How can I make my baby listen when I say "no"?

Q: My 11-month-old baby ignores me when I say "no." How can I make him listen?

A: Babies this age are very curious, so they require constant monitoring. Your child isn't being defiant when he continues to do something even though you've explicitly told him not to -- he's simply too young to know when he's doing something wrong. If he's about to get into a dangerous situation, say "no" clearly to grab his attention. Then distract him, but you can't simply hand him a toy -- you need to create a certain level of excitement to get him involved in another activity with you. As he gets older, he'll learn to stop what he's doing when you say "no." For now, it's best to keep him busy in areas that are safe for him to explore so you won't have to constantly redirect him. --Sally Lee

Updated 2009. Originally published in Child magazine, November 2002.

2 Comments

  1. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website www.SleepBaby.org - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! Best of luck to you and your family :)

  2. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website www.SleepBaby.org - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out!



Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.