Thursday, December 3, 2009

Setting Limits with Babies

When do you need to start thinking about setting limits with your baby? As soon as your baby is capable of doing something that causes a problem or hurts someone, it’s time to set a limit. Behaviors that call for parents to set a limit range from throwing food off the highchair to pulling hair and biting.

When my son was 10 months old, he decided to crawl over to his 3-year-old sister and bite her. This certainly hurt and we definitely needed to help him learn that biting was not part of feeling safe together. So whenever he bit her, I’d gently pick him up, carry him to his room and place him on the floor while saying “Uh oh! It’s so sad you decided to bite Kristie.” The door was open so he could crawl back whenever he was ready.

As I left the room, he would start crying and of course Kristie was already crying from being bit. Yikes! The good news is that it only took him a handful of times to learn that biting always meant a trip to his room and he stopped biting her. He also never bit anyone else. Lesson learned!

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