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Old 06-14-2008, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 10-month-old LOVES other babies, so much that she goes right up to them and kisses them and makes noises at them and pokes at their faces. And they promptly start crying. Some moms just think it's funny, but other moms, obviously, would prefer their babies not get poked in the eye. It happened again today - I'm chatting with a mom who I really like, and she puts her baby down and my baby goes right up and pokes the baby in the eye. The baby started crying, the mom scooped her up right away and that was sort of the end of the conversation. I guess this is just what babies do, but it's hard enough to make friends anyway.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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when my son was going through that stage, I would pick him up and physically move him away from smaller babies. Even though he liked them, his exploration and affection put the babies at risk, so I didn't let him touch.

When he was a small baby, I would have been horrified if a parent didn't stop their ten month old from touching M.

there are ways you can "help" him touch and explore babies, like directing him to touch their feet, or helping him show them a soft toy...
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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I'd be your friend, even if your kid poked mine in the eye.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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Old 06-15-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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I'd be your friend, too - thinking about it, my best friend's daughter likes to poke my son in the eye! And she (mom) does what the PP said, she removes her, or at least moves her further away so she can't poke
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:18 AM
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My 10 month old does the same thing...we were at a LLL meeting and the other kids were all her age...they were happy sitting quietly on their blankets while mine wanted all up in their business...I had to pull her off of them several times. Finally I brought her across the room and nursed her. I don't know what to do either.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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That can be frustrating. On the one hand, you're right, that's what babies do. On the other hand, what mamas do is introduce babies to socially acceptable ways of interacting. Daniel loves to snoogle other babies, too.

Some things that help are
-keeping him up in the sling or the backpack if there are little babies he might hurt
-modeling by asking the baby if he can touch them. Sounds silly, I know, but I'll say "Hi *insert smaller baby's name here*! Can Daniel give you a buh (what we call kisses)"
-when he does try to attack the baby, I'll guide his hand and say "Gentle touch!" and stroke the baby's arm or leg, not their face
--distracting him with a favorite toy (in our case, a ball. He'll ditch a baby for a ball every time)
--if all else fails, I take him out. This isn't a punishment and I don't make a big deal about it, but the reality is that everybody has the right to be happy and safe.

I hear your frustration though. These stages can be really tough, and it's hard to find the line between gently redirecting them and not wanting to squash their little spirits.

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Old 06-15-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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during that stage i was really up on my game....always there to intervene, b/c i pretty much knew she'd poke or pull. i usually didn't take her away, just hovered and showed her how to touch gently.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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ds is 6 months old, and we've been to many playgroups with older babies. I've never been annoyed with the older babies' poking and prodding, because I understand they are exploring and are just learning to be gentle with younger babes. If the mama of the older babe isn't right there to help their LO be gentle, I have no problem helping the older baby give my ds gentle touches away from his eyes, nose, etc. I wouldn't worry too much, mama, you'll make friends!

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Old 06-15-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
what mamas do is introduce babies to socially acceptable ways of interacting.
I think annettemarie had a great list of suggestions! And yes, it is our job as moms to walk babies through the appropriate way to interact. How is it that a little one could continue to poke babies in the eye? If you know this is her MO, you hover and stop it before it happens. Honestly, I'd be pretty annoyed if I knew you knew she'd likely do this, but not be close enough to stop her. First or second time - you didn't know. Now you do. When your child is around babies, hover. Until such time that you feel confident that she's learned not to poke in the eye.

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Originally Posted by annettemarie
These stages can be really tough, and it's hard to find the line between gently redirecting them and not wanting to squash their little spirits.
I agree that these stages can be tough, but you lose me at the second part. I don't think it is spirit squashing to stop them from hurting someone else. It isn't their right to explore the surroundings if it means hurting someone else.

