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When can I start disciplining my infant?

My daughter is 11 mos. old and at times drives me crazy! Whenever I tell her no to something that's exactly what she wants to do. I put her in a time out chair for a couple of minutes, but I feel bad when she starts to cry and always end up getting her. I also feel bad when I yell because she's so young, but I'm afraid by the time I feel she's old enough it will be too late!


Asked by MamaMaggie3 at 9:41 AM on Mar. 10, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (17)
  • We started using "no" at about 6 months. It is starting to work. We would do about 3 no's and then redirect her attention. My LO is understanding that when we say no she doesn't touch again. I have also had to start "popping" her hand. She grabbed my face and dug her nails in. When I said ouch and she finally let go she laughed. I believe that she knew what she was doing. Since that incident last week she hasn't done that again.

    I don't believe that it is ever to early to start discipline. Timeout is a little much for this age though. But you have to remember that whenever you give in you are reinforcing what you just wanted her to not do are the crying to get what she wants. You have to think long and hard about when and what you will discipline about. I wish you all the luck. It isn't easy when you have to make those choices.

    Answer by coala at 10:11 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I'd wait til 2 at the earliest.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:45 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • And she's WAY too young to understand timeout. You should just try to redirect her onto something else. Take her attention away from the "naughty" thing.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:46 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • They really won't understand no at such a young age. Even in their terribly terrific twos they'll not listen though they understand certainly more than now. Get yourself some earphones like to listen to a stereo, it quiets the sounds of her just being a baby and takes a tremendous amount of stress of of the loudness, you'll still hear her fine. When my sister in law's baby was two weeks old she was putting him to crib to cry it out so he'd learn that he couldn't have his way. But those ages are really two young to understand. Although babies are mini us's, their minds really really are just that babies who do not know any other way of communication. I'd suggest saying something like no later when she's out of sorts and direct her attention else where by putting her in a different play place.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • Time out chair is probably too young but not too young for discipline.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:54 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I don't think she is too young to understand 'no'. Starting at about nine months they can get the concept. Word of advice, don't use 'no'. Becuase once she starts talking she will be saying 'no' to everything you say. Say don't do..... Or go do...... I do think she is too young for timeouts. I think two is the earliest I would try that. GL!

    Answer by kboney29 at 9:57 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • My daughter is 8 months old. I usually tell her "no" and redirect her.

    Answer by sleepingKelly at 9:57 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • I think often times discipline is confused with punishment.
    At that age, she doesn't full grasp the word "no" and what it means. Trying giving her activities she can do instead of using no. Offering distractions is just one of many ways to redirect her behavior.

    Babies at that age(and children in general, really) are curious. They are learning about the world around them and their role in that world. I *know* it can be difficult to remember that at times, trust me, I have a toddler and a 9 month old and my patience is tested daily, but I find that if I remind myself of why they are doing the things they are doing then I can react better to certain situations.

    Answer by heatherama at 9:58 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • At that age I would just try to stop her from doing things....Put things up, away from her.. Out of her reach... Lock doors and cabinets that she can get into. That way you will not have to yell and say no so much.

    Answer by louise2 at 10:04 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

  • It's never too young to start talking to and discplining your child. Believe me, they understand! I believe at this age it either needs to be redirection or swat on the diaper (this is to get their attention, not to hurt them -- which I believe is true of all punishment). At this age, time out is inappropriate b/c they 1. don't make the connection and 2. don't have the attention span to sit for a period of time. If it's something serious a direct cause and effect needs to be created. If you touch the plug you will get a swat on the bottom! But if they are getting into the coasters, move out of way, say no and give another toy. But keep on top of it and talk to you little one about why. They may not understand just yet, but they will over time. It doesn't hurt to start now. :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:23 AM on Mar. 10, 2009