I'm a big believer in gentle discipline, but I think if you want results you need to start early. To be clear, I'm not talking about beating your baby, but giving them little cues that let them know your expectations and nudge them in the direction you want them to go.
For example, if your baby is swatting at you, you might get quiet and look away, letting him know gently but clearly that this isn't how you get attention, then reengage with a smile and a giggle when they stop.
Or if your baby is playing with something you don't want them to, I'm thinking outlet not the pots and pans because exploring is good, then slip it out of their hand and replace it with a toy, or call them away and "reward" them for coming with a tickle or a game of peekaboo.
If your baby is on the changing table, sing to them, babble to them, make it a fun time, but if they start flip and flopping and making your job harder, shift to a slightly more business like tone.
Of course, for these cues to work they need to be built on a foundation of mutual respect. If you listen to your babies cues, not just his demands but smaller shifts in his demeanor, he'll feel respected and do the same for you. Not every time, of course, but more and more gradually over time.