The More You Do It, The More Your Child Will Get Used To It

Your baby or child can learn to be flexible and adapt to life’s different situations, but you have to expose your child to things to get there. 

A girl hiding behind a tree holding a bear

No matter what it is, the more you do it, the more your child will get used to it. When it comes to activities your family likes to do, expose your baby to them as early as appropriate so that both you as parents and she as the child can get used to it.

Kids Can Learn to Be Good Travelers

While growing up, my parents lived about a 3.5-4 hour drive away from their parents. We would go visit often. My sister and I became very adept at entertaining ourselves in the car. We were really good travelers. My parents started young and did it often.

If your family likes to travel, the more you do it, the more baby will get used to it. However, please remember to have balance. You need to be sure you provide the consistency your child needs so she can have somewhere to return to once you get home. A new vacation every week is going to cause severe disruptions to your child’s routine.

How to Have a Routine for Baby and Still Have a Life

Your baby or child can learn to be flexible and adapt to life's different situations, but you have to expose your child to things to get there with a picture of a girl hiding behind a tree

Kids Can Learn How to Behave in Public

My Dad is big into playing sports. Even as an “old man” (love you Dad!), he would play on five different basketball leagues at one time. When I was a baby, this was no different. As the oldest, my Mom easily took me to basketball games. I was used to the noises. I grew up very used to the behavior that was expected of me at the games.

Read: Flexibilizing a Baby

At a young age, my Dad was able to bring me to watch his games while my Mom stayed home with my baby sister. Times were different then, but I was used to behaving as I should. If your family enjoys attending and playing in sporting events, starting baby at them at a young age will help get her used to it. If she is older, she will get used to it the more she goes.

How to Prepare Your Child for Great Behavior in Public

Kids Can Learn to Be Flexible

This not only applies to traveling and loud events, but everything. The first bath Brayden had, he hated it. Over time, he grew to tolerate and eventually like it. The first time Kaitlyn felt grass, she was not excited about it. She wouldn’t put her bare skin on the grass. Over time, it no longer phased her.

As you teach new skills (self-soothing), wean from bottle to sippy cup, instruct on hand folding, introduce new foods, and the many other things you will teach, your child might be a bit weary at first, but she will get used to it with time and consistency.

Disruptions Are Good

As baby is exposed to sights, sounds, smells, etc., she will get used to it and learn how to adapt. Of course, you need to take into account overstimulation and avoid it. You can ease her into things if she needs it. Just as you don’t need to avoid all things she dislikes, you also don’t need to throw her into the deep end, so to speak. Some children do much better with a gradual introduction to things.

Girl hiding behind tree holding a bear with text that reads How to Help a Child Be Flexible

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16 thoughts on “The More You Do It, The More Your Child Will Get Used To It”

  1. Your website is such a blessing. I am always so encouraged by it. I started reading it when my daughter was a newborn. I like you do not love the newborn stage. I don’t know how many times I read your “When does it get better” post. Yet, now she is 7 months and life not perfect but it is sweet like you said. Sometimes I feel like I know you. I even pray for you and your family when I think of you. How is your pregnancy going?

  2. Great post! I like the sort of off-topic ones that deal with parenting in general. I think a lot of people don’t think about this kind of stuff, then complain that they can’t travel anymore because their LO doesn’t like the car or complain that their LO doesn’t eat any vegetables. Experiences can really shape our likes/dislikes and what we’re willing to tolerate. Btw, In the second to last paragraph did you mean “wary” rather than “weary”. Sorry, I’m an English major, I can’t help but notice those things!! 🙂

  3. I travel a lot with my 5 month old since he has been 2 months old. We have already been on the airplane for 3 round trips, plus many a day trip and back in the car. At first my son would not sleep in a new/ strange place. I have learned to bring along some comforts from home his crib sheet, his crib blanket/ swaddler, and his sound machine. I think the familiar sound and smells helps him to sleep better and feel less anxious when he is transitioning from one sleep pattern to the next. I agree that if you keep exposing your child to something they will learn to deal with it. I know this is true of feeding him rice cereal. He HATED it at first and would only eat fruit or veggies. I kept at it and now he will eat it for me. So yes, consistency and perseverance matters!

