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My baby beats me up!

(13 Posts)
Backinthebox Wed 10-Aug-11 20:55:00

11mo DS bites, pulls hair, pinches and scratches people - me, OH, his big sister, childcarer, anyone within striking distance really. He giggles as he does it. I've tried ignoring it, putting him down and avoiding eye contact, telling him "No!" very firmly indeed, all sorts. But still he does it. He might crawl quietly up behind you and suddenly bite you on the back of the leg, or he might come to you for a cuddle and a snuggle and you think you are having a lovely time with him all smiley and then he grabs your hair with both hands and opens his mouth to try and eat your face! Why on earth does he do this, and how on earth can I stop it! I find it a bit annoying, but 4yo DD obviously finds it a bit more distressing to be bitten or scratched, and before you know it I have 2 wailing kids.

Gincognito Thu 11-Aug-11 12:00:24

Hi backinthebox, I don't really have any ideas I'm afraid but I was coming on to start a very similar thread about my 9mo but thought I would just join you instead.

Ds is very wriggly and seems to have tons of excess energy. He scratches and pinches an awful lot but his worst habit is grabbing any available body part with both hands and launching himself forward to bite. He got dh the other day - one hand got an ear, the other grabbed a handful of skin on his neck (ouch!) and he bit him on the chin shock.

Ds also seems to think it's all hilarious. Especially funny when you tell him off.

A bit of googling suggested (for the biting) attaching a toy to their wrist/clothes that's ok for biting but that seems developmentally too advanced for ds atm.

Hopefully someone will be along with some suggestions soon. I have scratches all over my shoulders and chest and I'll leave other injuries (I'm still bf'ing) to your imagination...

Gincognito Thu 11-Aug-11 12:02:45

Ooh, just reread your op and realised that they are doing the same thing!

No older children here but you can be sure that the dog leaves the room pretty sharpish!

WorrisomeHeart Thu 11-Aug-11 12:51:48

Can another battered mummy join? I am typing with teeth marks in my index finger following the latest attack from 9.5 mth old DS. The pinching has gotten worse with his new found walking and standing skills as he uses me as a climbing frame. The one thing that occasionally works if he's particularly bitey is to give him a teether to gnaw on instead.

AMumInScotland Thu 11-Aug-11 13:07:38

They're all a bit like that! The problem is at 11mo they have no concept that you have feelings at all, they're not being deliberately hurtful they just don't have any idea that anyone except them has feelings, feels pain, anything really!

On the plus side, they do ease up - which will be fine in a few months time, but is painful in the meantime.

If you say "No" firmly and physically stop them - holding their hands, holding them out of range, putting them down away from you - they will gradually learn that "No" means the game stops. The word on its own doesn't mean anything unless you connect it to them stopping doing it.

You could also try crying out in an obviously "hurt" noise/cry, that sometimes sinks in more, as they maybe recognise the sound a bit.

And keep your hair tied back....

Romilly70 Thu 11-Aug-11 18:44:02

DS 9.5 months is the same - very strong and sometimes he "kisses" me, but usually likes to grab my face with both hands and bite me on the chin. (luckily no teethe yet!)

Particularly bad whilst he is trying to get rid of some excess energy before sleeping, so we go upstairs onto my bed and have a bit of "teddy wrestling" where his teddy bear - as big as him - takes most of the punishment...!

Backinthebox Thu 11-Aug-11 23:00:24

Romilly, the 'kiss' is something I get too - but with 6 razor sharp teeth! I might have to get him a bigger teddy.

I am hoping he will get through the stage quickly - DD was never like this, is it a boy thing?

Momo36 Fri 12-Aug-11 19:22:01

My 9month old DD just started scratching my face when she gets frustrated. I grab her hand firmly and say 'NO'. She seems to listen and stops but then starts again some other time... I do hope this is just a phase as I can't get my head around my baby doing this to ME?? smile

mumatron Fri 12-Aug-11 19:27:18

my 7mo dd does it too.

she thinks it's hysterical, but she really hurts me.

lets hope they grow put of it sharpish.

mumatron Fri 12-Aug-11 19:28:30

oh, she also loves to rip my glasses off my face. I cant wear them when im feeding her anymore.

WorrisomeHeart Fri 12-Aug-11 19:34:09

mumatron likewise with the glasses here - they are prime target! This week DS has started a new trick of coming up behind me if I'm sitting on the floor and launching himself at my back to gnaw, punch, generally try and consume me hmm. He thinks its hilarious!

WorrisomeHeart Fri 12-Aug-11 19:35:30

Sorry that should say 'pinch' - he's not punching me yet!

haplessnavigator Fri 12-Aug-11 19:57:17

It is distressing for us mums. But a baby has no idea of the impact. I would avoid getting upset in front of them as it can create negative emotions in them (which can make them frightened - but that's another topic).

The best response is to say "No" firmly and remove yourself from them. (I appreciate that there will be some situations, like a bus, where this is impossible. In which case improvise - turn away etc). Do this consistently and firmly. Don't smile or respond in anyway that a little one could perceive as entertaining.

Empathy in children doesn't emerge for a few years yet. But bear with it, it'll definintely get better.

To pick up on another good point that was made, and one that I often raise in my work, one of the most effective first responses to difficult situations like hairpulling, necklace grabbing etc is to remove the tantilising object until the child can manage the impulse to grab. So eg tying hair back and not wearing necklaces is a first step.

Children of all ages will sometimes start a negative behaviour to initiate an interaction that they perceive as play. You need to show them that they don't get any interaction when they bite/scratch/spit etc. Be consistent, bear with it and it will go away.

A note of caution - if you implement this advice, it will probably get a bit worse initially. The little monkeys usually up their game to see what will happen. If you continue with the "No"/removal/no reaction it should stop.

Good luck.

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