ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"No" and the 6-Month-Old

Updated on July 30, 2019
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren has taught pre-school through college. She loves the wonder of learning.

Toddler Play

A toddler playing with yellow paint.
A toddler playing with yellow paint. | Source

Start Saying No At Age SIx Months

You have your wonderful blessing. Your baby. You want to do right by him or her, providing a life full of good things, but not spoiling your child. Perhaps in your hopes and dreams, you picture a safe, loving home full of books and comforts with a grateful, helpful, and respectful child. Happily, there are things you can do to help the dream come true. One of them is teach your little darling the meaning of "NO" early in life.

Why? First, Because Life Has "No's"

Obviously, the life that we adults live in is full of roadblocks, hurdles, and challenges. We have figured out that we do not get everything we want and, hopefully, it hasn't ruined life for anyone. This is the life that you are preparing your baby to thrive in. And, a child's life has roadblocks, too.

Wanna eat those wild mushroom-ish looking plants in the back yard? I don't think so.

Wanna lick that electrical outlet? Nope.

Dig in the flowerpot? Uhn-uh.

Play in the dirty litter box? Sorry, Charlie.

Touch the computer? No way.

But, my baby is six months old, you might reply. She isn't even crawling yet. I quite agree. But she is gaining control over her muscles and her intentions. She is probably sitting and holding objects. Often during nursing, a little bite may have been tried. So, she is beginning to have the ability to do or not do actions. The actions which get the good stuff, such as food, physical comfort, and approval from her family, will increase in frequency. The actions that get bad stuff, like pain, fright, or disapproval, should decrease. As a loving parent, one of the calm ways to show disapproval is with the word "no."

The "no" concept is part of life, just as hunger and the need to have companions are. It is just one of the parts, plain and simple. And the earlier it is taught as a matter-of-fact proposition, the easier and sooner it can be learned. Then, when your baby does start crawling (watch out - boy, can they move fast!) and walking and touching - you have a head start in keeping her safe and creating respect for rules.

This is not to say that your infant will listen and obey at all times. Ha ha! If only life was THAT simple! But, you will be started on the right path.

How to Do It without Meanness

You may be thinking, "I don't want to be remembered as 'The Enforcer" or that the all I did was shriek 'no' and 'don't'." Well, first of all, you will be the enforcer. That is the job God gave you when blessing you with a child. You have been trusted to guide your baby to become a good adult. However, this does not mean you must be nasty or mean.

The word "no" can be said calmly and firmly. But once you have decided upon a behavior which is not allowed, you MUST say "no" every single time your child tries it. Also, you may need to block her hands or pick her up and move her to stop the behavior while you are saying "no." In the beginning, be prepared to say and do this twenty times in a row.

When my first-born started crawling, we had decided that he was not permitted to touch our television, which was set in a cabinet low enough for him to reach easily. Of course, he found it quite attractive and worthy of being explored. We would say "no" and race over to pick him up and carry him ten feet away. But you get to the point where you are just plain tired after doing this ten or fifteen times in a row. (You're exhausted even before this starts.) But, I am thankful that at that moment I had one of those rare awakenings where wisdom knocks at your brain and you recognize it as good stuff and let it in. I thought to myself, "This is so HARD going to get him and moving him over and over and over!" Then I thought, "It is SO hard doing this, but it would be even harder living with a spoiled, disobedient, disrespectful kid." That gave me the last little burst of energy to keep it up until he realized that "no" meant "no," and he stopped trying to touch the set.

As your child gets older and more mobile, there is another good way to take the "meanie-ness" away from all the "no's" you will be saying. Add a "yes." Instruct your child that "A is a no, but B is a yes." For example, coloring on the wall is a no, but coloring on the paper is a yes. Or, touching the strange doggie is a no, but looking at it is a yes. How about, throwing your cup on the floor is a no, but putting it on the table is a yes. Do you catch the drift?

How to say to a child "Don't touch the Christmas tree."
How to say to a child "Don't touch the Christmas tree." | Source

Why? Second, To Keep Your Toddler Safe and Teach Respect

Occasions requiring limits will arise at age six-months, so I feel the discussion can end there. But for those who would like more convincing, I offer this. If you, as the parent, have been practicing this sort of instruction and guidance since your baby was six months old, it will be second nature (for all of you) by the time your child is walking. When your child is walking, she most likely will be walking at places outside the home: relatives' houses, daycare, stores, and such. All these places have rules to be followed or items which would not be safe for a toddler or preschooler to handle. Understanding the "no" direction will keep your child safer. It will also make you and your little one more welcome to be there.

I once had a disconcerting experience with a young visitor and his family at Christmastime. The child was one year old and walking well. When he saw our Christmas tree, decorated to the hilt, he beelined for it. I stepped in between him and the tree, looked him in the eye, and said "no." His parents said, "Oh, he doesn't know what that means." WHAT!?! If I had been a denture-wearer, my teeth would have been on the floor! Walking and not knowing the meaning of the word "no?" Perhaps you have heard the saying that there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Well, this poor kid was in the same boat. He can't help it if no one taught him. What a disservice to that child. You can only imagine what the rest of the visit must have been like.

Therefore, take comfort and be assured that teaching your wee babe about life's "yes's" and "no's" is the right thing to do. And the earlier, the better for all.

Copyright text and indicated photos 2008 Maren E. Morgan


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)