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Teaching "No" to a 9-Month-Old. FUN!

"But I really want the cat food!"

Look at that face. That’s the face of baby that just heard “NO” and isn’t quite sure what to make of it.

Now that I have a crawler on my hands, the world of stuff Little Bean can get into is expanding by leaps and bounds. Of course the first things he’s attracted to are outlets and wires. Are babies hardwired for liking things that can kill them or what?

Now that the outlets aren’t fun anymore with those protective plastic thingys blocking his way he’s moved on to the cat food. Every day he wonders over to the bowls. Once he got a fistful and right to the mouth it went, of course. It’s time to learn the word that is bane of my existence as a parent.

I let him approach the bowls. As soon as that hand goes up I give a firm, “NO!” to which he gets startled and looks up in disbelief as if thinking, “Who does she think she is telling me no.”

Then he reaches again.

“NO”

This time he doesn’t bother to even look up but he does stop reaching.

He takes a look around the room as if by pauses I will lose interest and get distracted.

Then he reaches again.

“NOOooooo”

He looks up again. An expression of pure disappointed on his face.

This goes on 3-4 more times before he gives up with a wine and asks to be picked up.

"FINE! Then pick me up."

I would have high hopes that teaching baby “No” early would pay off later, but having a 6 year old who still needs to be told 5 times has taught me better. Maybe they’ll get it by the teenage years?

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