A parent’s endless love for their baby can feel like a one-way street. Despite doing everything you can to keep this little blob happy, sometimes your babe just won’t stop screaming in your face, and that’s when you might start to wonder if they even like you. They do, of course—and they even show it! But unlike smiling or crawling, your infant declaring their love isn’t a neatly charted milestone, and the early signs your baby loves you can be so subtle that you may just be missing them. Here are a few ways your little bean is actually letting you know just how much they adore you.

1. They gaze at you.

Newborns don’t see particularly well—they’re highly sensitive to bright light, and for their first two months, their eyes often do not work together very well, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. But as the weeks go by, they’ll gain the ability to focus on objects that are close, and along with bright colors and large shapes, they’re fascinated by faces, particularly those of their caregivers. “Infants are drawn to faces, and when they’re being fed in particular, they’ll stare up at you and it’s a loving experience,” says Dr. Joanne Cummings, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Toronto. Get up close and let them take in all the features of your face, as they build up the connection between you and all the good things in life that you bring them.

Related: Hang in There: 25 Things New Moms Need to Hear

2. They turn toward your voice.

Despite being surrounded by fluid, infants can hear sounds when inside the womb, and they fall in love with the comforting consistency of their mother’s heartbeat and voice. Once they’re on the outside, your voice continues to represent comfort and security during a time of chaos and change. That’s why you might notice that your little one turns their head toward you when you speak, even when being held by another caregiver they love.

3. They love your cuddles.

When your baby is tired, upset, or overstimulated, do they calm right down if you scoop them up and hold them close? Or, even better, nuzzle their head into your neck a little? That’s love, baby! Your little one is saying they want and need your comfort. “In the newborn stage, babies are generally more comforted when they’re held by an attachment figure like mom or dad,” says Cummings. “As they get better control of their bodies, that’s when you can see them snuggle into you or caress you during feeding.” Of course, not all babies are cuddlers, and if yours rejects the snuggles it most certainly doesn’t mean they don’t love you or that there’s anything wrong with them. Physical touch might not be their love language—or at least not at this stage in their life—and that’s OK.

4. They smile at you.

There’s maybe nothing sweeter in the world than your baby’s first smiles. They usually show up around the six-week mark, give or take, but around four months is when babies will smile to engage you and show their love. “Often in the first weeks, they smile when they’re dreaming, or some say it’s because of gas, but after six weeks, when they’re looking at you directly and smile, you’ll know it’s a social smile,” says Cummings.

How you respond to those smiles is important. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, responding quickly and enthusiastically lets babies know they’re important to you and can trust you. It also shows you’re interested in and value them, which contributes to their developing self-esteem.

Related: 10 Totally Typical (but Weird) Things That Babies Do

5. They’re comforted by your smell.

It may seem strange that a tiny baby—who barely knows night from day and literally doesn’t realize their hands belong to them—could recognize and be comforted by a specific odor, but science proves it. In one study, crying newborns were presented with an article of clothing that smelled like their mom and they stopped crying, while a clean piece of clothing didn’t do a thing. In another study, babies showed a distinct preference for a cotton swab with their mother’s breast milk on it. Your baby loves your scent because they love you!

6. They’re sad when you leave.

Although it can break your heart when your baby reaches and cries for you as you’re leaving, it’s also pretty strong evidence of their love and attachment. “This occurs over the first 18 months of life that they become distressed when you leave,” says Cummings. Just don’t be surprised if they freak out when you return, too, like when you pick your baby up from daycare and they cry hysterically. They definitely aren’t upset that you’re back. Rather, Cummings says they’re more likely just overwhelmed by their big emotions—and those most definitely include their love for you.

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