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Gagging to get attention

My son is 17 months old, and when he wants my attention he gags himself. Most of the time when I rush over to him, he smiles and giggles at me. This is very frustrating. Anyone have suggestion how to best handle this? Obviously ignoring the behavior is outta the question.


Asked by mommy_jules at 3:48 PM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • A stern NO, followed by a message that you'll be with him in just a moment. You can't give into this every time because he's only learning to manipulate you.

    Answer by misses_nick at 3:51 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Why is ignoring the behavior out of the question, he is only gagging. He is still breathing, and if he throws up, so be it. I would start with ignoring the behavior. Good luck

    Answer by parajumper3 at 3:50 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My son still does that every once in awhile! He did that a few weeks ago and ended up making himself vomit orange juice all over the place where we were eating.....I point out how its not polite to talk over people and its ok to wait a few mins till i can get to him.....he needs to learn to wait. I would try ignoring him even longer when he does that....maybe that will help get the message accross that everybody has to take turns. Maybe a light tap on the hand also....everytime he does that swat at his hand and say NO.......

    Answer by MommyTurtle1985 at 3:56 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My son went through this phase and it sucked!! He would shove his fingers down his throat and make himself gag/throw up...then he'd cry and do it again. I had to pick him up and set him somewhere else, clean up the vomit, and continue on with what I was doing. He soon stopped when he realized he wasn't getting attention...but boy was that frustrating!!

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 3:56 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I would say that ignoring the behavior is EXACTLY what you should do. He's not going to get hurt from gagging, the worst thing that will happen is he'll throw up.
    You know he is trying to manipulate you because he smiles once you run over. Ignore the behavior entirely and I guarantee it'll stop.
    My daughter has tried it all- gagging, coughing, banging her head on the ground (that was the worst..happened closer to two years old). I would completely ignore the behavior and she'd eventually realize it wasn't working and would stop it entirely.

    Good luck!

    Answer by AutumnJade412 at 4:26 PM on Feb. 1, 2011