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When and How did you start teaching your baby NO?

When and How did you start teaching your baby NO?When would you/did you start gently teaching your baby no and how? (My almost 6 month old DS has recently started scratching, screaming without reason and just being generally cheeky at times) I know he’s just being a baby but I would like to know if I would be doing him and myself any favours by gently trying to nip things in the bud now. I feel like if I let him get away with it now and then suddenly start saying no to him in a few months he may get confused as to why scratching was ok 2 months ago but not anymore…

  • I started straight away with my dd, when she started to pull hair or grab at peoples glasses (both my parents and siblings all wear glasses full time) we started by taking her hand gently away and saying no firmly. She completely understands no now even if she does get cheeky and try to push the boundaries. A gentle tap on the hand and a firm no usually does the trick. Tash
  • 6months old is a baby with a baby brain he cannot understand no or why..maybe get a copy of some good literature to educate yourself on baby and child development is a great also Pinky Mckay’s books Natalie
  • Definitely try to do something now in my opinion. I did with mine. Saying no, taking their hands away, distracting them and saying “no darling how about you look at this book instead”. I would also make a really loud “ow” with a cross face so that he could learn to associate that action with hurt. If it continued I would remove him from the room and put him in his crib. He is now learning what a time out is by the consistency. It was hard at first but I couldn’t let other kids continue to get hurt whilst he was learning what was ok and what’s not Elizabeth
  • Definitely! It might not have much effect at first but they will get the message particularly if you put them down and walk away if they keep doing it! No attention tends to help it along! Rosalie
  • Teaching can start from birth their like little sponges for all sorts of learning including learning ‘no’ they say from about 6/7months they start to learn verbal cues so I don’t think it would hurt to start teaching him appropriate behavior now. I find it’s not what you say it’s how you say it, and being consistent with how you deal with it will work best. And also hand over hand gentle touching showing him how you should touch. I’m a first time mum but I’ve worked with people with difficult behaviors in my work and this seem to work best so I’m hoping it will work with my lo. Any way good luck xo Natasha
  • Start with a firm ‘No’. They get the idea pretty quickly that u arnt impressed. Bethany
  • I would try a distraction technique. It is probably best to at least give something a try now rather than wait until it escalates. I used to pick my daughter up and move her to a different place. Even if she crawled back and continued, I would pick her up and move her again. Good luck. Holly
  • Start early, when the situation calls for it. I get so many compliments and congratulations! from strangers when out and about, that my twin toddlers aren’t “ferals”. Its sad, because I think there is an expectation these days that parents are not teaching their kids anything, incl boundaries and discipline. When I say no, I explain why, even though they may not understand what I’m saying. Anon
  • It’s never too early to start! If he scratches or hits your face, grab his hand & say a firm NO! He will soon get it, you are never wasting your breath. Sandee
  • It’s perfectly fine to start saying no when you find ot necessary! As for scratching etc, grab his arm (gently! Lol) and say “no” or “that hurts Mummy/ Daddy/ person” it won’t work immediately but doing the same thing all the time will help him understand and he should stop after a while Emma

When did you start to teach your child ‘No’?

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  1. Amy says:

    You can say it straight away! I personally feel you should couple it with something – my main ones all along have been ‘no – ouch’ and ‘no – for safety’ / ‘no – not safe’. But as others have hinted, babies will not actually understand you. But you won’t actually be able to discern when they do become able to understand, unless you’re already using it, and suddenly observe comprehension. So, use it. They will compelling not get it, and you’ll need to also use distraction. Then one day, they’ll stop and look at you when you say it, and distract themselves. Then one day soon after, they’ll rebel, and try and push the boundaries (just respond consistently). And some time in the middle of all this, they’ll try and tell *you* ‘no’. At least then you know they get its meaning! 🙂

  2. Katie says:

    I can’t believe someone actually suggested a tap on the hand!!!! Gentle or not is wrong. Katie