  4. I’ve really been struggling with independent play but want to keep at it. My DD is 14 months so we’ve moved to her room. I followed your steps with taking it very slow.My problem was that whenever I would stop playing with her or slowly move to the corner, She stops playing and tries to climb in my lap. When I ignore her she would just stand there crying and grabbing my leg.I finally decided that wasn’t working so I’ve been playing with her for a little bit then just leaving. She no longer cries but she won’t play. She lays down and starts sucking her thumb like it’s nap time. Her door is shut but I can see her through the crack or this is how she is when I come in. I’ve only been leaving her for 10 minutes because I think she actually might fall asleep and it’s sort of sad to me.I do it after breakfast so it’s usually over an hour to an hour and a half before her first nap. This is really the only time I can be consistent about it because we do any errands after her first nap and my husband comes home pretty quickly after her second nap.What should I do?Thank you!

  5. This is soooo true. It applies to almost anything in life, too. The first time is usually the hardest, but if you keep at it, it will eventually come together.

  6. Thanks so much Julie! I really do appreciate the prayers.The pregnancy is good. Well, sort of. I am almost at the end. I am thinking that within a week, she could come any day (though you never know!). Pregnancy is really hard on me, but the baby is good so that is all that matters 🙂

  7. Thanks Amanda! And the sad thing is that I am also an English major. I just don’t proof-read these posts. I just write and post! They are like stream of consciousness. lol

  8. Thanks Susanne. Your comment made me think of another facet to this. The more you do it, the more you as the parent will get used to it. You won’t be as anxious in these situations because you know how to handle them well.

  9. Emily,I would just continue as you are. Sound really excited when you leave her. “Have a fun playtime!” When you come back in, greet her with excitement again. “Did you have a fun playtime? Good! Let’s clean up your toys!” Slowly extend the time. She will start to play. I like that you saw that you being in there wasn’t helping so you left. Just have patience and take it slowly and she will start to enjoy it.

  10. I just wanted to update that today my DD actually started to play after laying down for a few minutes! You were right I was just going in too early and by waiting a little more each day she started to play.I have a new question though. She opened drawers in her chest and pulled clothes out. She’s never done it any other time and I don’t think I could communicate to her that it’s too messy after the fact. It’s hard when you’re not in the room yet she’s still so young (barely 14 months) that I can’t explain that’s wrong when I leave her in her room.

  11. Emily, Congrats on the improvement! When you go in and she has gotten into something she shouldn’t, take her to the clothes, tell her we don’t take our clothes out of the drawers and have her help you clean them up. Continue to be consistent with that. See also the blog lable “discipline” for further correction ideas if needed.

  12. HI there. I have enjoyed your website so much and it has been an immense help with my daughter that was born in January. I have a question regarding transition to daycare. I sort of created a monster in my little one. We have followed Babywise from day one and it is going very well. I put up a black out shade in her room and made it very dark for her naps. It has been great for her, until our recent attempt to transition her to daycare. She has gone for a total of 2 days and hasn’t taken a nap over 45 minutes while there. The baby room at her daycare is one room with 4 babies and a teacher. We put a sound machine in her pack and play and they keep the light to natural light but it is definitely noisier and brighter than she is used to at home. She is taking 30-45 minute naps because of it and is completely exhausted after two nap cycles. Her regular schedule has her at 4 naps, 3 regular and one catnap for a total of about 4-5 hours of daytime sleep. At daycare she is getting around 2 hours of nap sleep. I will save you the long story on the trouble shooting I’ve done but I’ve come to the conclusion it is definitely an issue of her being very used to sleeping her very dark and quiet room and then trying to transition to a baby room at her daycare that has natural light/noise. I am commenting on this post because I was hoping to find something that would guide me. I have two options. The first is just rip the bandaid off and do full days at day care, knowing she will be taking very short naps all day. She is fairly adaptable so I’m not worried it will take a very long time, but I’m thinking at least a week or two. Option two is to do half days and work from home with her. She will have two really short naps at daycare and then come home and get more rest in here. I worry if I take this route it will take much longer or she will never adjust because there is no consistency. I prefer option one because I think it will be quicker but I am very afraid of creating a huge sleep deficit I cannot get out of. I would appreciate any thoughts you have on which way to go. Right now I have been getting her at half the day because it breaks my heart to know she is so exhausted. I am working from home right now but will likely have to return to the office by the end of the month. At that point she would have to be in daycare all day.

    • This is a tough call! I think if it were me, I would do the get her at half day. I like to take things slow and steady and I would be concerned about a sleep deficit. You have no choice in two weeks but to leave her there all day, but right now there is a choice.

      With that said, with you feeling like you should just go to full day, that might be your answer. Always trust your intuition about your baby. Good luck!


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