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What your baby's signs and behaviors mean.

Your baby talks to you through his or her behavior. As you get to know your baby, you will learn to understand or read your baby's behavior. Most babies will demonstrate the following signs or cues when they are stressed or when they are alert.

A stressed baby will show color changes, may gag, will stiffen arms or legs, spread fingers wide, arch back, cry weakly, act irritable, fuss or cry, have a glassy-eyed stare, turn away or suddenly go to sleep.

An alert baby will suck, make smooth movements, grasp or hold its hands, will wake up slowly, appear calm and seem attentive. Your baby may want to be comforted if she holds her arms and legs stiff; cries or looks worried; looks around; yawns, sneezes or hiccups, stretches her fingers.

You may comfort your baby by positioning him so he is well supported. This includes ensuring his back is gently rounded, shoulders forward, arms are midline and near the face, using blanket rolls or nesting, providing boundaries so baby is nice and secure.