By “no” she means, “the only other word I know is daddy.”

When I was preggers, I loved this Capital One “no” baby commercial because:

A) I was certain I was having a red-headed girl; and,

B) I was amazed that one could train a small child to say “no” on command.

Now that I have a toddler of my own, it is clear to me that the “no” baby is not acting. This “no-while-smiling” business is just how babies roll. For most of her 15th month, “no” was the only word Suzianne could say with conviction.

When 15 month old babies say “no,” they actually mean: “you’ve asked me something and I know I’m supposed to respond to it, but the only word I know besides ‘daddy’ is ‘no.’ So, no.”

Once your baby hits the “no” phase, your conversations will go like this:

Momma: “did you poop?”

Suzianne: “no.”

Momma: “then why are flies following you around the house?”

Suzianne walking backwards & giggling: “no.”

This is super cute and really funny, but not very practical.

Now that she’s at the 16.5 month mark, she’s developed a suite of “no” tones.

  • The “Serious & Furrowed Brow No,” for when you’re trying to get her to eat something other than watermelon.
  • The “Playful No,” which is used when she initiates a conversation with you or wants you to read to her, but doesn’t have the words to express herself.
  • The “Boneless No,” on reserve for swing set removals and when momma attempts to change her diaper on the changing table.
  • The “Yes No,” the most popular version of the word that she uses to answer just about any question you ask her. For example:

Granny Sue Sue: “do you want a million dollars?”

Suzianne: “no”


Momma: “did you like that ice-cream?”

Suzianne: “no”

Momma: “I see”

no ice cream


This week, her lips are starting to move as she watches you talk, so I know she’ll be repeating our words any day now. I’m a little sad, because this only-knowing-a-handful-of-words phase is really cute. But I’m excited to get to the point where she can actually talk back to us. I’m positive I’ll look back in a few months and find that last sentence ridiculous.