How to stop pinching biting and headbutting!

Anna - posted on 03/12/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 15 month old son has suddenly started hurting me, usually when I'm trying to get him to sleep. He's like a little tiger cub - he pounces on me and starts trying to rip my face off. Sometimes he hurts me so much I feel like slapping him, even though I really don't believe in hitting kids. Has anyone had a similar problem and how did you stop it? He takes no notice if I tell him no - he just thinks it's funny. He has also starting banging his head really hard on the floor every time I say no to him - he gives himself bruises! I am REALLY hoping this is a short-lived phase!


Anne - posted on 09/17/2011




My 14 months old grand daughter is slapping me and biting me for no reason what so ever and some time headbutting me

Geralyn - posted on 03/14/2010




It is a phase, honestly. It will pass. I know he is hurting you and your initial reaction is to act. As my husband reminds me, he's not even 2, ... he's a baby... and he's right. First, stop the contact - your goal is NOT to get hit or pinched or bit. Then, address the behavior. I would hold him away from me so he could not bite or hit, or as he got a little bigger, I'd put him down, but I would not walk away. I would really try to remain calm and I would talk with him about what he was frustrated or mad about. I would explain to him that he was hurting mommy. Holding him away or putting him down really seemed to put a stop to it, because he did not want to be separated from me (even though I was standing right there). It was sufficient to help stop the behavior. Hitting happens very infrequently now. He now will bite, not out of anger or frustration, but when he runs up to me and is excited to see me. Even though they hurt, they are "love" bites, which is also typical for this age. I expain to him that biting hurts, but that he can hug and kiss mommy.... As he has gotten older, too, and he can talk, we are working on saying I am sorry.

I saw a thread in another community where a mom was concerned about headbanging, and the high majority of moms said to just ginore it - it'll eventually stop. I do NOT subscribe to ignoring headbanging. It is usually because of frustration and having limited ways to express frustration. I always picked my son up or hugged him and talked with him about his frustration. It did NOT reinforce headbanging by my giving him attention because it was not attention-seeking in my opinion. It was frustration. Ignoring frustration in a little one is not fruitful.

I know its hard, and its something that may continue to happen, hopefully just occassionally, but they really do learn more appropriate ways to respond. I wish you success...


View replies by

Francesca - posted on 03/17/2010




I thought I was alone. My nearly 11 month old has just started doing this. And she only does this to me. Not my Dh. She pinches and bites me. But its not confind to bedtime. Mostly during nursing. But also when she is frustrated. We were over my dads and playing around. Grandpa told her "no" because she was trying to grab a glass. So she bit me. If I don't keep eye contact during nursing, she bites me. As I put her to bed, she pinches me. I constantly look like I got in a fight with a cat.

I have been trying all sorts. I started the whole, if she bites during nursing to take it away. She doesn't care. She just starts to yell. Then I tried the whole Dr. Sears thing and push the boob in for a second. And she thought it was a game and bites me more. My Dh even went to the extreme on my father's advice and bit her hand. I was very against this And sure enough it didn't work. Now she sticks her hands in everyone's mouth hoping to get bit. My father insists he didn't do it hard enough and I won't let them try this again. I feel that this is counter productive. I just try to remove her from the situation. Whether its stopping the nursing session or holding her away from me. I try to explain what was wrong with her actions, but I know she is far too young to even begin to understand.

The really creepy part is she usually giggles or smiles right after. Especially when she catches me off guard. I sometimes think she thinks its a game.

My Dh, tries to tell me that I should be happy she wants to express herself to me, but he is not on the receiving end.

Good Luck. I hope its a very short lived phase too. I keep checking in, to use some of the advice you get :)

Brenda - posted on 03/14/2010




Definately a phase all of the above. Distract and redirect in all occasions, but remember it will take lots and lots of time to get them to pass the stage. And headbanging is indeed frustration more than anything. Try to figure out the source if you can, or at least acknowledge it. It is a frustrating world for them at that age...

Katherine - posted on 03/14/2010




Is he over tired? Has something changed? In my experience this behavior is usually at the 9-12 month age. It sounds like he is overcompensating for something....

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms