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Need some ideas for redirecting 8 month old

551 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bdavis337
I understand at 8 months it's hard because she really can't understand what i'm doing or why i'm doing it. She is starting to get into everything though. Everytime I turn around it's something else that she has found or that she is doing that she shouldn't be doing. I'm trying to be creative in pulling her attention away from whatever it is she is doing but she is apparantly not entertained by my antics.
I'm also struggling a little with the word "no". I hate using it to often and try to find other words (gentle, careful, hot, etc). While I know she probably doesn't understand any of the words yet i'm hoping if she hears them she will eventually associate "gentle" with being nice to the puppy.
So what do you do at this age? What sort of things do you use to redirect?
I usually try to pick her up and just completely remove her from the situation but that usually really upsets her and I end up with a screaming baby. I'm open to ideas for now as well as ideas to use in the next few months as she gets even more mobile than she already is
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Honestly, I'd babyproof and get as much as possible up and out of her reach - much less frustration for both of you. Block off areas you don't want her getting into, get cords, etc. out of the way as much as possible.

Outside of redirecting/distracting, a 'trade' sometimes works when you have an object to give to them in exchange for whatever else they're doing. Orrrr, let them explore the object with you for a few seconds, and then do a trade.

But really, at this stage and even up through the second year, prevention is your best friend.
This will sound backwards, and if someone had told me this before I had my second child, I would have laughed at them.

My youngest didn't do well with babyproofing. I have a lovely picture of a child who could barely walk climbing over gates, taking out safety plugs, removing whatever I put down. His favorite game was taking apart the vacuum cleaner. Every piece he could manage to take off, he did. So....I had 30 pieces and a slightly dirty carpet.

The absolute best method I found for dealing with this was not redirection, but watching. If he wanted to explore the drawers, I sat down with him to help stack stuff and put it back when he was done. It also gave me a chance to remove anything dangerous/inappropriate. If he wanted to touch something, I was right there to help guide his hands and show him how. It got to the point where he came and got me first so we could do it together. There are so few things down at a child's level that really are dangerous to touch so this method worked out well for us - and gave him another way to trust me. It also took away some of the mystique. Something forbidden is intriguing - the curiousity wasn't fully satisfied. But if they're allowed to find out it's just a bunch of papers or nothing fun at all, it's messed with less. And the stuff that they do keep going back to you can make a decision on - is it okay? Not okay? How can I give him the same type of stimulation with something more suited to his needs?
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Lily that is exactly what we are dealing with. An 8 month old who is apparantly smarter than me and all my babyproofing efforts. I left her in the living room yesterday while I was in the bathroom and walked back in to find her trying to scale the babygate. She also can pull the electrical outlet covers about 1/2 way out and I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before she gets them completely out. I try to be there as much as I can and when I can't be there I will usually contain her to a smaller space so she can't get into anything. I just hate having to put her in a small and restricted play area but I'm finding it necessary for her safety while I'm in the bathroom or fixing dinner.
I did exactly what LilyGrace did. People thought I was bonkers for what I would allow DD to explore (not the electric sockets
) but it satisfied her curiosity. As for using the bathroom or cooking dinner, DD came into the bathroom with me and she "helped" me cook dinner. At 8 months, I would not have left DD alone unsupervised. She is probably too young for a learning tower in the kitchen but you could put her in an Ergo or setup a playpen so she can see you.
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My similar nearly 10 month old comes to the bathroom with me. I have a box full of stuff in there that is safe, which is usually enough time for me to do what I have to do. As for cooking ... I plop him on the floor in the kitchen and allow him to explore lower cabinets that have "safe" stuff in them (measuring cups, whisks, spoons, plastic containers, pots and pans, etc.). Sometimes I throw something fun and different in there to keep the suspense alive. His current, favorite obsession is the salad spinner. He knows how to take it apart, put it back together, and spin it. I've been known to throw the lettuce leaves in there, put it on the floor, and let him go to town. Then he'll take the leaves out and put them in a bowl (sort of). So I sometimes have to wash the lettuce twice. At least he's happy for a few minutes so I can chop an onion or something!

BTW, my 3.5 year old was never like this. We never had to babyproof more than a few outlets. This is SO different. However, when he was old enough to climb safely on a stool, he started to "help" me. Getting them involved is the best way to keep them out of trouble.
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Get a sibling - hehe. Honestly #2 has been a breeze - big sister watches him like a hawk and takes away anything he's not supposed to have. The house is already babyproofed, so I let him go anywhere he wants. The kitchen is gated, and I close the bathroom doors - that doesn't seem to bother him a bit since he has free range of the house. It does seem to me that the more "yes" activities are avaliable, the fewer "no" activities are attempted. Or maybe I'm just dreaming and the next one is going to terrorize me.

FWIW when I need to say it, I say simply "no-no" in a sing songy voice or I make an "ah-ah" sound that warns him he is heading for a "no-no". Both my kids were really good at this age at heading those cues.
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At 8 months, my kids were not out of an adult's sight.
Thanks for some tips. I think I am going to empty out a few lower drawers and put some fun stuff in them for her to play with. That's a great idea that I hadn't thought of.
As far as her being out of my sight I don't really worry about her being in a babyproofed room 10 steps away from the bathroom. If it goes more than 10-15 seconds without me hearing her then I can poke my head out of the door and see her from the restroom. Same for the kitchen. We don't allow her in the kitchen or hallway that the bathroom is in because they are tile and she scrapes up her knees crawling across the grout.
I did, and do, allow my kids out of my sight briefly even at that young age. It's not always practical (or fair!) to have to poop, pee, eat, sleep and breathe in the same space as your child, especially if they really need the room themselves. Your use of a safe space is appropriate as long as it's truly safe, an you might just have to rig up some homemade devices as she gets more creative.

I've proofed my kitchen for my toddler and the boy I babysit. NOTHING breakable or poisonous in the low cabinets, the stove and frig are gated off and there's nothing under the sink at all. Doorknob locks on all rooms we need to deny access (bathroom, exterior doors, etc.), and all cleaners and other odd things on a shelf above the washing machine that even I have to use a chair to reach.

She's so young yet, just make it as safe as you can and let her have at it!
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