Parenting is tough. But through the sleepless nights, the tantrums, the sass, and the complete loss of personal space there’s always…love. You feel it take over your chest when your baby flashes their very first gummy grin, when your beaming-with-pride toddler squeals “I did it!,” and your big kid absentmindedly reaches for your hand to hold. To feel a child’s love is like nothing else…except for maybe showing your child love. In honor of the ultimate feel-good feeling, here’s a little reminder of the many ways you can infuse your child’s everyday with the warm embrace of your love.

Ways to Show Your Baby You Love Them

Just because babies don’t know “I love you” from “pass the pasta” doesn’t mean they don’t know when you are showing them love and devotion. Between the twinkle in your eye, the tone of your voice, and the warmth of your touch, there are myriad ways to let your baby know that you adore them. Here are just a few…

1. Gaze into your baby’s eyes when feeding.

2. Make like a kangaroo and hold your baby skin-to-skin.

3. Offer tender baby massages.

4. Read aloud from the start.

5. Comfort your sweet pea with the 5 S’s.

6. Giggle into the mirror together.

7. Sing your baby lullabies.

8. Use a soothing, reassuring tone when you talk to your bub.

9. While holding your baby, sync your breathing.

10. Gently stroke your little one’s skin.

11. Copycat their sounds and silly faces.

12. Talk to your baby—narrate your pram walks, errands, puttering…everything!

13. Wear your baby.

14. Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle!

    Ways to Show Your Toddler You Love Them

    Toddlers and preschoolers show their love in so many ways…like smothering you in smooches, handing you muddy pebbles, following you to the bathroom, and twisting your hair around their pudgy, sticky fingers. While you’re likely game for the kisses, you could be forgiven for not wanting to reciprocate their affectionate gestures with your own dirt-covered treasure or potty pop-in. Instead, try these:

    15. Offer your 100% screen-free, undivided attention.

    16. Smile when you talk to them.

    17. Ensure you have plenty of just-the-two–of-us time.

    18. Stick to a regular storytime schedule.

    19. Make up a secret handshake.

    20. Hugs, hugs, hugs!

    21. Proudly display their artwork at home.

    22. When you’re busy, set a timer for a fun 5-minute play break with your tot.

    23. Start birthday, holiday, and other traditions.

    24. Have an at-home spa day filled with tender touch and relaxation.

    25. Tuck your tot in with bedtime sweet talk.

    26. Let your bub have a sleepover in your bedroom every once in a while.

    27. Ask if you can play together…then dive in with gusto!

    28. Pick a tune that’s “your song.”

    29. “Gossip” about your child’s big and small accomplishments to your partner, your pup, anyone!

    30. Shower your tot with these types of compliments!

    Ways to Show Your Big Kid You Love Them

    Guess what? You can express your love to big kids in all the same ways you show your growing toddler and preschooler you care…plus a few extras:

    31. Go to your child’s games, recitals, and art shows.

    32. Leave silly or sweet notes in their lunchbox.

    33. Let your kid pick the music in the car…then sing along together!

    34. Try a new activity together.

    35. Thank your child.

    36. Frame a picture of you together for their bedroom.

    37. Kisses, kisses, kisses!

    38. Make an I Love You jar filled with all the things you adore about your kiddo.

    39. Swap “How was your day?” for these questions.

    40. Regularly share some of your favourite memories of them.

    41. Learn their love language.

    42. Jump into the pool, the ocean, or the trampoline when they ask.

    43. Laugh together! (Make silly faces, tell knock-knock jokes, share side-splitting books!)

    44. Ask “What would you like to do together today?”

    45. Bring your bud their favourite snack—without them asking.

    46. Hold them in your lap and rock them like you did when they were tiny.

    47. Ask what they think.

    48. Comb through baby pictures together.

    49. Have an after-dinner walk-and-talk.

    50. And, no matter your child’s age, don’t forget to simply tell them you love them every single day!

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    Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.