Is Your Baby Testing Your Limits?

Between 8 and 12 months, your baby is able to understand you when you gently say “no,” and express your disapproval. She’s listening to you, but she’s also testing your response to her actions.

This is important for babies to learn and remember. Simply picking your little one up and moving him to another spot in the room will teach him that “no” means stop what you’re doing, or be moved to a place where you cannot do it. It’s a clear consequence to his behavior.

If your baby does it again, it’s not because she’s set on trying your patience. Instead, consider that:

  • she can’t at this age remember the association of “no” with her behavior, or
  • he’s simply continuing to watch and learn about actions and reactions.

Trying new behaviors and testing your response to them will become a key method of learning about the world in the coming year. Try to see your baby’s behavior as an effort to learn rather than a will to disobey.

See also ...

•  Setting limits with your baby

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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