How to correct a 9 month old when saying no doesn

Amanda - posted on 09/30/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My daughter is a very mobile 9 month old. When she gets into things that she is not allow to play with, I tell her no and try to redirect her attention to something else, but she has started to hit me in the face and have a complete meltdown. Please any suggestions would be great!!! Thanks for your time.

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Kylie - posted on 10/04/2009

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Time outs and smacking/tapping a baby in the hand is not good advice. At this age all you can do is set up a safe space where you baby can move around freely and get into anything they like and also baby proof your house. When you're "redirecting" talk lots and make interesting sounds, and show baby something much more interesting ..anything to get their attention. They quickly forget about about what they were trying to do and focus on what Mums showing them Save the NO word for the cases when baby is doing something dangerous or swiping at you. The less you use it the more power the word has. I have a very active 10 month old who has figured out how to open every cupboard door and turn off the TV and computer..it's constant and all i an do is keep a close eye on him and provide him with a safe home to explore. Good Luck

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2009

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Quoting Stefanie:

To me, this whole post raises a HUGE red flag. 1st) 9 months is NOT old enough to get into a lot if you are truly watching her properly. I know, I've had 2 kids walking by 9 months. 2nd) Babies this age don't hit in anger. They don't know anger and they don't experience "wants" that cause them to rage like a toddler does. So either she's having this behavior modeled for her and she's simply reproducing it, she's playing or she's being disciplined in anger and acting off of what she knows.



Stefanie, I've had 2 kids walking/crawling at that age too, and my son hardly ever got into anything or had a rage about anything, but my daughter did, the moment you could turn you back, and raged when she didn't get her own way.  It was all dependent on their different personalities.  Now, as they are much older, that difference in their personalities is still evident in the way they handle the world around them, and I reflect this in the different way I discipline each of my children. 



I think your experience with your 2 children has been similar to mine with my son. You've been lucky.  But this behaviour is quite common with babies of this age.  The hitting may not be in anger, but is in lack of control during a total meltdown.  Others throw themselves on the ground, or throw themselves backwards.

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2009

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Quoting sharon:

Maybe try not use the word no, you could try by explaining the dangers of what ur daughter is doing, followed by suggesting something else to do.



I'm sorry, I am just visualising reasoning with a 9 month old....... Nope, can't see it.  Sorry, but there's no way this will work at 9 months old.



Personally, I would use the word NO in a firm tone, have her look in your face, show a frown, or sad face, shake your head, remove her physically from the situation AND try to redirect her attention to something else.



Watch her closely.  There's a big chance she will try again pretty much straight away, in which case, you repeat this.  You just need to keep repeating this and eventually she will lose interest in it. 



Don't panic about the tantrums, just ignore them, or try to redirect them. The tantrum is her way of communicating to you that she doesn't like being told no.  This is normal.  Up until now, she hasn't had any boundaries, and now she is trying to understand why there are things Mummy is upset at her about :) 



Importantly, now that she is mobile, you need to try and remove as many of the DANGEROUS temptations from her reach as possible, or you will find you are constantly saying No to her, which is not what you want. Also make sure you childproof cupboard with chemical and other dangerous products

Ashlie - posted on 10/04/2009

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I have never child proofed my house. It is normal for a young child to test the boundaries. However, over time, they will learn the difference between what they are and are not allowed to do. The best thing to do is to say NO in a comforting and calm voice. Then, immidiatley, redirect her attention to something else, like a favorite toy. If she does have a complete melt down, back away from her so she is unsble to get physical with you. Allow her to scream from a small distance. When she calms down, love her!

Helen - posted on 10/04/2009

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time outs wont work for a baby that age because they are not completly aware of their actions. i only started putting my son in time out when he was 2 because he was old enough to understand what i was saying. the best thing i found that works is saying no AND removing her from what ever she is doing. if your telling her 'no' because she could hurt herself then what i would do is make a loud sudden noise, like shouting 'bang' so it makes her jump and everytime she does it, do it again. it startles them enough to not do it again! my daughter was walking (just about!) at 8months and she is into everything. throwing a tantrum at that age is normal, its not anger, its frustration because your not letting her do what she wants! and trust me, its gets worse!

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Kenyonia - posted on 10/04/2009

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you are probably using a stern voice when u tell her no and in return she associates that word wit anger try saying that's not for the baby or use her name then give her one of her toys annd let her know this is for her.

Emily - posted on 10/04/2009

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I work with infants and have a toddler of my own. Time out for babies is to me silly. My toddler sure I will put in time out for one minute or will redirect him. However, babies are learning and curious. They don't do anything to be malice or mean. They learn from how you react and how you don't react. I have also learned that saying no doesn't always work for this age either, and depending on what they are doing you should use a different word. Such as WRONG in a firm tone if she hits or kicks etc. But maybe say No when she is getting into something you don't want her to or redirect her. This is a learning time for her exploring and curious she will want to get into things and if you are right there with her let her explore. I hope that this is helpful... Good Luck:)

Stefanie - posted on 10/04/2009

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Time out for a 9 month old? Please!
No way that will work.