I was a nanny for five years before I had kids. Sweetest, most precious little boy ever! But in five years, a lot of "teachable moments" came up. Once his mom was squatting down in front of him - I think she was talking to him just as she got home from work. He slapped her right across the face. He was 1 1/2 or 2 at the time. I was standing behind him, and thought that she would deal with it, as she was his mom and now home. That time when she first got home was kind of a gray area as I felt odd about disciplining her child when she was there to take over. Anyway, she did nothing when he slapped her - no reaction, no comment, no facial expression change, no change of location. He slapped her again. I am standing there dumbfounded as I was just SURE she would do something. Apparently not. He raised up his hand to slap her a THIRD time when I grabbed his arm, said "NO! We don't hit!" or "no hitting!" or something like that. She was mad that I'd "squashed his spirit" and made a comment as such. I was mad that she was ok with him slapping her across the face! This was not a love pat... If you refuse to tell him no, which I think is ridiculous, then at least stand up!

But then again, I don't believe no is a bad word. It can be overused, and I try to phrase things that I want instead of what I don't want. Use your walking feet (instead of "don't run"); look with your eyes (instead of "don't touch"). But to let one person HURT another person in the name of exploration or free spirit or whatever is just neglectful on the part of the parent IMO.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
I agree that these stages can be tough, but you lose me at the second part. I don't think it is spirit squashing to stop them from hurting someone else.
Oh, I'm not saying it is spirit-squashing to say no either. "No" figures quite prominently in my vocabulary, in various shapes and forms. But I'm saying sometimes (OK, often!) I second-guess myself, because while I definitely want them to learn to interact in socially appropriate ways, I also don't want to squash their initiative and independence. Which honestly, is why I love redirection so much. We try to get our hitting babies to do "high fives." They still get to hit, but in a nice way.

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Old 06-15-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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I'd be your friend too, but I'd ask you to keep your LO from "exploring" my kid without immediate supervision. I mean, I only let DS "play" with the kitty when I'm in a position to immediately keep the kitty's ears from being pulled off or her paw from being crushed in an iron grasp. My son's right to explore freely gets scaled back in direct proportion to the likelihood and severity of harm he may inflict on someone(thing) else or on himself.
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Old 06-15-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Maybe your DS and mine should get together? He's also a little too rough in his idea of love at this point. The pinch marks on my arm are proof. Ouch. But I keep telling myself that it's a phase, and keep trying to show gentle touches. We're also working a lot on waving so he has something else to do.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the support and the tips - I especially love modeling asking the baby if it's ok to touch them. That kind of gives the mom a warning too that if she doesn't want her child touched, she can move them away.

And no, I definitely don't just let my 10-month-old free to attack other babies! And I don't mean like 3-month-olds. I mean like 8-month-olds and up - babies that are sitting up and crawling and could technically have the coordination to poke back. And yes, I always crouch right there over her and watch her closely (especially since I know her MO). Usually I'm able to fend her off, but she's really fast sometimes. And first time she pokes or does something that might hurt or scare the baby, I scoop her right up and don't let her down with the baby again.

I guess I could just carry her around all the time, but in some situations (maybe playgroup meetings at the park or something?) - I'd love to let her sit next to me to play while we all chat like the other moms and babies seem to do. I think I'm just complaining more than anything - I realize all babies are different and I've just got one that likes to explore, so I need to watch her closely.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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My kid is an eye poker. Has been since about 3 or 4 months. If he gets close to another baby BAM right in the eye. I try to model gentle touching, so now he's obsessed with petting other babies, which often turns into exciting smacking on the head. I try to stop him, but I figure other kids want to do it to him, and any parent that gets super upset, well they will feel silly once their kids starts eye poking.

If the kid is near his age or size (well more likely his age as he is a HUGE baby) and I know the parent, we have allowed some roughhousing/ wrestling to go on. Just make sure they don't get too out of hand.

My friend's ds always wants to give kisses, but his kisses always turn into biting or hickies, he just gets so excited. So we allow a couple of kisses and then redirect
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