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Can She Clap Her Hands?

By 9 months, your baby will have the fine motor skills, muscle control, and hand-eye coordination necessary to bring his palms together. Only between 9 and 12 months, though, will he start clapping to show he's happy or excited.

Lend him a hand by playing classic games like patty-cake or singing songs, such as "If you're happy and you know it." You might also give him a standing O when he shows off a new skill or when he's watching something fun  -- say, Daddy making a silly face. "He'll learn that hand clapping is a way to communicate," says Dale Gertz, M.D., a pediatrician in Greensboro, NC. Soon, the feat you'll be applauding is his newfound ability to applaud!

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