Inside: How to connect with your baby, and get him to cooperate without punishments
Babies are extremely curious about the environment, and their job is to explore to learn about how things work.
They want to touch every object in the house (their favourites are the electrical sockets and pots and pans in the kitchen).
While we want to encourage curiosity, we also need to make sure that our babies are safe – hence it is important to set clear boundaries.
How to set boundaries for babies:
1. Calm your baby down by empathizing.
He may not understand your words, but he can sense your relaxed tone of voice, and your nonverbal cues e.g. hugging, holding his hands, kissing him etc. “I know you want to try out the pair of scissors.. The scissors is sharp… You are upset…
“Why don’t we play with this bunny?” (The good news is that babies are easily distracted, so redirecting is helpful to move them away from dangers.)
3. Babyproof the house.
At this age, it is easier to babyproof the house than to attempt to teach after he gets hurt. Our babies don’t have the capacity to understand the danger and need time to comprehend why we stop them from certain activities.
Give your baby the freedom to explore within a safe space and that will reduce your worries and frustrations.
Other ways to connect with your baby
Get down to his level and engage him through play.
Read to him every day (Need recommendations for baby books?)
Speak the physical touch love language to fill up baby’s love tank.
After some time, when we know our babies’ routines and needs, it becomes easier to respond and parent them proactively. Get ready to feed when you know they are getting hungry, put them to bed at a fixed time each night, schedule playtime as part of their daily routine… the deeper the connection with them, the easier it is to engage their cooperation in future.