Let’s take a brief look at your baby’s earliest feelings. You might ask “How do you know my baby even has feelings?” Great question! After all, the baby is not using words yet to tell you how he/she is feeling! I’ll explore this question later when discussing how feelings work, but for now the answer lies primarily in the facial expressions of your baby.
Current research shows that your baby is born with about 8 to 10 built-in feelings, as shown by the facial expressions. Although there are some interesting controversies in this area, the best information available now suggests humans are born with 9 feelings:
- Interest (curiosity)
- Disgust (a reaction to noxious tastes)
- Dissmell (a reaction to noxious odors)
- Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life
Ekman, Paul. New York: Henry Holt, 2003
- The Interpersonal World of the Infant
Stern, Daniel. New York: Basic Books, 1985.
- Affect Imagery Consciousness (Volume III): The Negative Affects: Anger and Fear
Tomkins, Silvan S. New York: Springer, 1991