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Guidance and Discipline

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 06-11-2007

Your baby has a need to explore. It’s how
she learns about her world and the things in
it. Sometimes though, this need can get her
into trouble. She wants to touch, taste and
hold everything—even dangerous or delicate
things. You have to set limits for your baby.
You want her to explore. But you can’t let her
hurt herself or damage things in your home.

For example, your baby has watched you pot a new plant. You’ve talked with
her about the delicate leaves and the dark soil. She watched as you watered
the plant and put it on a shelf by the window. But now your baby wants to
explore it. She crawls to the shelf and pulls herself up. She is ready to
topple the plant. What do you do?

One thing you can do is move the plant. Put it in a place where your baby
can see it but not pull it over. This is childproofing. Your baby is more
mobile than ever. Move delicate and dangerous things out of the way of
your exploring baby.

Another thing to do is distract your baby. She has a short attention span. Her memory is short, too. This lets you distract her from an activity. Pick
up your baby and show her a new toy. You don’t have to say “No” or fuss
about the mess she could have made. Saying “No” too often makes the word
less effective.

Pulling on an electrical cord is a real danger. This time, say “No” firmly.
Then distract her. Also think of ways to hide the cord so she can’t play
with it. It’s never OK to play with electrical cords.

You can help your baby remember and follow your directions. Always
respond quickly. And always respond consistently. Use the same words every
time. For example, say “No, that is dangerous. It is not to play with.”
Expect your baby to explore. But she has a short memory. And she won’t
remember your directions easily. Respond quickly to dangerous

behavior. However, it’s important not to become angry with your baby.
She needs your help to learn about what’s dangerous. Respond the same
way all the time.

This content has been provided freely by CMC. Click Healthy Start, Grow Smart—Your-Ten-Month-Old for your free download. Click GreatDad Free Ebook to download the entire Health Start, Grow Smart series.

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