why does my baby grab my face



Why Does My Baby Grab My Face?

Babies have an uncanny way of capturing our attention and hearts, and one of the most intriguing things baby do is grab our face. It may look disrespectful and strange to some parents, but learning why your baby is grabbing your face can help you prepare for the future better.

To Communicate

Babies may reach for your face to gain your attention. Eye contact is how babies and adults from all over the world communicate, so your baby may try to create that connection with you by grabbing your face.

Exploration and Familiarity

The other reason your baby is reaching for your face is for some sensory exploration. As babies are learning about their environment, their sense of touch helps them understand the world around them. Your baby reaching for your face could be their way of trying to make sense of the environment, as well as your face. It is their way of getting to know you better.

Misconstrued Demonstration

Many parents may think that baby grabbing is a demonstration of their willfulness. However, it is much more than that. Babies grab as a way of demonstrating familiarity with their caregiver, as well as a way of expressing their wants, needs and interests.

Strategies for Calming

It is important to remember that babies cry, grab and fuss as a way of understanding their environment. As a caregiver, there are many strategies to use when the baby grabs your face that can help to calm and soothe them. Some of these strategies are:

    • Realize Timeouts Aren’t necessary. You don’t need to put your baby in “time out” or punish them for this behavior. This is their way of communicating and there are ways to better help facilitate that communication.


    • Understand the Reason.Try to get to the underlying reason of why the baby is grabbing your face. Is it to gain your attention? Explore the environment? Or simply just to fuss? Every baby is different and they will grab for different reasons.


    • Keep Calm. Staying calm and understanding when the baby reaches for your face is key. Babies learn by example, so the more you remain calm, the more your baby will too.


    • Explain Expectations. Explain to the baby why their behavior isn’t suitable, whether it be in a calm voice or funny exaggerated one depending on their age. Give them an alternative expectation that you have for them such as, instead of grabbing my face, tell me what you want with your words.


    • Be Patient. Understand that this behavior is common and that your baby will not outgrow it overnight. Be patient and understanding, and use the strategies suggested above to help your baby understand your expectations of them.


Understanding why your baby is grabbing your face shows your commitment and dedication to understanding why they are acting out this strange behavior. Knowing what your baby’s needs and wants can help give you insight into their behavior, and help you create a better and more communicative bond with your child.