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My 13 month old hits herself..

My daughter is 13 months old and whenever shes in a bad mood she will continuously smack herself in the face and sometimes she hits herself with hard toys. I have done everything I can to get her to stop. She really hurts herself when she does it but she continues to do it. I know she doesnt have autism or anything like that I just think its a behavior or something. I have taken her hands and put them gently on her face and said "soofftt" and shown her how to do it soft.. I've told her no.. I've put her in time out.. I've ignored her and walked away.. I don't know why she is doing this or if anyone else has this problem. What do I do? I know someone is going to say that I taught her to hit but shes a baby so she has never been hit or seen anyone get hit and she has no siblings so it's not that either.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:14 AM on Nov. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (5)
  • It sounds like you haven't been consistent.
    When she hits herself with hard toys, take the toy from her, and walk away. If she's hitting herself with just her hands then just ignore it. Period.
    If you try this for a day or two and it doesn't work ...KEEP trying. she will realize that hitting herself is NOT giving her what she wants and she will stop.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 12:17 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • my daughter does this too. she doesnt hit herself with toys though, only her hands and she doesnt really hurt herself. she only does it when she is throwing a fit or is mad at me for telling her no. i think its just how she is handling frustration and a sign of her temper. ive tried all the things you said as well. but i think ignoring it works best for us. bc i can see her looking at me while she is doing it to see what im going to do. i think its just a phase, and bc she isnt causing any harm to herself, im not to worried about it. im sure that its somewhat normal and that they will grow out of it.

    Answer by DRM0329 at 12:20 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • My son does the same thing (17 mos) not with toys but with his hands. I agree again with outstandingLove (again). Just wanted to let you know, you're not the only one :)

    Answer by Vero0724 at 12:49 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • As far as the hitting with her hands, there's not much you can really do about that. Just try to make her understand the concept of being 'nice' or 'gentle'. When it comes to the toys though, you need to recognize when she's getting into one of these hitting moods and keep them away from her. Take them OUT OF HER HANDS if you need to to keep her from seriously hurting herself. Yes, it will make her mad, yes she will probably hit herself when you do it, but a child cannot hit themselves hard enough to cause damage, where a toy easily can especially if it is wood or hard plastic. My daugher did this for a while too, still does (16mos) but not as frequently now. It's an expression thing, and you shouldn't restrict expression in such a young child. Just sit with her and make sure she doesn't have access to anything where she can really hurt herself when she does this.

    Answer by kristal2146 at 9:24 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Mine would do this too. I think it's just a phase. She knew she'd get in trouble if she hit me or anyone else, so she'd hit herself when frustrated. Even at 2 and a half, she'll hit her self or bite her arm when she gets really mad. Which I still think is better than taking it out on someone else. But as she's gotten older, she's gotten better about controling her emotions (well, as best a 2 year old can!) and voicing her needs rather than just crying or having a fit.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:40 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

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