What’s going on for baby?
During this period a baby is increasing their skills and ability to move on their own, going when and where they choose. And they’ll be playing with things that interest them — whether they’re safe for baby or not.
Baby is interested in finding things and then discovering what they can do with them. They’re focusing on exploring and satisfying their curiosity, without any awareness of hazards and dangers.
How can parents and whānau help?
- Find a balance between baby exercising their curiosity and staying safe. There will be times and places when parents will need to limit baby’s activities.
- Think about what places are more ‘baby friendly’ than others.
- Remember that baby isn’t behaving in this way to upset or annoy dad or mum, they’re exploring to learn.
- Be consistent — baby will get confused if something is okay sometimes and other times it’s not. If it’s ‘no’ once, it needs to stay ‘no’
- Use a firm but warm tone of voice.
- Have a small number of ‘no’s’ and stick to them.
- Say what mum and dad want baby to do rather than what they don’t want them to do. For example, if they are trying to stand up in their highchair parents could say, ‘Sit down in your highchair. Chairs are for sitting.’
- Try distracting baby with a different toy or activity — even better if it’s like the one they’re not allowed. For example, ‘Here’s a soft ball for throwing. Books are for looking at’.