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Does a one year old understand "No"?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
There isn't much I say no to for my DD. However, after suffering a few deep gauges on my face from her rough scratching I have started to tell her no.

Also, I don't like her habit of throwing everything I try to feed her on the floor. She doesn't even do it when she's full. She also does it when I know she's hungry then she cries when all her food is on the floor. So I say no. I say it a lot.

She seems utterly oblivious to this word. Is this stupid of me? Should I wait until she's 2 or three before I even bother with no?
post #2 of 10
My son started understanding "no" just recently (he's 16 months). Like you, I save "no" for real emergency situations, so he doesn't hear it very often. In the last month or so, he's been saying "no no" to himself when he's knows he's doing something I've told him not to do in the past. For example, he was standing up on the grocery cart seat yesterday, told himself "no no" and then sat himself down! It was pretty funny! He says "no no" when he stands on his changing table and when he unplugs/replugs the lamp too. Those are pretty much the three things I've told him not to do in the past. Looks like he's developing a conscience too . At first I said no and removed him from the situation physically. Soon, I could just say no and he'd stop himself. Now, he tells himself no! So while your son may not understand "no" right now, if you're using it sparingly he will begin to associate those activities with something not to do.

post #3 of 10
My twins will be 10 months old this Saturday and they definitely understand no. Forrest usually get a hurt look on his face and sometimes cries when he hears it, which can be bad if I'm actually saying it to Killian or Ansil. Ansil will look at you like "Are you talking to me??" Sometimes they stop on their own and sometimes we have to move them. If she'sdoing something that just isn't acceptable I'd keep saying no and eventually she'll understand.
post #4 of 10
I think it depends on the kid and on the behavior. I certainly think a child will understand "No" before the age of two...and it can be useful in certain situations. I prefer to use the expression "All done" when I want her to disengage from certain behaviors but don't want to overuse "no".


post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Darling kids, indiegirl.

I love Zoe's curls!
post #6 of 10
Redirect! It's much better to model where it is appropriate to scratch or hit. At that age I showed my dd that she could scratch or punch a pillow when she felt she wanted to be violent. She now automatically redirects herself. You can show her how to high-five instead of slapping someone in the face. She loves to high five now. If she wants to jump onto something I left her jump on her beanbag. She likes that too. Toddlers have all this energy that they need appropriate outlets to release it into. You can let your kid punch playdough or dig in sand, splash in the tub (with the shower doors closed) or run around like a freaking maniac outside. They must do these things. Like a cat must scratch and a dog must dig.

Good luck

post #7 of 10
I guess when you say "no" often enough, they start to understand it's a no-go-no-do situation. Plus, they can sense something from the tone of the voice.
However, over time, this cld make them feel as if they are always doing something no good, being negatively judged, etc, so really, it's best to refrain from using "no"- it's difficult sometimes though!
Instead, try using the reason why so, for eg, "That's hot!" "Ouch, you are hurting me, please be gentle!", etc. At least, they understand then the reason why they shd not do certain things and not just a blanket "no" for seemingly everything that they try to experiment with.
Just my 2 cents.
post #8 of 10
we try to say no very rarely with our 16mo. Starting at about 12mo when someone said no, she'd cry. We call it the "thwarted cry". In general I try to teach DH ways to say thing without using no, since he has a tendency to use no when there are more appropriate ways to say things.

Now, expecting them to not do something when you say no? At this age is pretty unrealistic.
post #9 of 10
I think so. Riley definitely did, although we only used it for our 2 "house rules" for her. No touching the big screen TV and no playing in the dog water. Actually, I use the "uh uh" sound rather than no. But she understood from a very early age and has generally obeyed....astonishingly!
post #10 of 10
I don't think my dd (13 months) understands the meaning of the word 'no' per se...she does, however, understand that she is not to do something after I repeatedly physically remove her from the situation, physically redirect her attention to something else, etc. It's got to involve my physical contact for her. I do use words such as 'stop' and 'danger' in addition to physically moving her, and I thiink she's starting to get it. I try not to use 'no' because it seems to be an overused word and I want her to take me seriously when I tell her to stop doing something. Also, around 12 months, she picked up the word 'no' from another child at daycare, and she likes to say it! Now when 'no' slips out of my mouth, she'll often start chanting 'no no no no...' Pretty funny!
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