The curious little brain of your little darling is ready to explore everything that comes in its way without knowing that it may or may not be harmful. It’s up to us that we warn the baby against something or simply encourage them to experience something new.
Yes, by this age your baby is able to read and understand the facial expressions of you and those around. This is called social reinforcement. It’s the tendency of the baby to analyze the facial expressions of a significant other in order to be able to determine how to proceed in a certain situation. A 'No' with fearful expression tells them to stop, while a smile, laugh, kiss, mean encouragement or approval to them. Social reinforcementt is one of the early milestones of Parent-Child communication.
What you need to know
Being a parent what one can do is inculcate certain understandings in the child with psychology of Social Reinforcement. When one introduces a new toy to the baby the expression of excitement and happy face tells the baby that he should play with it. While a fearful face of the parent tells the baby to stop reaching something harmful, for example a hot coffee mug.
Slowly this behavior changes into seeking 'approval'. Before reaching out for something the baby first examine the parents' face. If there is no fear but a sense of approval he reaches out for the same. So go on, use your expressions and communicate with your little one!