Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board
Hint: it’s not you.
But….but… she was so docile! You were so in charge! Boy has the tide turned. Now she’s got wheels to match her curiosity (well, knees, anyway), and she’s exploring every inch of your home – and getting into all sorts of things.
It might help to know that babies this age are not deliberately mischievous, so remember this when yours throws her sippy cup off the high chair for the 17th time in a row. She’s not being naughty, she’s just exploring gravity! She’s excited to discover the many wonders of her new world, and, after all, you want her to be exploring.
Save “no” for when it’s necessary, i.e. unsafe situations – like baby crawling out the front door after the UPS guy or hitting the dog in the face. Or, instead, call out her name, or change your tone, or use a different phrase (‘“Not for Ava”) to indicate that something’s off-limits. Whatever you do, be consistent and she’ll get it. Most of the time, a good ol’ replace and redirect does the trick. So if she’s bent on pulling your earrings straight through your earlobe, give her a toy to pull instead. If she’s gnawing on Dad’s wallet, swap it out for a teething toy. And positive reinforcement goes a long way, so be sure to praise the behaviors that you want to see more of.
If you can, designate an area of your home that can just be hers. A low shelf with some board books and puzzles is a safe place for her to rock out and wreak whatever havoc she pleases.
Oh and if your tough little resister has started fighting diaper changes/ getting dressed, turn it into a game. Hand her a toy to distract her on the changing table, or play peek-a-boo as you put on her clothing. Here comes a haaaand! It’s a well-known ploy, sure – but mesmerizing to her, which is all that matters.