Discipline: When to Start

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 22, 2022

Month 9, Week 3


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

They are getting old enough to have ideas of their own and to try to do things you don't want them to.

Here's how to handle it:

  • Prevent. If you don't want your baby to grab the remote, don't leave it where they 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 themr 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, they do, reward them with a chorus of claps and cheers.
  • Choose your battles. If they are putting the clean laundry on their 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 they haven't done it already, expect that your baby will soon be pulling themselves up to stand and trying to cruise around using furniture as their support system.

To help them prepare:

  • Show them 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 they might grab onto, and make sure anything they'll use for support isn't apt to tip over.
  • Don't overreact if they fall. Offer a quick hug and words of encouragement. These are but the first of many tumbles!
  • They'll probably want to climb stairs just like you. It's OK to let them 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 them high without letting go.
  • By now, your baby can sample everything the family eats, except for choking hazards 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 their high chair, and watch for their fingers before you buckle.
  • Check high chair safety: Keep it at least 12 inches away from the counter so that they can't push themselves 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 they shouldn't solo anywhere in the bathroom either. Too many hard, slippery surfaces!

Show Sources


American Academy of Pediatrics: "Movement: 8 to 12 Months."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Five Keys to Good Discipline."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Playing Rough with Baby."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Feeding Your 9-10 Month Old."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Ideas for Shopping with your Baby."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "High Chair Safety."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Sun Safety for Baby."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Dangers for Children Left Alone in Cars."

NC Healthy Start Foundation: "Your Nine to Twelve Month Old."

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