Saying “No” to Babies

Jameson is newly-mobile and exploring the world a lot more. Consequently, he’s exploring things he shouldn’t, like the fireplace vents or the outlets. We haven’t put up outlet covers, and Jameson has actually opened the fireplace vent so we had to put a stop to that.

I’ve been saying “that’s not for babies” and moving Jameson to another area.

Brian on the other hand has been saying “No” and then doing some weird clap/snap thing that I’m assuming works on dogs, but not on a child (or at least, not our child, obsessively focused on all the fascinating, harmful things the world has to offer).

This is definitely two very different styles, so I decided to do a little research on the topic so that we can both be prepared to respond in the same ways to Jameson when he is doing something he shouldn’t. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Around 9 months, they actually start to understand you. So, don’t start earlier, that would be pointless. I was convinced Jameson still didn’t really understand, but it appears I am wrong (you heard it here first, husband sir). So I guess I will have to start saying it.
  2. Use the word consciously, in situations that are dangerous or when we really mean it. Using it all the time on little things is not effective, may discourage natural curiosity, or may encourage more bad behavior when they start thinking it’s a game. For little things, sometimes ignoring works best. There are also other ways to mean No, without actually saying it.
  3. Don’t spend time trying to teach them a lot. Babies have short attention spans. No, that will hurt. Or No, that will fall, are short and sweet. As one article I read said, “damage control” is sometimes the best option!
  4. They probably won’t remember that you said No to them before when doing a certain thing. You’ll probably have to say it again. Don’t get frustrated, stay even tempered.
  5. Baby proofing (which we still need to do) will help eliminate a lot of “No’s”. If we had outlet covers, we might not need to tell Jameson No. Though I’m sure he’ll find something else to go after, like the nightlight or the cords!
  6. This seems basic, but remove the baby or the object in question! Jameson isn’t going to move on his own. I have to pick him up and yes, distract him from going after it again.

So it appears Brian and I were close, but not right on target. Hopefully now we’ll be better prepared for the mad dash to the fireplace.

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  1. WE are having the same problem. Callen understands No, and responses to the noise we use for the dogs also. We use No in combination for the sign for “no”. I am working on mastering “the look” in combination with “the voice” for when he gets all wrilled up and screamy at the dinner table. I just don’t understand why he screams so loud!

    1. I think maybe Jameson has gotten to used to us yelling at Sasha to lay down or stop barking, so he doesn’t think we’re talking to him, haha! Jameson also gets unhappy during dinner sometimes, I have no idea why…

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