From 8 to 12 Months - The Beginning of Discipline

Pregnancy and Beyond

Much supervision is needed to keep your baby safe as he explores his expanding world. Certain actions that may be "cute" now can create more problems when he becomes a toddler. Now is the time for you to set limits.

Pulling hair, eyeglasses and jewelry should be responded to with a stern look, saying "That hurts Mommy" and putting the child down. Your baby needs to learn not to harm other people.

Discipline teaches your baby by giving him useful information about acceptable behavior. This is different from punishment, which uses force to control behavior. You must be firm and consistent to help him learn what is "okay" and "not okay." Babies test limits in order to find out what the rules are. The same message of "not okay" will need repeating many times before he knows that the rules/limits are for real.

Techniques for Setting Limits:

Never hit, never spank, and never shake your baby. If you feel that you might hurt your baby, call the Parental Stress Helpline at 1-800-367-2543.