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Saying “No” to Your Baby
Experts often say that it’s impossible to spoil a newborn. What they mean is that it’s important to respond to your baby’s physical and emotional needs. Carrying your little one? Terrific. Feeding him when he fusses? That’s fine too. They aren’t suggesting, however, that you should never set limits, particularly now that your baby is nearly 9 months old. If he starts trying to scale the bookcase, you’ve got to channel your inner Mean Mommy, give him a sharp “No,” and remove him from the situation. You should also begin to think more about what limits you’ll impose as your child gets older. Some are obvious. (“No playing with sharp knives,” anyone?) Others are less so. Will it be OK for your child to jump on the bed? Eat Cheerios in the living room? Go down the slide by himself? Figuring out your household rules can be challenging and might require reading books, reflecting on your childhood, and discussing possibilities — and compromises — with your partner. Of course, some rules will have to be developed as you go along. (Who knew you needed a rule to prohibit inviting grasshoppers to the dinner table?) But having the basics in place will make parenting easier and will help you and your husband stay on the same page.
Of course, the more rules you have, the more rules your baby will have to chafe against. After all, he wants carte blanche to explore, play with, and taste absolutely everything. But know that some rules and boundaries are good for older babies — and as long as you’re not no-no-no-ing him for every little thing, he’s not going to feel stifled but protected and loved. Being Mean Mommy might be a good thing, after all.
Keyword: 36 Week Old Baby Development