Baby's First Word - Milestones and Tips for Encouragement
Right about the time your baby starts becoming a toddler, she will start having a favorite word, and it’s very likely to be “No”.
Right about the time your baby starts becoming a toddler, she will start having a favorite word, and it’s very likely to be “No”. The truth is, babies start saying “No” because they can. They just found out that they have a will, and they’re going to use it. It’s a phase and it will come out of nowhere, but rest assured, it will also disappear out of nowhere. Until it does though, there are a few things you can do to make it more tolerable.
Offer choices: Giving him options makes him less likely to say “no” simply because “no” is not one of the options. Try things like “Do you want to eat carrots or peas today?” “Do you want to wear your left shoe or your right shoe first?” “Do you want to get to bed now or read a story then get to bed?”
Count: If your child is not responding to the choices, try counting: “I’m going to count to 10, then you need to decide if you’ll have juice or if you’ll have milk.” Your child is likely to become responsive once you start counting.
Give him other options: Your child is holding on to the word “no” for many reasons, but it’s also because he doesn’t know many other words. By teaching him about other possible simple responses, you might help him move away from an automatic “no”. Teach him “yes”, “maybe”, “perhaps”, “sometimes”, “later”, and “No, thank you!”
Watch your language: It makes sense that if you don’t want your child to say no all the time, you shouldn’t be saying it either. Try to avoid using it by using words that are specific to the situation like “We don’t hit our sister” or “Let’s play in your room instead of the kitchen”.