Any advice would be helpful my 15 month-old won't stop slapping and head butting me.

Julia - posted on 10/05/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hello all, I have a 15 month-old lil boy who slaps and head butts me. He doesn't do it as much to other people, just me. I've tried telling him no, and he throws a fit. I have tried redirecting him, but he's very persistant. I've tried tapping his hand, he gets mad and continues to hit me. Does he actually know what he's doing? Does he have control of his muscles to where he can be gentel instead of slapping me? Is any of this normal? This is our 1st baby and I don't know what to do, plz help!!!!!!! Thanx



Jessa - posted on 01/27/2015




I am having the same problem but I started to notice some things about it that I felt I should share. My son is also 15 months old and he also has begun to hit and headbutt and he also does it to me more than anyone else. Today he headbutt me on the bridge of my nose and it was with so much force that he also started to cry. I was in the process of snuggling with him before his nap-something we do daily-he drinks his milk while we cuddle and then he goes to sleep. Sometimes it doesn't go as planned-like today. It occurred to me he slaps and headbutts me the most around bedtime. My son frequently has really cold hands since he inherited my crispy circulation and while we're getting him ready for bed, he will sometime go over to my husband and put his hands on his bare chest. Every time, my husband exclaims 'WOAH! you have cold hands!' And now every night, Joshua (my son) will lightly tap my husbands chest or stomach waiting for the reaction. He does it to me to, but it took me a while to realize that that's what he's doing when he hits me. He's not being malicious-he just thinks the reaction is funny. The same goes with head butting. When Joshua head butts he always does it with his mouth open and sometimes he will leave his face on yours with his mouth open for a minute, then pull back and grin. I've discovered that is how he gives kisses. Again, not malicious. He doesn't really realize how much force he is using with it. It's because of these reasons that I would NOT encourage you to spank them at this age. They are too young and they don't understand that they are hurting you. All they see is your reaction. If you laugh the first time they think you'll laugh every time and they don't understand why all of a sudden it's not allowed. Something that has worked for us is that when he starts to hit me, I take his hand and I put it to my face and I show him how to be gentle and I say 'soft, gentle' or 'be nice'. He now stops hitting immediately when I say either of those words and will gently touch my face instead. Same goes for our cats. He pats them nicely but as soon as he starts to get carried away I tell him to 'be nice' and I show him how to pet nicely and he does it. I'm not against spanking but I would only use it as a last resort and certainly not at this age. Spanking is the same as hitting and as far as I'm concerned you're just teachig them that it's ok to continue that behaviour. Teach them an alternative first.

Nicole - posted on 10/05/2009




OH its perfectly normal!! Don't worry. My son started that too and I got it to stop really quick. Do you have a play pen or some other place that he can be confined to? I used the play pen at first ( we now have a chair.) Every time he hits or butts you, try saying "OW! that hurt mommy! You get a time out for that," ( we also lightly spank his bottom...hes almost two but was abot 13 month when it started) and put him in the play pen for two minutes ( no toys, no sippy cup.. nothing in the area in his reach...nada!). Then ignor him for that amount of time. Do not give any attention and tell the other people in the home the same thing. After two minutes go back and take him out gie him a hug and say something like "dont hit or you'll have to go backto time out. Mommy loves you but hitting isnt nice." sternly and then put him down and let him go off and play. Do this every time he hits you or anyone else ( that you see). Eventualy it will stop. My son stopped after four times. Even if you take him out of time out and he immediately does hits you or someone else, staight back to the time out he goes. He;ll get it eventually and you aren't hurting him in anyway by ignoring him when hes in trouble. Good luck.


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Shenell - posted on 10/07/2009




spare the rod spoil the child julia.spank his little bottom you have to drive the foolishness out the child you continue to let this go it will get worse the older he gets.

[deleted account]

Wow! Ok, I know that I am about to upset all of you but this is my opinion from my experience: My beautiful sweet daughter started slapping me when she was around that age, maybe a little younger, I didn't tolerate it long at all. As soon as I realized it was not involuntary and "Ow that hurts Mommy!" didn't take effect, I began to spank her hand. If they don't know what hurts, how are they going to know what not to do to a sibling, another child, or even an unsuspecting adult such as a beloved Grandparent? Kids grow too fast and they have alot to learn in a short period of time. Before too long, she was back to being my sweet little girl. And she is now almost 4 and does not disrespect adults in that manner.

Corrinne - posted on 10/06/2009




Most moms on here have said its normal, my kids never did that. Does he have much speech? If not he may be trying to let you know how he feels or what he wants and is getting frustrated because he can't really tell you or express it the right way. I would always get at eye level and make them look at me and tell them when they "hit someone it hurts them n makes them sad" then I'd ask "do you like when others hit you? Does it hurt you?" and they would answer "yes it hurts" and explain "that's how it feels when you do that to mommy". I would discuss it with his Dr. and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. Don't give in for 1 second or the child will gain the upper hand and run the show from there on out. Do not slap or spank(know its hard not to do as a defense) but by you saying don't slap then you slap its just a bad cycle and not a good example(hypocrite in a way). There should be no hitting allowed at all, gentle or firm, it will get worse as he gets older and even worse when in school and how he treats other kids or even teachers. Definately ask a professional like his Dr. Good luck

Sarah - posted on 10/06/2009




I'm actually having a similar problem with my son who is almost 15 months. He does it when I'm holding him and when he does it, I grab his hands firmly and I say in a firm voice "Do not hit me." or "No, that hurts." I keep holding his hands for a couple seconds and than let them go. If he does it again I put him down and walk away. If he throws a tantrum, tough. Hope that helps. Its hard to discipline at this age, I know.:)

Helen - posted on 10/06/2009




I have a two year old that does the same stuff. He bites, scratches, head buts, hits, pinches at least 20 times a day. It can be very stressful but please try not to give him a reaction when he does it. We have behavioral specialists coming to help with our son. Before they came I used to hold his hands for two minutes, but they told me not to. I guess it just shows them that when misbehaving they get mommys undivided attention. Good or bad, kids will do what gets a reaction. They told me that every time he does something violent to put him in his room for 2min. (the corner would be better but he won't stay). Do not say anything to him, just simply pick him up and put him there then leave where he can't see you for two min. When you come back to get him give a time in (hugs) so he knows you love him. My son simply loves the reaction he gets when he hurts someone and they scream or say ow. He laughs and thinks it's the funniest thing. It's very hard, but try not to give one. They told me that the baby will learn a important life lesson that if they want to behave like a jerk than noone will want to be around them. Remember it's not the baby, it's their behavior so let them start over with a hug. This has been an ongiong problem with my son for about 6mo. they won't even let him into the gym daycare anymore. I've been doing timeouts for 1mo. now and its gotten a little better; but he has started to bash his head on things again, so hard it leaves bruises, I try not to give him attention for that either. I bring him to the park everyday and long walks, read to him, play with him and try to only give him attention when his behavior is good. They say it can take up to 8 mo. to fix depending on how stubborn they are. I hope this helps, I know how stressed you must be getting. GOOD LUCK & HANG IN THERE :)

Jessica - posted on 10/05/2009




I would try a little time out spot for him, or take something away that is of sentimental value to him. Time out only has to be for 2 mins make it somewhere quite and have no distractions for him.

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