Teaching baby manners?

(25 Posts)

Serobin - the book suggests so. It also suggests babies can understand simple sentences from birth.

Make of that what you will!

I was worrying about this once and a lovely older and wiser colleague said 'she will be polite because she will see you being polite'. When they're tiny it's all about modelling manners to them - when they're older you get to drill please and thank you into them!

MrsDeVere Fri 03-Jan-14 09:48:27

catcat assuming you are not joking..

I would suggest you get some books on child development rather than baby etiquette.

Once you have a better understanding of this I think you will be able to work out a way to help you child manage her emotions as she gets older.

Serobin Fri 03-Jan-14 09:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'm in the middle of reading 'French Children Don't Throw Food' by Pamela Druckerman.

While I find her a bit grating in her adoration of the French (everyone she meets is a slender barrister or art dealer), the methods she talks about are interesting and draw on accepted theories - a lot of it is based on this idea that babies can understand a lot more than we hive them credit for; and 'the pause' delaying instant attention and gratification (as you mentioned in your OP) for a few seconds to teach self-sufficiency and patience.
Allegedly that starts at about 2mth, so not too soon as far as the French are concerned!

PFB isn't here yet so I might think its all piffle in 5 months time, but it makes interesting reading.

UriGeller Fri 03-Jan-14 09:20:11

Serobin, I love that book. Agree its essential reading if you're interested (and who isn't?) in understanding an raisin a compassionate, considerate, loving child.

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Fri 03-Jan-14 09:15:48

We've always said please, thankyou etc around DS and he's used please consistently to ask beg for chocolate for stuff from about 17/18 months.

He's said thankyou when given things for a couple of months (He's 2 in Feb).

No specific tactics - we just say please and thankyou to him as we would any other person.

I hate it when kids (older of course, i wouldn't expect it from a toddler) have poor manners. I live in an area with a strong regional accent - both me and DH are very broad northerners so 'ta' is more common but we've taught DS thankyou rather than ta because it's so much cuter

Serobin Fri 03-Jan-14 09:06:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 03-Jan-14 09:00:38

I thought about good manners at that age, but only in terms of modelling how I will expect ds to treat me in the future so with kindness, respect and responding promptly to needs. At 2mo he wouldn't have understood being left, he would have just learnt that I can't be relied on and that he needn't come promptly when called.

Toecheese Fri 03-Jan-14 08:46:52

It's too early to think about manners. You just need to meet their needs and make them feel loved and secure. Additionally in the future you can lead by example - so be kind, helpful, considerate, calm and more then likely you child will be the same. With older children I tag on the word please when they ask for something. I also help them rephrase requests in the correct politer tone instead of demanding or whining.

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 31-Dec-13 20:35:21

The best and possibly only way to teach manners is to model good manners. Always use polite language, take turns (don't interrupt or change the subject abruptly), smile nicely, talk to lonely old ladies, etc.

My babies signed please, thank-you and sorry six to nine months before they said their first words. So very proud grin

And now we are explicitly working with the 5yo on non-verbal manners such as "using a nice voice" and "taking turns" and how that's part of the whole manners thing. School is very big on that kind of thing.

Jaffakake Tue 31-Dec-13 20:27:01

At 2.5 ds says please, thank you & sorry. He does it because we do. They learn from example, so if you have a nice polite calm household where people speak with respect your child will do to.

peggyundercrackers Mon 30-Dec-13 23:01:01

I agree with specialsubject - I believe they pick up on many more things then people give them credit for - I don't believe they know at 2mo. what they are doing but by about 4 mo. they will have an idea that they can get reactions to things.

we have always spoken to our DD as if we were speaking to another person, we don't do baby speak. if we didn't like what she was doing or didn't want her to do it we told her no, if we gave her something or took something from her we always said thank you, she does it all the time now. She is very good at saying no if she doesn't want it - along with saying no the hand gets waved about but we don't know where that came from. she will wipe the table up and will wipe her face after having something to eat as well and then she will wipe your face too - all with the same napkin though... she will share her food with you too - she offers everyone at the table a piece of whatever she is having but then eats it herself, if you go to get whatever you are being offered she pulls it away and sticks it in her mouth saying yum and laughing, again we aren't sure where she picked that up from because its not something we would do.

shes very happy though and wants to laugh all the time, shes certainly independent but does like to cuddle in and gives everyone lots of kisses but we put her personality/nature down to never ever raising our voices in the house, at each other or at her and we always give her lots of cuddles and support and lots of encouragement to make her feel confident.

clabsyqueen Mon 30-Dec-13 22:38:23

Congratulations on your new baby catcat! Hope you're enjoying the cuddles!

