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How do you keep a 20 month old in time out?

He just started lauging at me and running away after I put him in. I put him back in for over an hour today and every single time he just got back up. Does it count if I have to hold his hand while he's sitting? Any tips?


Asked by MAUREEN55 at 5:35 PM on Jun. 26, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (24)
  • My son started time outs at 1 year old. 20 months is not too young, your son is just persistant! Just keep putting him back over and over again. When my son thinks time out is funny he then gets sent to his room for 5 minutes (instead of sitting in time out for 2). And no, he does not scream the entire time in his room. It gives him a chance to calm down and he behaves MUCH better after that!

    Answer by JasonsMom2007 at 9:36 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • You don't. They are too young to understand time out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:36 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • You put them in time out except you sit there with them. Say things like: "boy don't you want to be playing with those toys (or whatever they like)? " Then you explain to them what they did wrong and give hugs/say sorry.

    Answer by KaceesMom at 5:38 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • OK Anon then what do I do?
    Thanks KaceesMom :)

    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 5:42 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • And since time out is the number minutes that their age is, then his would be for a minute only. The attention span isn't all that long.

    Answer by Bmat at 5:45 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • I didn't start putting mine in time out till 2 1/2 years old before then I woule tap him on the butt and say thats a no, it don't do much but I wanted him to know that if I said no then it ment no

    Answer by looovemybabies at 5:46 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • Um you just have to keep working with your child. Tell them no and redirect them to something else. It's not gonna work right away but time out at the age won't either. Also with time out you are not supposed to sit and reason with them.


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:52 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • You can put him in a playpen or crib, and then step out of his sight and wait for him to calm down. We started it around 17 months with our twins, and it has worked very well for us. If you have to sit next to them and battle them to stay there it is a very frustrating experience for you and it lets them think you really can't control them.

    If you want more detailed ideas, check out "Love and Logic Magic for Birth Through Six" (that may not be the exact title, but it's something close to that). It really did work like magic for my family.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 5:56 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • I've been putting my son in time out since he was15 months and he stays there as long as I stay in the room with him. You have a difficult child, that is all. My brother was the same way growing up.

    Heck, he even put himself in time out today, "saying I'm sorry, I did bad", and he is 19 months old. So 20 months is not too young. However if you are just starting time out recently, it will take a few months to get the idea into his head as to what time out means.

    Answer by MythicMMM at 6:11 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • I forgot to mention that we do short time outs that last a minute or less.

    Answer by MythicMMM at 6:12 PM on Jun. 26, 2009