Any method you use will have to be repeated over and over again at this age. Their neural paths in their brains are still forming and becoming more and more strong with each repetition. (Like a path in the woods that is walked over and over again, and eventually becomes a trail, and then a road.) Each time he does it, grasp his hands firmly but gently and say, "Ouch! Hurts mama. Gentle touches, so nice" Take his little hand and stroke your arm or face with it gently so that he can begin to understand what "gentle" feels like. If he bites, say "Gentle kisses!" and show him gentle, loving kisses. It takes a while and he won't get it at first; be patient and consistent and he will internalize the idea of being gentle. Another thing you may want to do is give him things he CAN hit and things he CAN bite. Pillows, teething toys, etc, and say calmly, "Hurts mama! Hit pillows!" You can do both if you need to! Both help meet a need.
at 3:48 PM on Apr. 7, 2009