Do Babies Understand Kisses? [Parent Child Relationship 101]

Do Babies Understand Kisses

Babies have a unique way of interpreting their social world, and one clue they use to determine the closeness of relationships is saliva. Yes, you heard it right, saliva! According to a new study, babies can tell who has close relationships based on the signals they receive through sharing food and, believe it or not, kissing!

Forming a Secure Bond

Babies are incredibly perceptive, and they are constantly learning and absorbing information from their surroundings. When a baby is distressed and their parents respond with care and affection, they learn that their needs will be met and that they are loved. This interaction lays the foundation for a secure bond between the baby and their caregivers.

The Power of a Kiss

Kissing a baby has emotional benefits that go beyond just showing affection. When a mother showers her baby with kisses, hugs, and other displays of love, it sends a powerful message. It shows the baby that being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others is important. This early exposure to empathy can help babies develop the ability to relate to and interact better with those around them.

Recognizing Similarity

Kissing a baby on the lips may seem like a simple act, but it actually has a profound effect on the baby’s ability to recognize another person as physically “like them.” This recognition is crucial for social bonding and developing a sense of belonging. So, go ahead and give your little one a gentle peck on the lips—it’s not only a sweet gesture but also an important step in their social development.

The Risk of Fever Blisters

While kissing babies is generally a delightful experience, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks. One of the most serious risks associated with kissing babies is the transfer of fever blisters, also known as cold sores. These blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and can form around the baby’s mouth. The virus can also spread to other areas of the body, including the brain. It is crucial for parents and caregivers to ensure that they are not carrying the virus before engaging in kisses with their little ones.

Sensitivity to Touch

Babies, just like adults, have their own unique personalities and preferences. Some babies are more sensitive to touch than others. If your child squirms away or starts crying when you try to hug or kiss them, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. It could simply be that they find hugs or kisses constraining and prefer other forms of interaction. Remember, every baby is different, and it’s important to respect their boundaries and preferences.


So, do babies understand kisses? In short, yes! Babies are incredibly perceptive and use various cues, including saliva, to interpret their social world. Kissing a baby on the lips not only increases their ability to recognize others as similar to themselves but also contributes to the formation of a secure bond and the development of empathy. However, it’s important to be mindful of potential risks, such as the transfer of fever blisters. Ultimately, every baby is unique, and their preferences should be respected when it comes to physical affection. So, go ahead and shower your little one with love and kisses, while also being attentive to their individual needs and boundaries.

Latest Posts


Proudly powered by WordPress