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Recognizing Mom

Tracye Edwards of Lindenwold, NJ loves coming home from work to her son, Xavier, more than ever these days. At 6 months, he recently started recognizing her, and now flaps his arms and grins when she walks through the door.

Your baby's been able to recognize your smell and voice from birth  -- that's how he knew where he'd get food  -- but around 2 months he starts knowing you better on sight, too. This is also the first time he can give a social smile, so he may grin at you once he catches a glimpse of your face. At first, he'll only be able to identify you when you're in a familiar place, like his bedroom or the kitchen. But at the 4 to 5-month mark, he'll be able to spot you in other contexts  -- for example, if you walk up to him in the park.

To help the process along:

Smile at him whenever your eyes meet. Not only will it deepen your bond, it'll also help him remember your friendly features. Don't feel hurt if he quickly turns away, though  -- babies have short attention spans.

Play peekaboo. Once he's memorized your face, he'll love seeing it pop out over (and over) again.