When Will Your Baby Understand a "No"?

Although it is surprising, it is a proven fact that parents encourage the habit of crying in infants by attending to them when they “cry”. Being the most intelligent species on earth, human babies take no time to understand that they are being attended to when they cry out for any reason. Parents try to answer every call, and their attempts would be always positive to satisfy the baby with a “Yes”. However, it is essentially not possible for all parents under the sky to satisfy the baby every time. No matter how resourceful the parents are, there are certain phases where they have to restrict their children with a “no” for the best interest of their child.

It may be easier for a toddler to understand a restriction from the parents but how does an infant understand a ‘no’ in the initial days. Like every other milestone, the time to understand a refusal from the parents is also unique for every infant. It should be somewhere in between six months to eighteen months. Infants discover it all by themselves or the parents have to teach it to their wards slowly. When the baby does something unacceptable, it is necessary to channelize the kid’s energy to some other element for diversion. If required, quietly tell her ‘no’. Handover something different to them and they are sure to forget the old one in the excitement of the new toy or thing. Or keep them away from the element to avoid them getting in touch with the same thing.

Undoubtedly, there are many incidents where the parents may have to restrict a child and if you feel that the ‘no’ is being used more than often, you can try being creative by using different words to explain the kids why it is a no-no. If the kid wants to enter a dark room, it is essential to explain to them that they may fall, or hit something, due to dark environment of the room. It is not suggested by child psychologists to threaten kids by saying that there is a devil in the dark room to avoid them from going in there. Rather, it is important to make them understand that the room is still the same even in the darkness; however, darkness creates the opportunity for anyone to unknowingly hurt themselves. Saying ‘no’ with a stern voice when they attempt to go the wrong route may help alerting the child. To communicate better, use words such as hot, cold, spicy, etc. in a stern voice to make them understand the impending cause of danger.

Approaching hot irons or ovens, getting into cold water tubs, attempting to eat peppers or chilies, fingering electrical sockets, swallowing poisonous repellents, playing with fragile items, etc. are all a cause of concern and are strictly on the range of a ‘no’. It is on the parent’s part to keep the home as child safe as possible rather than having to say a ‘no’ constantly. The lesser the ‘no’s’ the better the positivity in the child and higher the spirits are. Although ‘no’ is a negative word, try to inculcate this concept in the child’s mind with more positivity.