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My kid (3.5 months old) is currently living with her grandmother since last week. This week I visited her but she didn't seem to affected by my presence. This has discouraged and disappointed me greatly.

I wish to know at what age will she be able to recognize who's who?

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1 Answer

There are two issues here:

  • At what age can an infant recognise individuals

  • How does an infant show they recognise an individual

When you say she didn't seem to be affected by your presence, this does not mean when didn't recognise you. Babies of that age are more adaptable to having their needs met. It is not until closer to six months that they start showing symptoms of separation anxiety.

I am going to answer this purely from personal experience, rather than citing scientific research.

Also it's worth noting recognition can be made from many levels: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste.

I want to speak from personal experience. My babies were all born premature (33, 32, 34 weeks respectively). They were all put into the NICU.

I would discover my first baby crying in the humidicrib and whenever anyone handled him, except me. I spent hours sitting by the humidicrib (and became so sleep deprived it warrants discussion elsewhere! lol) with my hand in the crib and he would hold my finger and stop crying. When the nurses changed his nappy (diaper) he would cry, when I changed him, he was relaxed.

The first time he was taken out of the humidicrib for me to hold he was swaddled. He struggled and finally got his hand free from the swaddling and held my finger. I was astounded at the time and still am, it seemed to me that he wanted to hold my finger, as that was how we'd been communicating.

Now whether it was my voice, or some other instinct, this baby, that was technically minus 7 weeks old in development, behave as if he knew who I was from the get go. However, how do we really know it was me he was recognising, or responding to the way I talked to him and the way I handled him.

My next two babies didn't show this preference for any person until they were older.

My best friend had her third and I had my second at the the same time (they had the same due date, except my son was 8 weeks premature). She had to go back to work and left her three month old daughter with me. I breast fed her baby and when she returned from work (her breasts were very full), her baby was full at the moment and my son wasn't. So she fed my son (4.5 months old). Neither baby seemed to show any difference between which mother was feeding them. Does this mean they didn't recognise us. I'm sure they did know who we were. They had both spent time with each of us, but I think they would've taken the breast from any nursing mother.

It's not until babies are more expressive that we are able to know for sure (as a parent) that they are happy to see us, which is how we interpret that they recognise us.

The fact that you care enough to write about your daughter, demonstrates that you put in the required effort to form a bond with her; and I believe you can rest assured, she recognises you and it won't be too many more weeks and she will be able to show this to you more definitively.

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