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When He Learns to Wave Bye-bye

When Jennifer Massaro picked up her 11-month-old son, Dante, from daycare one day, she discovered he had a new skill: "A little girl waved bye-bye, and he waved back!" says Massaro, of Los Gatos, CA.

You might start seeing this nonverbal (not to mention cute) form of communication when your baby is around 9 months old. That's when he'll have the necessary muscle strength and comprehension skills to do it, says Jennifer Berkey, a family and consumer-science educator at Michigan State University Extension, in Traverse City, MI. Your baby may not fully understand what waving means at first, but he does recognize that it's a way to connect with people. That's not only a thrill for him but also an important step in his social development.

To encourage your baby, just wave and say, "Let's wave bye-bye!" when you leave a friend's house or say good night to his stuffed animals.