Learn Your Baby's Body Language
What's your baby trying to tell you? How to read her leg kicks, eye rubs, and more
It could mean: Your baby knows how to make himself feel better. "Repetitive movement gives
excess energy a place to go," says David Finn,
director of special education and CEO of the Children's Learning Center at Samford University,
in Birmingham, Alabama. "It slows down a baby's central nervous system."
How to respond: Let him twirl. It's one of those self-soothing behaviors that might look a little odd to outsiders, but it's not one you need to deter unless he's actually pulling out his hair (or if the hair he's twirling is yours -- ouch!). If so, then see if he'll find stroking a small silky scarf or a soft-haired doll just as relaxing.
Or it could mean: He's nervous about something around him, like a new babysitter or a noisy playgroup.
How to respond: Soothe him yourself, or give him a blanket or soft toy to stroke if he doesn't already have a lovey. You can also coo something like "This is so much, I know. It's exhausting to see so many new faces." He won't understand your words, but your soothing tone of voice will help,
according to Lauren Zimet, a speech-language pathologist and director of Early Insights, a parent consulting firm in Atlanta.