Should you discipline a 1 year old

When does education begin? Set the first limits for the baby

Babies want to discover their environment and try out as much as possible. And as parents, you should give yourself the space to do so. But not everything goes and must. When and how you can set your baby's first limits and tips for gentle parenting.

After the pride and joy about the baby's first crawling meters, many parents realize that when the little one was not yet mobile, supervising was a bit easier. Because now your little one can achieve previously unattainable things: landings, flower pots, electrical appliances, tablecloth tips - everything that causes mums and dads to get nervous palpitations when the sprout comes near them. And now, at the latest, most parents ask themselves:

When can you raise the baby?

In the first six months of life it is not yet possible to raise a baby, by the way, just as it is not possible to “spoil” it. Because at this young age, due to developmental reasons, your baby cannot yet distinguish between what is right and wrong or what yes and no mean. So far it can only draw attention to its needs and depends on you as parents to satisfy them. So don't worry about spoiling your child too much because you don't want to let them scream for long.

On the contrary, reacting quickly to his signals strengthens basic trust and creates a secure bond. So give your child as much attention, affection, closeness and physical contact as they want in the first half of the year.
Only in the second half of the first year of life do babies gradually develop a will of their own and learn that they can provoke specific reactions through certain behavior: "Intentional cry" Scientists call it, for example, when babies begin to want to influence the actions of their parents through purposeful crying. At the earliest, it is now possible to raise babies: if they consciously control their actions in order to achieve something, parents have to teach them that not everything can always go their way.

Now is the time to set the first limits for the baby

Towards the end of the first year of life you can ask your baby to be patient. You don't have to jump right away if it wants something from you, it can wait a moment now. As a rule, parents quickly learn whether something is real or whether their baby is just moaning to get their attention or to demand something. You can now ignore this whining without a guilty conscience.

And what about bans? You can now also pronounce the first prohibitions, but assume that they will not yet bear fruit. The words “yes” and “no” only have a meaning for babies towards the end of their first year of life. And it will take at least another year before they start to grasp the meaning of rules and prohibitions.

No baby!

So what is the most urgent way of conveying a "no" to a baby from the age of two? If you want to forbid something to your crawling child, say “No!” With a straight face and take the object away from him or carry your child out of the “danger zone”. You may be able to briefly justify your ban. The best thing to do is to distract your baby with something else. This is the most effective solution in the crawling age. Otherwise you should consider the following things:

  • Less is more:A “no” is more impressive if it is not said so often. Don't be fooled into repeating it over and over. Only use it as a prohibitive word, especially when it is used to protect the child, i.e. with dangerous objects and situations.
  • Use pitch and facial expressions:Make sure you stay consistent. A “no” is a serious prohibition, which should also be reflected in your voice and your facial expressions. Avoid saying "no" jokingly, possibly while you are laughing. Then the word of prohibition loses its meaning.
  • The moment:Do not rely on your baby or toddler to obey prohibitions, even if they seem to understand them. In an unobserved moment, curiosity can quickly gain the upper hand.
  • Praise works better than punishment:Punishments are useless because your baby is not yet able to associate punishment with the wrongdoing. Praise and loving care for desired behavior work better than punishments for undesirable behavior.
  • To be a role model:Be a role model! Babies learn by imitation. So show your child what you want them to do, especially when dealing with other people.

The most important thing is: stay consistent. And always support a "no" with a serious face and appropriate facial expressions and gestures. This way, your baby will quickly learn that you are serious about the prohibition.

Repetition makes prohibitions understandable for babies

But even if babies realize what is meant by “no”, that doesn't mean they are sticking to it. "Above all, self-confident children often have a lot of stamina and keep checking what is possible and what is not," says family counselor Christine Kügerl. Always scrutinizing looks go to mom or dad. It could be that the ban doesn't apply today.

“It takes a lot of repetitions before a ban is observed, of course,” says Kügerl. In addition, babies associate permission and prohibition with the person who utters them. If something is forbidden with mom, it doesn't automatically mean for babies that it is the same with dad. With Grandma everything could be different anyway, and especially if you're all alone in the room. "It takes a long time for children to internalize rules in such a way that they stick to them even if no one is paying attention," says Kügerl.

Better a few rules, but consistency

Repeating yourself over and over is tiring. In addition, it would be wrong to restrict the baby's urge to discover with a web of prohibitions. “It is therefore better for everyone when there are only a few and really necessary rules when they are young,” recommends Kügerl. Parents should therefore carefully consider which rules are so important to them that they want to train them with their children. And where they are willing to compromise.

While there should be no discussion about some things, such as anything that could be dangerous to the baby, other situations make it easier to compromise. So for most parents it is no drama if their child plays around with the old stereo system or the kitchen table gets a few more scratches. Just make sure that your baby's apartment or the crawling area is childproof so that it cannot injure itself while exploring.
With all compromises, it is important that all adults and older siblings are willing to accept them as family rules. Because it is easier for children to orientate themselves within a fixed framework. Lovingly set limits provide security.

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