To me, this whole post raises a HUGE red flag. 1st) 9 months is NOT old enough to get into a lot if you are truly watching her properly. I know, I've had 2 kids walking by 9 months. 2nd) Babies this age don't hit in anger. They don't know anger and they don't experience "wants" that cause them to rage like a toddler does. So either she's having this behavior modeled for her and she's simply reproducing it, she's playing or she's being disciplined in anger and acting off of what she knows.

Helen - posted on 10/04/2009

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Quoting Kristen:



this is a GREAT time to start time out. No yelling, no anger. But you have to start it in a time when she's not being bad so she understands that she needs to sit there. Time out is for no more than a minute or two at this time. You pick her up, pleasantly say "ok, its time out" and set her down away from said inappropriate area. Stand next to her and when she calms pick her up and thoroughly praise. Good luck!




Tamara - posted on 10/04/2009

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Keep redirecting. Right now she doesn't have a connect between her actions and consequences. Show her what she CAN do instead of what she can't. That's what saved my sanity during those 1st 2 years. Now my LO is 2 so we're using time out and working on empathy to show her the consequences of her actions.

Michelle - posted on 10/04/2009

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I believe time out is completely appropriate and since she is only 9 months old, it cannot be for more than a minute; they say a minute per year....It's so important to handle things as soon as they occur, so they can relate the misbehavior with the punishment. As they get older, I even throw in taking away the most important thing to them for an entire day. My son is five and even though he has a bunch of labels such as ADHD,oppositional disorder, asperger's autism, and language impairment, he needs to learn that behavior is wrong and things will be taken away for a day because the behavior is inappropriate. It sticks in his head all day remembering not to have a break down and hit anyone as well as other inappropriate behaviors. Other parents will admire the calmnes in you as well and the control you keep in routinely when your child acts out! As hard as it gets sometimes, we always need to remain calm so they don't watch us losing control and instead learn to remain calm. Good luck!

Christina - posted on 09/30/2009

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I put my daughter in her bed for five minutes then let her out and see if she does it again if she does I just repeat the five minutes of alone time in her bed whether she cries or not I do not console her or acknowledge her for those five minutes....

Toni - posted on 09/30/2009

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Okay, this one is truly worth it! I'm glad I'm one of the first few moms to respond to your problem :) Your 9month old (who is adorable by the way) needs to understand that by not listening to "NO", then there are consequenses. I like that you try to redirect her attention to something else, but perhaps NO isn't the word to use here. Ever watch Nanny 911? Well, they advocate a "time-out" spot (or naughty chair). Now I know that she is only 9 months old, but she has to learn that hitting isn't an option. I find its kinda like when you train a puppy "no", the idea is to not say it multipule times (where they will just wait til maybe the 10th time to maybe listen) but the FIRST time that you say (perhaps) "Amanda-don't touch" if she doesn't listen, you need to remove her from wherever she is and make her sit still for 1/2 a minute in a "time-out". she'll hate it & probably resist, but she'll quickly learn that there is a consequence for not listening to you. Now during this "time-out" because of her age, you'll probably have to hold her in place for that period of time, but don't look at her and don't talk to her. The time that you use for a "time-out" varries depending on the age of the child. When the time-out is over, praise her for sitting still & give her something fun to reward her for being good for that 1/2 minute. Also keep in mind that this will take SEVERAL times to get right, but don't get discouraged and don't give up on this one. babies learn very quickly and don't underestimate them. You will be teaching her a very valuable tool for so many things to come (even as a frustrated mom, isn't it better to remove yourself from the situation for even just a minute for a calming breath than to hastily react everytime something doesn't go right?) Good luck to you~!!

Kanene - posted on 09/30/2009

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What worked for me is a little tap on the hand and a stern No and then use their name!

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Maybe try not use the word no, you could try by explaining the dangers of what ur daughter is doing, followed by suggesting something else to do.

Tara - posted on 09/30/2009

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I found the only thing that worked with my daughter when she was that age was to tell her firmly NO, and remove her from the things she was trying to get into - not just redirect her attention, physically remove her from that space. It was the only thing that worked. Now, at 18 months, she knows that if I say NO, and she doesn't stop immediately, she will be taken away from the item and watched closely to ensure she doesn't get at it again.

Kristen - posted on 09/30/2009

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this is a GREAT time to start time out. No yelling, no anger. But you have to start it in a time when she's not being bad so she understands that she needs to sit there. Time out is for no more than a minute or two at this time. You pick her up, pleasantly say "ok, its time out" and set her down away from said inappropriate area. Stand next to her and when she calms pick her up and thoroughly praise. Good luck!

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