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Is there any point saying 'NO' to a 5 month old?!

(9 Posts)
CarrieG Thu 13-Jan-05 11:35:16

ie. when he twists both hands in my hair & yanks in order to get purchase for a really good head butt!

He's not angry or upset or anything, he just thinks it's bloody hilarious - if I say 'no' in a nice 'oooh we don't do things like that' way, he falls about laughing. If I say it sharply he looks bewildered.

When do kids start getting the idea of 'no'? My instincts are to start as I mean to go on, but am I just confusing him?

monkeygirl Thu 13-Jan-05 11:42:15

My 7 month old loves pulling my hair as well. I think at 5 months babies have very short-term memories so saying no will not only not mean much to them but they won't remember that they are not meant to do it. The BBC parenting guide says you can start to guide them from between 9-12 months. Atm all you can do is distract her I think. Oh how we suffer for our babies....

starlover Thu 13-Jan-05 11:45:17

Well, it can't hurt to say it, even if he doesn't remember what it means!
I would just say no and take his hands away each time he does it.
Even if it makes no difference at the mo, at least you're getting into the swing of it!

Frieda Thu 13-Jan-05 11:51:33

Ouch!!!, Carrie G! I remember that hair-pulling stage. What is it about babies and hair? Every time I fed ds he would reach his hand up for a clump of hair to hold on to – in fact he still asks to 'hold hair' now at 6 (!) when he can't get to sleep. He was very cross with me once when I had a short haircut . Perhaps I should have said 'no' sooner!

CarrieG Thu 13-Jan-05 11:55:41

Yeah, that's sort of my thinking.

He definitely understands 'mummy is cross' - he burst into tears the other day when I was in another room shouting at the cat - but I don't think he's quite got 'mummy is cross because I've just bashed her on the nose with my forehead AGAIN'...shall just keep up the 'no's & tell myself it's good practice.

suzywong Thu 13-Jan-05 12:00:31

well he won't understand til he's about 7 or 8 months, I think you should consider it practice indeed and just remember that it's one way and don't get wound up that he doesn't understand - after all it would be a bit of a shame if his first concept of language was a negative commadn IYSWIM

CarrieG Thu 13-Jan-05 12:03:50

That bothers me too - I'm not actually barking at him a la 'Bad Lads' Army' you understand, but if I say it in a nicey-nice 'oooh, please don't do that darling' way I'm giving him mixed messages.

Trying just to say 'no, that hurts' in a calm, firm manner & untangle us both!

suzywong Thu 13-Jan-05 12:08:21

best way
and they won't remember that you have told them not to do it until they are well over a year and you have had a serious melt down it

hair pulling is maddening isn't it, although not quite as awful as standing on your tits when you are lying in bed, or is that just me?

Gem13 Thu 13-Jan-05 12:15:58

CarrieG sounds like you've got it right.

DH said 'no' (firmly but not loudly or scarily) to DD then 9 months the other week and she howled for a good 5 minutes. Took her a couple of days to forgive him! I can see trouble ahead...

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