(Question Time) What do you mean Mary Lynn? Why should you not play with a baby monkey? Is it not true that all dogs, cats, and children learn things through playing?
So many of the baby monkeys who were on YouTube were being played with and almost all of them were playing back using their mouths on their owners hands. It may seem like fun for everyone who comes in contact with your baby monkey to do, but it is programming the baby monkey that it is okay to put their mouth and teeth on people even if it is only play-bites.
****A baby monkey needs to know from day one that it is never okay to put their mouth on anyone's hands or other parts of a person's body. It is natural for this to take place with a monkey but it is not the type of programming a monkey caregiver should ever allow with a baby monkey.
An over-stimulating play-time can get out of control with a single housed monkey just as easily as it can between a troupe of monks. The last thing that any of us want to have happen during, a play-time, is for it to turn into a biting-time.
(Special Note) Show them how to play with a toy for a short time while saying the name of the toy several times and then allow them time to entertain themselves with it in their own way. When you play with the baby monkeys with their toys, then they will begin to look to you for their play stimulation. We all wish for monkeys who live in captivity to be happy in their own worlds with or without us. I love to see mine playing and being happy with their toys at any time.
Monkeys are not like a dog, a cat, or even a human child. They are monkeys who are very emotional little creatures with many different ways of processing what they are seeing. They must always be taught good manners and gentle loving things. They will naturally add their own special way of playing if we allow them time to do this.
Remember to balance their play-time with love-time in their early programming. This will serve you and your baby monkey greatly. Using these two types of times with a baby monkey will build both types of behaviors into their worlds. Over-stimulating them as you are playing with them can get out of hand very quickly. Being able to switch them into love-time is a much easier way to change their over-stimulated energy than by putting them into time out. If you give as much energy into love-time as you do play-time with a baby monkey, I assure you will be happy with your monkey's behaviors during the coming years.
Go to www.livingwithmonkeys.com to get your down-loadable copy of “The Baby Book.”