For babies feeding time is more than just getting down to the business if drinking milk. I think that your daughter is trying to communicate with you and feeds are about social interaction closeness and intimacy. (We adults talk with our loved ones at mealtimes do we not?) I'm not sure how this could be interpreted as 'cheeky' unless you decide that she must stay focused on the task at hand. I think that a no nonsense approach is perfect for middle of the night but some 'banter' is lovely and to be expected at other feeds.

On the subject of manners your I believe daughter will learn to become a warm caring polite person by watching you be warm and caring towards her and others. Don't worry about how you are rushing to help her now - your instinct will tell you when she can handle a short wait and you can model how to ask nicely from a very early age. She will pick it up without much direct teaching.

I second what the other poster said about reading Penelope leach. She is a fabulous woman - compassionate and full of sound advice.

specialsubject Mon 30-Dec-13 22:20:44

babies are wise, they just can't talk.. smile

I second it is by example. If she grows up in a house where people treat each other kindly and with respect, she has good role models.

catcatcat Mon 30-Dec-13 20:54:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SliceOfLime Mon 30-Dec-13 13:12:59

For a very long time, emotion will be the only way she can communicate with you - and for a baby that small, what they want is what they need, be it feeding, a cuddle or just to be held by you. By responding straight away to those cues you are teaching her that she is loved and cared for, and that she can trust you to be there for her, so carry right on doing what you're doing and when she cries or fusses pick her up / feed her / whatever calms her. You are making a happy, relaxed and contented baby! It will be a long time before you can teach her proper 'manners', I have a very articulate 2yo and we constantly remind her to say please and thank you if she forgets, at this age she can understand that if she asks nicely she can (usually!) have the thing she wants. You might want to have a read of something that explains more about children's development so that you know what they are actually capable of understanding at the various stages of development - I'd recommend Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach, and I think she's got a new book out covering age 1-5 which I really want to read.

UriGeller Mon 30-Dec-13 13:09:00

She's too young right now!

But when she gets to around a year old and you can play games of passing things to each other, always respond with a smile and a "thankyou". She will learn by your example.

While she is so very tiny, you can "teach" her to become kind and considerate by showing her a world of kindness and consideration.

FirstUpBestDressed Mon 30-Dec-13 13:05:36

Babies don't have wants.

They only have needs.

If these basic needs are met , they feel loved , valued and secure.

i.e. they develop good self esteem.

Manners will be picked up from your positive role model and constant re enforcement.

Enjoy your baby.

At 2m I didnt give this any thought but as dd became able to have things handed to her id automatically say "ta" and same when she handed things to me, "ta". Eventually she started copying (about 6mo), and by one said "tank yoo" and now at two asks for everything with a please and thank you, 90% unprompted.

Your dd sounds lovely and full.of character already so enjoy it!!

Remembermyname Mon 30-Dec-13 13:02:19

Um I would say your baby isn't manipulating you at 2 months.. Dd is 7.5 months and if she does something I don't like (eg pull my hair) I say no, and get her to let go. I'm pretty sure she doesn't really understand, but she'll get it eventually.

For the rest, I think it comes with age - children tend to mirror the behaviour they see around them.

Boobybeau Mon 30-Dec-13 13:00:33

I'm not sure you need to worry about teaching a 2mth old manners!!! But the best way children is to model the behaviour you want them to do as they are masters of copying. So if you want them to always use their knife and folk and sit at the table or say please and thank you then you have to lead by example.
But crying is your dd way of communicating right now do please don't ignore it in fear of making her needy.

PolyesterBride Mon 30-Dec-13 12:59:50

She sounds super cute and I really wouldn't bother worrying about stuff like that until she's much much older. Just model stuff like saying thank you for now and enjoy her cheekiness!

JRmumma Mon 30-Dec-13 12:57:24

At 2m your dc really isn't manipulating you. Babies that young aren't capable of such things. When your baby cried they need something, even if it is only to be picked up.

But also, manners aren't the same as discipline and when the time comes, manners can be taught by teaching please and thankyou, and to share toys with other children/wait their turn etc.

I'm not an expert and this is only a suggestion/opinion but in a first time mum and i often worry about things similar to this but then i realise that while baby is so young its not something i need to stress about.

Give your baby all the attention he/she needs for now.

catcatcat Mon 30-Dec-13 12:51:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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