First, Prevent situations where your baby might do something you don't like. Move that canning jar to a higher shelf. Put a gate on the stairwell. If your baby does something wrong, think of ways you could keep it from happening again. Create a trouble-free environment!

Second, Ignore behavior that is annoying but not harmful. If the baby pulls everything out of your sock drawer, just take a deep breath and ignore it. If you pay too much attention, it teaches your baby to do things like this to get attention from you.

Third, Distract or redirect your baby from things you don't want her to have or do. If she has your keys and you need them, don't just grab them; instead, interest her in some other toy or activity. The baby will then let go of the keys. It's easier to get a baby started on something else, than to take something away.

Reward your baby with your loving attention when she plays nicely. Don't become a parent who only notices your child when she has done something wrong. Notice the good times, and give your baby a smile, a laugh or a hug. Your attention is your baby's most important reward--use it to encourage behavior of which you approve.

And lastly, give
Freedom within limits. Your baby needs freedom to explore, but she also needs limits. You need good judgment to provide both. Babies kept in playpens or high chairs for much of the day have too little freedom and are too limited. A baby needs freedom on the floor to explore. That doesn't mean the basement stairs or garage! That is too much freedom and is too dangerous.