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Why does my toddler say “no” to every question I ask?

My formerly agreeable baby now says "no" to absolutely everything I say. Bedtime? No. Milk? No. Lamborghini? No. It's so frustrating! What changed?

Re: My formerly agreeable baby now says "no" to absolutely everything I say. Bedtime? No. Milk? No. Lamborghini? No. It's so frustrating! What changed?

The Bump Expert

This may be an annoying phase in your tot’s development, but it’s an important one. She’s learning to decide for herself what she wants and doesn’t want (separate from what you, her parents, want). So, unless it’s a safety hazard, of course, encourage it.

If you really do need an answer, though, you may also want to experiment with questions that aren’t yes-no. In other words, instead of asking, "Do you want lunch?" ask, "For lunch, do you want cereal or a peanut butter sandwich?" If she’s saying no to something that isn’t really a choice -- taking a bath, for example -- stay with it: "I see that you’re sad because you want to stay downstairs, but it’s time to go upstairs to take a bath. Let’s pick out some toys that can go in the bath with you" or better yet, make a game of it: "Where are your favorite toys that go in the bath?"

The Bump Editors

Why does my toddler say “no” to every question I ask?

In my opinion, my daughter says "no" to everything because she hears it so much from everyone. For example, when she's touching something she's not supposed to, she hears "NO". She climbs on something... "NO". Of course they are going to say no to everything because we do that to them all the time.

trishlyn7 |

Why does my toddler say “no” to every question I ask?

My daughter is 16 months old and she does the same thing. I just think it's hilarious, really....but I try to encourage her saying "yes" by asking her a question that I know she would want to say "yes" to and when she says "no," I say, "yes" while shaking my head yes.

amandacodd93 |