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Decoding Baby Body Language

What your baby does: Puts her hands over her eyes.
What it probably means: She's trying to grab your attention or wants you to play a game with her.
Or it could mean: She's frustrated by too much noise or activity.
What to do: Depending on the circumstances, either start a game or wrap up the one you've been playing.

What your baby does: Chews or sucks on her fingers.
What it probably means: She's teething or trying to soothe herself.
Or it could mean: Distress, but usually only in babies older than a year, says Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D., author of The Secret Language of Children.
What to do: Give her soft or rubber-textured teething toys. Don't be concerned that she's anxious unless she's fussing, too.

What your baby does: Clasps her hands in front of her.
What it probably means: She's hoping that someone will play with her. (Watch for this when older children are around.)
Or it could mean: She simply feels comfortable in this position!
What to do: Offer a fun activity ("Let's try these blocks").

What your baby does: Averts her eyes.
What it probably means: "Can you leave me alone for a little while?"
Or it could mean: She heard you say no  -- and knows you mean it.
What to do: Give her some quiet time. "We sometimes make the mistake of thinking babies always want to play," Shapiro says.

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