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Life with Baby

5 Signs Your Baby Loves You

The not-so-secret signals your baby thinks you're the best

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The love you feel as a new mom may know no bounds-but does your babe feel the same way? Even though she can't say it with words, she does. Here's how to see it for yourself.

She knows your voice. Your baby comes into the world actually preferring your voice to that of other women-it's because she was listening while in the womb. Chatting up your newborn and reading to her deepen that bond, says Kate Eshleman, PsyD, a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

She smiles at you. Around 6 to 8 weeks, you'll see a sweet, gummy grin-and by 16 weeks, she'll do it with a purpose: to get you to grin right back. Studies show even babies who are only a few days old can demonstrate a definite preference for your mug over someone else's.

3. She makes eye contact. When your baby stares, she's showing affection-and she likes to make eye contact. "You can tell your baby really loves you when her eyes and face actually light up when she sees you," points out Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta and co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn.

4. She wants to be held. A baby as young as 2 months will still her body and even stiffen to make it easier for you to pick her up. She wants to be hugged-and gets ready when you reach out your arms. "Babies tend to relax and calm down when you hold them, which is another good sign of your strong bond," says Shu.

5. She cries when you leave. The tears may temporarily break your heart, but infants who have bonded well with their caregivers will cry when they leave. Try not to get too upset-it's your baby's way of communicating. Before you know it, she'll be using gestures and words to get your attention.