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(14 Posts)
suzannem Sun 26-May-02 19:11:37

My 10 month old boy has recently started hitting me in the face. He is generally a really cuddly and loving boy, and always wants me in preference to anyone else. He seems to be testing the boundaries of what he can do without getting told off, and gets really upset when he is told 'no', especially by my dh.

Is this normal? What can I do?

mears Mon 27-May-02 12:28:11

He will not realise at 10 months he is actually 'hitting' you in that sense. When he does do it put him down in a playpen or in his cot so that he realises that you don't like that behaviour. He will then realise that if he does that to you, you will not cuddle him anymore. He really won't understand 'no' on it's own.
He will soon stop when he realises it doesn't make you happy.

jenny2998 Fri 31-May-02 20:02:05

Yeah, I think they all go through stages like this. Just learning about cause and affect. Not much help now, but it will pass...

tinyt Sat 01-Jun-02 14:49:02

By tinyt
It is not aggressive hitting.Babies at that age like the feel and touch, they cannot associate how hard they are hitting. Often if you say 'Ouch' they think that it is funny because 'ouch' sounds unusual to them and they will want mummy to repeat that funny word. He will grow out of it, they do test the boundaries from here on in. It is really best ignored untill they get older.

Art Sat 01-Jun-02 19:31:01


I can sympathise, my ds 12mo always goes for the nose and does a massive tweek and if he cant get at your nose just scratches the nearest available bit. Saying 'ouch' makes him laugh - I have found that briefly pretending to cry stops him, but dont know if this is really a good idea. I then say no and tell him to be gentle and stroke my face with his hand so he feels the difference.

Im sure its just a phase - Im hoping it is anyway!

honeybunny Sun 02-Jun-02 20:36:12

My ds1 has recently started hitting out at me. He's 19mo old and recently acquired a baby brother, so I'm putting some of this behaviour down to that. He tends to hit to get attention, or if he's frustrated by something. I hold his hands and say "NO" firmly and then try to distract him with another activity. Oddly he tends to do it most when he has my undivided attention when ds2 is in bed. Its almost as if he's telling me off for not giving him enough time earlier. Its definitely been testing my patience. Something thats not in huge supply when battling chronic tiredness and long days on my own with 2 smalls. Any tips gratefully received!

pupuce Sun 02-Jun-02 21:59:20

Is : "It's a phase" - a tip ????? Sorry I think what you're doing is the way to go -It probably won't be a long phase... if that's any consolation

Enid Sun 02-Jun-02 23:09:56

to be honest, if you can bear it and his hitting isn't very aggressive/painful, I wouldn't even hold his hands and say no, just totally and utterly ignore it for a few days and see if that helps. It sounds like a lovely piece of toddler attention seeking...if its any consolation, I doubt lovely ds2 has anything much to do with it, all toddlers seem to go through these phases...

LiamsMum Mon 03-Jun-02 00:45:34

Honeybunny my 22 month old ds has also started the same habit. It's very irritating but I had to laugh when last night, ds was playing with something that could have been potentially harmful to him and my dh walked over and took it away from him. DS turned around, saw me minding my own business on the other side of the room, and ran over and hit me. And I had nothing to do with it!!!!!! He doesn't hit hard at all, it's more like a tap, but he lets out a little yell at the same time to let us know he's not impressed. He also decided to 'hit' me the other day when my mother took something away from him, so it seems I have been chosen as the scapegoat for some reason. I've also been doing the same as you, I hold his hands down and say "NO" when he does it, but to be quite honest I don't really know the best way to handle it. You're definitely not alone with this one.

charliesmummy Mon 03-Jun-02 04:10:31

I have a 17 month old little boy - and since this reading this thread he too has started this, just tapping of me , although I did get a swipe in the face this week. I think its all mumsnet's fault - sort of auto-subconcious mind reading!! only joking, I am also doing NO, or ignoring it all.

honeybunny Wed 05-Jun-02 13:18:27

The last couple of days have produced a 2 handed smack in the face, which if ignored is followed by a head butt!! at bedtime (lunch time nap once and 7pm once) And I thought I had such a sweet little chap! This is much harder to ignore, especially as the first time it was completely unexpected, we were in the dark, so couldn't see what was happening and resulted in a fat lip for me. Its definitely deliberate because he has his hands either side of my face to hold my head still before he does it. My response was to dump him straight into bed. I expected tears but instead he went straight to sleep both times. He did it in front of daddy last night who eyeballed him with a very firm "NO" and insisted on an apologetic cuddle, which surprisingly I got immediately.
On my own again today and ds has been as good as gold, despite ds2 requiring more attention than usual because of persistent niggling and crying. This is a phase I could really do without. Any advise on this one?

pupuce Wed 05-Jun-02 13:26:10

I firm "no" and then ignoring him maybe ? I remember Christopher Green really emphasisng that we should ignore the child who hurts another child by not fussing over them. So if he hurts you, maybe you should just go "ouch" and then move on.... just ignore him... not even say Mummy's hurt, please apologise,....
It is tricky !

suzannem Wed 05-Jun-02 23:17:09

My HV answered my question today. She recommended a firm 'no', and moving away from reach. No shouting, just firm, clear instructions. Apparently ds is very bright, and looking for information and stimulus when he does this(!?)

She didn't seem too sure that this is just a phase. Said to keep an eye on it, and if he is still doing it at the 12-18 month check, they will look into it!

Having said that, he is perfect in all other ways. I think that he is just energetic and keen to discover things, including how far he can push Mummy.

PJK Fri 07-Jun-02 15:02:14

Its good to read your conclusions. My daughter has just received a very positive 2 yr assessment but shortly afterwards starting hitting everyone. Shes never been hit herself, nor seen anyone hitting anyone else so I've been really upset by this behaviour. I know its only two days but has stimulus worked?

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