How I Deal with Baby Mischief
Some experts will tell you that traditional discipline doesn't work on babies, because they're too young to grasp the concept. That's true to an extent, but babies are never too young to learn the fundamentals of good behavior. And besides, techniques for discipline will come in handy in the months and years that follow as baby grows. Better get a handle on them now. Take my word for it.
In my experience, all three of my kids were old enough for mischief once they learned how to crawl. My youngest, who's only one-and-a-half, currently delights in torturing his older brothers. His favorite pastime? Stealing toys right out of their hands. The more they react, the more he loves it.
So, when he snatches a toy and runs away while squealing in glee, we offer a gentle (but firm) "No!" Same thing goes when he decides to tug at mommy's earrings while she's wearing them or tries to rip the glasses right off my head.
If that doesn't work, we try redirection. Introducing another toy or activity to the mix is sometimes all it takes to distract him from monkey business. As kids get older, they learn to focus. In other words, this is the best time to capitalize on their short attention span as an effective way to divert from undesired behavior.
In lieu of that, we simply remove our young one from the situation. This isn't a time-out, strictly speaking, where we deposit him somewhere alone to mull over what he's done. Instead, we hold him close for a few moments and patiently explain what he's done wrong. He may not get it now, but he will over time, with repetition.
Donald S. Deane is the proud papa of three little boys who provide endless amounts of joy and sleep deprivation. He has held a variety of jobs, including college English teacher, newspaper reporter/editor, internet project manager, dishwasher and dogcatcher. Don has written for AOL TV, Moviefone, TheFW, ScreenCrush, GuySpeed, and Arcade Sushi, among others.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.