♥ The Importance of Teaching Babies Manners

The importance of teaching our little ones manners at a very young age. 

Having been a nanny and babysitter for hundreds (...if not thousands?) of children, babies and toddlers over the decades, I have had the pleasure of watching the progression of language development, establishing little personalities, coming into their own individuality, and my most favorite of all: 
the learning of good ol' fashioned MANNERS! 

When I'm working with a baby on his or her language development and we're learning colors, shapes, ABC's and one two threes, I automatically always just also throw in the "thank yous" and "please" and "excuse me" and "you're welcome" and "bless you". Babies learn by example. Monkey see - monkey do! So it's really not even a matter of me teaching it TO a baby. But rather working on it WITH a baby. It's just a matter of them seeing me do it and hearing me say it over and over again. All the time. Every day. Over and over. Repetition, repetition, repetition. 

If baby sees and hears me saying "thank you" every time they hand over the little tiny toy or when I always say "you're welcome" every time I had them a snack or a pacifier... or I say "bless you" every time they have a cute little baby sneeze - baby will associate. Baby's are smart! They're good at putting two and two together! Baby's love routine...and they crave ritual and habit. It's just automatic for me, so I don't really think about it. But evidently I guess the babies are picking up on it because I have seen my little tiny one year olds saying thank you ("kee-koo") when I hand them something in the bathtub like their rubber duckie or a bath toy. They learn very quickly especially if they hear it often and over and over again. Make a game of it. Turn taking! There is nothing cuter than a little tiny baby saying kee-koooooo and peeeeez. 

I'll never forget the first time I was caught off guard when I sneezed and a little tiny two-year-old said "bwess youuuu..." It was the sweetest thing ever and my heart just melted. Now imagine what that would feel like with YOUR sweet angel - maybe even out in public when your little love is at a playground, or a playdate, or a birthday party and your kid is the sweetest, kindest most polite little well-mannered kiddo at the park or at the party! Those are the children people WANT to invite! And guess what!! THEIR little ones will learn from YOUR child! They'll see the positive response your little one is getting just for doing something so simple like saying "Please"! That good behavior will rub off on other kids, it'll spread! It'll grow! It's magic!! Then all of a sudden we are going to have his amazing explosion of nice little well-mannered kiddos on our planet! Imagine that! (Cue kumbaya music...) 

Start practicing and getting in the habit now. Using please and thank you and you're welcome and bless you and excuse me every single time you burp or sneeze or toot. Use this language with whomever it is you're talking, whether it be your older kids, your spouse, the roommates, your significant other, friends, neighbors, just say it more people!! C'mon. 

I don't know what it is with the new generation (...sorry old-school lady moment here.) But I absolutely hate it when I'm at a restaurant and I say "Thank you" to the waiter for re-filling my water glass and she says "No problem". She started her response sentence with the word NO? A negative? That's something we learned about way back in college psychology. Using negative words is just negativity! And it's feels negative - meaning... it "feels" not happy, not pleasant, not positive. Don't say you're welcome with the word "No" in it. Just say "you're welcome"!! (or "my pleasure")  I think Chick-fil-A is definitely on to something with this one! Doesn't it just feel better to hear someone say "my pleasure". Than "No" and "problem". Two negative words in a row? Where'd that come from anyway?  Maybe "No worries" from Australia? Yeah ok, I get that one... MATE! 

I also really don't understand what it means when a kid (most commonly pre-teen age) replies: "I'm good" instead of: "No thank you" or "I'm fine thank you". If I ask a kiddo: "Would you like some more mac n cheese?" I'm hoping to hear a "Yes" or "No" answer. (or better yet "Yes please" or "No thank you" - wouldn't THAT be nice??) If I ask a kid (usually older kids and teens) "Do you need help with your homework?" and they say "you're good" - what does that mean? I'm good?? (*scratching my head) "Yes, I know I'm good thanks. I'm great! How are YOU kiddo? Need some help with that homework or not??" When someone replies with: "I'm good" - it just doesn't quite answer the question asked. Then I have no idea what they want and I usually have to RE-ask the question in a different way. When a kid says "it's all good" or "you're good" - I just stand there blinking... trying to decode what they just said. That's not an answer! I realize it's a generation thing. Miss Emily Post is probably rolling over in her grave! Bless her heart!


Being polite is important. Teaching manners is important. Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness you'll have good manners. It's ethics. It's honor. These are social skills that we need to teach the children of our future! So start practicing "nice manners" right when your baby comes into the world. A newborn baby or infant or toddler will start hearing those positive, pleasant manner words from a very young age! Babies are never too young to start learning and listening just by hearing what we say with our voices - to them or to others. And learning by example is the best way kiddos learn things. By mimicking -  they mimic us - good or bad. (nice manners or curse words) Monkey see - monkey do right? So keep those pleasantries flowing Mamas! Happy, nice, positive, mannerly words! And what a wonderful way to bring up our little ones. With good manners, pleasantries, etiquette and poise. 

Thank you! 
You're welcome!

The links to Toddler Potty Training parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are down below... __________________________________________________

For more information about newborns, babies, infant, toddlers: you might find my FUN educational youtube videos helpful: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyUZ0DQiBXWUvkOaKRtHFVA