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How to Read Your Baby

You know that when your baby cries, she's upset about something. When she smiles, you know she's happy. But until she starts stringing words together, that's about as much as your child can communicate to you. Or is it?

New research suggests that babies feel and "say" much more than we think  -- and that, as parents, we just need to understand their unique language of physical cues to unlock the mysterious world of infant needs and wants. Paul Holinger, M.D., M.P.H., author (along with Kalia Doner) of What Babies Say Before They Can Talk, published this month, has studied infant emotions and communication for 25 years and believes that babies "arrive in this world with the ability to express complex feelings and reactions." Your baby can feel and express emotions  -- about nine of them, in fact  -- that go beyond basic physical needs, he says.

You can "read" what your baby is feeling simply by tuning into his facial expressions, gestures, and sounds. Check out our guide to the nine things your baby's trying to tell you and learn how to respond in a way that will encourage your little one to communicate even more.

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