We have a fun loving & outgoing 11 month old little girl. She gets very excited to be around other children. I'm not in a play group, but have taken her to baby time at the library a few times and we have been at a couple of family events with other children. From the limited times she has been in contact w/ children, I've learned that she tends to be a little on the aggressive side. She is crawling and she will crawl right up to them and in her way of greeting (I guess) she smacks them on the head. You see her and she is totally excited, not angry or mad in anyway, just happy to be near another baby. Do you think I need to expose her regularly to other babies? We don't have friends with babies near us, I work from home (my mom babysits) and I could take a couple of hours a week out of the day to socialize with other mom's/babies. When I tell her "no" don't hit the baby, I'm not sure she gets it. I usually tell her "no" and take her away. We haven't had a situation where the other baby is crying or anything like that, but every time she is near other kids her age or younger, its stressful. Will she grow out of it? Any advice? Thanks!
I've got advice!
- Kids this age do not know how to play with other kids. They aren't even really in the stage where they "parallel play" (play along side other kids). At least I don't think... It's not developmental that she should be able to play with kids her own age right now.
- That said, it's awesome that she already has friends her own age and you probably need these playdates more than she does, right? I would redirect her towards some toys and sit close so you can be sure neither child hurts the other. Simply move her away if she gets too close.
- To teach her to be gentle, model gentle touch. So if she does get a chance to hit, show her gentle touch by touching her face or moving her hand over your face.
- Skip the "no". Some great advice I got once was to tell a child what you want them TO DO. Apparently, there are some studies where children register the "do" part of our sentences (so she's really hearing "Hit the baby."). I've found this to get really important when they get a bit older so you may as well get the practice in now. A toddler hears, "Run out in the street!" not, "Don't run out in the street!"
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IdentityCrisisMama, Thanks so much!
I can see how skipping the "no" might be a good idea. That's pretty interesting, I'll have to look into that. I have started trying to teach her to be gentle. I'll continue doing so. I do feel like I need to be close attention when she is near other babies. She isn't normally around kids, so I think she is probably feeling her way around. I'm a first time mom and don't really have any idea what to expect at this age. Thanks for the suggestions!
Mine's the same age. The other day I watched her crawl over to another baby and try to pull up using the other baby for balance like she does with adults. (I stopped her, of course.) I don't think she really processes other babies as people with whom she should interact in a certain way yet, and I certainly don't think she's old enough to be aggressive on purpose. I am with the previous poster, just redirect her and teach her to touch people nicely.