You asked

When will my baby understand ‘no’?

From the moment your baby first learns to crawl, you’ve probably started to feel like ‘no’ is the most used word in your vocabulary. The trouble is, while you’re constantly telling your baby no, they seem to blithely ignore you most of the time.

The truth is, most babies will be able to recognise the word no, and a few other words, by the time they are around six months old. They’ll only start understanding what you mean when you say them sometime between the ages of 12 and 16 months.

When your child does react the way you want them to before then, it’s less likely to be the word itself, but rather your tone and inflection that did the trick.

That means that instead of saying no all day, every day, you can use other words, like hot, sore, or something else, to describe the reason you don’t want them to do something. As long as you’re using a stern and commanding tone, the message should get across.

Another way to avoid saying no all the time is to create safe areas in your home by blocking off entrances, baby proofing electrical outlets and removing dangerous or fragile items from the area. That way, your baby can play, without you having to shout no all the time!

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