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What do I do with this child?!?

I'm not sure what I should do to get my 8 month old to cooperate. I tell him "No." when he does something he is not supposed to with a serious look on my face. There are two major things he does that I say no to, and that is grabbing the spoon, and trying to pull magazines out of the rack. When he is pulling on the magazines and I say it, looking serious, he will stop, but when we start playing again and I look happy again he goes right back to it. When I say No and he is trying to get the spoon, no serious face can deter him. He laughs at my I-mean-it face. Is there anything I can do other than "no" and taking away what he should not have? I know he wants to feed himself more, so he eats a lot of finger foods, but short of strapping him down I have no idea how to actually get a spoon to his mouth.

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Asked by wildsun at 9:30 AM on Dec. 5, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 12 (755 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • He thinks you are playing with him. If you tell him no and he does it again put him in the playpen. I tell my baby it's time for baby jail.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • I bring out two spoons. One for my son to try to feed himself with and one for me to feed him with. If he grabs for the one I am holding, I take the one he put down. It works for us. Good luck.

    Answer by TeaAndrews at 9:54 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • He does think your playing with him, what i did with our son,instead of saying NO is No Hands, lol i guess that does have no in it, but it worked great for our son, he knows what it means if you show say no hands and hold onto his hands while saying it, now when we say no hands he puts his hands away from the spoon,and for the magazine part, just put him either in the crib for a time out or a play pen, let me know what works..

    Answer by mblucky at 9:59 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • Move the magazine rack and give him a spoon of his own when you are feeding him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • With the magazine rack you need to redirect - actually move him away and find something else to get his attention. If he does it several times then try putting him in the play pen for a couple of minutes. As for the spoon, I also suggest giving him his own spoon, which will probably be in your way too, but he is trying to be independent and learn what to do with a spoon. I know it is frustrating; I am still learning that I have to let them experiment and start doing things for themselves, even if it sometimes mean a bigger mess.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:32 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • Also - if the magazine rack is too big of a temptation you may need to move it for a while.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:33 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • agree with the above posters. Move the rack and give him a spoon. He is trying to feed himself. Stop using the word NO so much. Use something else instead. Like distraction. :) Good luck.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 11:15 AM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • I think you should put a tarp on your floor and let him go at his food with a spoon. It'll be messy, but you can always clean that up. Move the magazines so he can't reach them. He's only 8 months, so he doesn't really understand "no". He wants to explore his environment and he does that by touching everything.

    Answer by kerbear84 at 4:41 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

  • I think that rather than putting the things he cant have out of reach, teach him that he cant have them. When he grabs for the spoon or magazines, flick his hand just hard enough to cause a LITTLE bit of pain and say "no" at the same time. You dont have to say it super firm, just say "no". Keep this up until he stops grabbing for it. It might take a few days for him to stop completely or just stop when you say "no" without the flick, but my seven and a half month old is completely trained now and listens when I say no. She has never had a bruise or red hand and has never cried when i flick her, but your baby needs to learn that your the one in charge. It's not punishing them and it's not child abuse, it's simply training them to respond to the word "no".

    Good luck!! Sorry i'm posting as anonymous, I dont want to be bashed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on Dec. 6, 2008

  • Maybe you should fix your baby a large bottle of breast milk, with cereal in it, the consistence of thin paste, this will fill his belly up and make him sleep all night. You will have to cut a big X in the nipple, to allow the milk & cereal mixture to flow through. You could just move things that he shouldn't get into. He will learn when he is a little older. I believe a child should taught right from wrong, but why be so strict, at such an early age.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

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