Can a baby understand the word 'no'?
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By Talking With Baby

Recently I had a visit from my favorite family of girls – Evie (, her mom and her new baby sister Meadow.  Mom was anxious to show me the signs that Meadow was using, yet we couldn’t coax the sign for ‘more’ out of her.   I grabbed a spinning toy that lights up to gain her attention and worked on getting her to sign ‘more’.  She was excited about the toy.  I made it spin and when it stopped I said and signed ‘more’?  Then made it spin again followed by ‘more’?   After about 3 or 4 tries she did the most beautiful sign for ‘more’ I’ve seen a 10 month old do!  I came to the conclusion that maybe her daycare only used the signs at meal times. 

The next week I got an email from Meadow’s mom telling me that Meadow had used ‘more’ to tell her she wanted more swing.  Mom also reported that Meadow was using ‘all done’ (‘finished’ in the book) a lot more also.  Then mom told me this:  Meadow’s puppy kept trying to lick her.  Meadow didn’t want the puppy to lick her.  Know what she did?  Signed ‘no’!   Pretty smart for a 10 month old!  And look how this contributes to her self-esteem and confidence!

Teach your baby a concept with a sign like ‘no’.  It will help with understanding boundaries and will be helpful later with unwanted behaviors.  Introduce a word like ‘no’ in a slow and positive way.  You will be happy you did when your baby is older and you need to stop them from doing something harmful.  In every situation you find yourself, think of the different signs you are learning and use them.  Teach a new sign today, your baby will love you for it.


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