chances are, it’s coming.
Your favorite things: At this point, it doesn’t matter what they are – the thing Baby wants to do the most is what you do. If they see you on your phone a lot, they are probably turning into a little technophile. If they see you cooking, they are probably yearning for a spatula and frying pan of their own.
You: More than anything or anyone else, at this point, you and your partner are the center of Baby’s world. You are their favorite toy and best playmate and protector, and they want nothing more than to have you around all the time and act exactly like you.