The normal amount of time to carry a baby is about 40 weeks. But if a baby spends fewer than 37 weeks in the womb, then it is considered premature. The babies in this story were all born too early, but their adorable smiling faces show how delighted they are to be alive.
19. Welcome wave
We may not know his name, but this month-old infant seems to be a happy little guy. He may have been born at just over 25 weeks, but he still has the most adorable smile despite everything he’s been through. He’s even giving the camera a cheeky wave in this picture.
18. Punching above his weight
Carrie Estes is the proud mom of this tiny tot who had to spend the beginning of his life in the NICU. On Facebook, she described her son as “a total bruiser” but this photo suggests otherwise. Look at how sweetly he’s smiling at his dad!
17. Cute with a capital C
This baby girl could well be the cutest thing that the internet has ever seen. Weighing under four pounds when she was born, Lauren Vinje’s daughter pretty much broke the internet with her gorgeous smile, despite being very premature. This image racked up 321,000 likes.
16. Majestic pose
This tiny guy weighed even less at just 3 pounds, 6 ounces. However, he’s now five years old and is the same size, or bigger, than all his friends. Here he is in his first few days giving the camera a royal wave, while sporting the cutest knitted hat ever.
15. Smiley chops
Kate Hoffman’s son was born at 34 weeks and had to spend two weeks in the NICU before he was allowed home. But his contented smile says it all. He seems happy to be alive, even though the poor little guy has a tube in his nose.
14. No time to lose
If ever there was a photo to make your heart melt, it’s this one. Here we have baby Kennedy who was born at 31 weeks. Clearly anxious to crack on with life, judging by her gorgeous grin Kennedy seems very happy with her quick arrival.
13. Dad’ll drink to that
Joshua Miller’s baby was a whole seven weeks premature and was forced to spend a total of five weeks in the NICU. However, this photo is so cute that it was printed on dad’s coffee cup as a memory to treasure forever.
12. Against all odds
Technically, babies that arrive at 24 weeks gestation have only a 39 percent chance of surviving. But this little girl beat all the odds, and she looks delighted to be safe in her mommy’s arms. That adorable smile says it all.
11. Divine package
This little guy was born too early, and he didn’t put weight on very easily at the beginning. However, four months on and he’s looking happy and healthy – if not a little chubby. His angelic pose in this photo is utterly heartwarming.
10. Small but perfectly formed
This little cherub is anonymous and absolutely tiny, too. A total of 450,000 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. every year, but this one doesn’t seem too fussed about the statistics. What a gorgeous pose!
9. Fighting spirit
At 26 weeks, baby Ava had only an 80 percent chance of making it. She didn’t even weigh 2 pounds at the very beginning. But this smile showed her parents that she had a positive attitude and was going to battle on.
8. Rayven of sunshine
A surprising 11.4 percent of pregnancies result in early delivery, and little Rayven here was just one such example. But despite all the difficulties associated with being a premature baby, this brave little girl smiled on through it all. What a cutie!
7. Tubular belle
Can you believe this adorable baby weighted just 1 pound when she was born? Here she is after she eventually began to bottle feed at 35 weeks old. She manages a contented smile, despite being connected to all manner of tubes.
6. Cheery chapette
Josie Duggar’s parents describe her as a “miracle” and it’s little wonder, once you know that she was born a whole three months early. Looking at her these days you’d never guess that she spent six months in the NICU. Just look how cheerful she is!
5. Heart of bold
There’s no doubt that brave little Bailey is a total trooper. Not only was she born prematurely, but she also underwent two heart surgeries. The most amazing part is that she still came out of it all with this big smile across her face.
4. Twice the joy
If being the parent of a premature baby is hard, imagine what it’s like if there are two of them. Adorable twins Riley and Henley are looking at each other as if to say, “We made it,” and it’s safe to say that they look a lot more contented than their dad!
3. Dressed for success
Everyone loves a cute baby outfit, but this one tops them all. Wearing a “pinch me” baby-grow, this little guy is beaming at the camera, having put clothes on for the very first time at six weeks old. He may have been premature, but he certainly hasn’t missed out on any hair growth.
2. Scottish smiler
This giant smile belongs to a baby girl named April who lives in Glasgow, U.K. Tragically, April’s twin, another little girl, died at birth. The parents named the stillborn baby Hope, as they believe that she made way for April to come into the world.
1. Hat’s the way to do it
Eight out of ten premature births occur unexpectedly, so when it happens it’s scary for everyone involved. But when your baby gives you a little smile like baby Samuel’s here, the world becomes a brighter place.