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Health & Baby

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Discipline: When to Start

Month 9, Week 3

Your baby may not be able to say "No" yet -- that delightful skill is yet to come -- but she almost certainly understands when you say it.

She's getting old enough to have ideas of her own and to try to do things you don't want her to.

Here's how to handle it:

  • Prevent. If you don't want your baby to grab the remote, don't leave it where she can get at it.
  • Distract and redirect. You didn't put the remote up on the high shelf and now baby's tuning in "Hoarders"? Offer her a broken old remote in trade. Just snatching it away will earn screams of protest.
  • Praise. If you say, "Give me the remote," and, wonder of wonders, she does, reward her with a chorus of claps and cheers.
  • Choose your battles. If she's putting the clean laundry on her head, who does it really hurt? Just snap a photo.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Crawling is not good enough for many babies by this age. They see you walking, and they want to try it too.

So if she hasn't done it already, expect that your baby will soon be pulling herself up to stand and trying to cruise around using furniture as her support system.

To help her prepare:

  • Show her how to get back to a sitting position from a stand. Otherwise, you'll be waking up at night to a crying baby who can't get back down to sleep!
  • Do another round of baby proofing. Watch for sharp edges on furniture she might grab onto, and make sure anything she'll use for support isn't apt to tip over.
  • Don't overreact if she falls. Offer a quick hug and words of encouragement. These are but the first of many tumbles!
  • She'll probably want to climb stairs just like you. It's OK to let her crawl up a few if you stay within arm's reach and vigilant.
  • Remember, walkers are a safety hazard and do not actually help babies with walking.

Month 9, Week 3 Tips

  • Roughhousing for fun? Don't swing babies by the arms -- it could dislocate joints. And don't toss baby overhead. Instead, lift her high without letting go.
  • By now, your baby can sample everything the family eats, except for choking hazards, anything she's allergic to of course, and raw honey because of the danger of botulism.
  • Make a learning game of your shopping trips. Count the boxes of pasta or cans of cat food as you put them in the cart. Talk about the colors on the signs.
  • Always belt baby into her high chair, and watch for her fingers before you buckle.
  • Check high chair safety: Keep it at least 12 inches away from the counter so that she can't push herself off and topple over.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the car, even for a minute. Put your purse or briefcase on the back seat next to the car seat so you're not likely to forget her.
  • You know not to leave baby alone in the tub -- but she shouldn't solo anywhere in the bathroom either. Too many hard, slippery surfaces!

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