Understanding Newborn Facial Expressions – An Illustrated Guide

In Fatherhood by The Unexpected Dad4 Comments

Most of the time I find it very difficult to determine what my daughter needs or wants. She cries. I change her diaper, hold her, feed her, etc. until something works. It would be very helpful if there were some way to decode infant facial expressions so that any issue she is having can be resolved as soon as possible. After searching the internet and not really finding anything conclusive, I came up with my own chart to decode facial expressions for the most common newborn gripes. I hope this helps.

Understanding Newborn Facial Expressions

Understanding Newborn Facial Expressions

+9 Weeks

The Unexpected Dad

The Unexpected Dad

My name is Paul and I am The Unexpected Dad.My wife and I married late in life and we didn’t really expect to have children (thus the title of my blog). We weren’t opposed to the idea of having children, but just assumed that it was not in the cards for us.

I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!

Sign Up
The Unexpected Dad

Latest posts by The Unexpected Dad (see all)


  1. Pingback: News you can use Understanding Newborn Facial Expressions… | Honor Dads

  2. Pingback: Understanding newborn facial expressions an illustrated guide The… | Honor Dads

  3. Gerhard Pretorius

    Lovely photos 🙂 It is really hard to tell what our babies want. On a serious note there are a range of various facial cues that do give clues to what they need. When babies are hungry they show rooting behaviour with their mouths. We get taught to look for these signs in need parent classes here in the UK . Academically I previously did a small study of pain in infants, and there are facial coding systems for identifying pain. It was a lovely blog post. Thank you.

    Best Wishes


    1. The Unexpected Dad Author
      The Unexpected Dad

      Hi Gerhard. Thanks for the comment, great feedback. We are actually learning some of our daughters real cues on what she needs. Sometimes we are able to read them correctly, other times not so much.

      Could you post the link on pain in infants here in the comments? I’d like to read it and link to it.

Leave a Comment