Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps

disciplining a 20 month old for biting, hiting, and pinching

This behavior started randomly a few weeks ago and we would put my daughter in her crib with the lights on for about a minute or two. It served as a "time out". We would tell her words like, "no, mama is sad, no biting, etc". It seemed to work. However, over the past few days she has started this behavior again and I tried putting her in the same time out as before.

She doesn't care. She laughs. Before taking her out of the crib my husband/I tell her to make nice choices. We pick her up and she will rub our face or give us a hug. However, within minutes she is back to biting, pinching, or smacking us. Today she went to time out out three times within 15 minutes.

Can someone please give some advice. Havce you been through this? What did you find to be effective? The time out doesn't seem to be working for her. I know that there are mixed parenting reviews about time out, but I need to try different things and ultimately find what will work to help her learn how to be nice to others.

Thank you in advance and please don't post derogatory statements about my discipline attempts. I am no where nears perfect, but am trying to do what is best of rmy daughter.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (11)
  • there is nothing wrong with time-outs, so i dont see why anyone would bash you for it. however, if it's not working you might want to try and (gently) bite or pinch her back so she can see how it feels. that would most likely put a stop to it quick.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:32 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • We spanked for that kind of behavior, and it worked very well. I know it is no longer a popular idea, but our children are 40, 37, and 33 and they are all very well adjusted adults and thankful they were so disciplined, and they are spanking their own children, who are also very well behaved. It does get the desired results, but you have to be firm and consistent. It is true that it hurts the parent more than the child.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • We went through this with our (then) 20 month old twin boys. I truly think it's a started aroun 18 months and lasted until 24 months. They RARELY bite anyone or each other anymore. Just keep doing what your doing, reinforcing that it's not good to bite and that it hurts!!!!! GL mama!

    Answer by CABlonde at 4:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I always put my child down and said, "You may not bite" in a very firm tone and then walked away from her.

    Yours is too young to understand yet if you use too many words, especially if you don't use the same words every time. She is also still experiencing a lot through her hands and mouth and is surely not biting maliciously, so you have to take that into consideration. But just be consistent, and know it may take some time, but she will get the message.

    Answer by misses_nick at 4:35 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • i had the same problem i told her to bite herself and if she liked it then she can keep doing it but she had to bite like she did my sister ... she started to bite herself then said " no mamma it hurt " i simply told her yeah thats why aunt maddie got mad it hurts and doesnt feel good ... she hasnt bit since

    Answer by nofi1389 at 4:37 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I have never believed that you should tell a child not to hit and then hit them or not to bite and then bite them. However, I have a friend who has two boys who are going thru a phase of hitting and biting. She simply tells them that it hurts, and asks them if they would like to see how much it hurts and then bites or hits them. Good luck

    Answer by parajumper3 at 4:40 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • spank or bite back and show her it hurts....go ahead everyone and call CPS on me :) it's ridiculous that parents are scared of wonder so many older kids are into trouble.

    anyway, time outs are a complete joke for my daughter too. she's 2 1/2....yesterday, I made a chart for her with things to do throughout the day...she gets a sticker to put on for each "nice" thing she picking up toys, no hitting, be nice to animals the end of the day, if she gets all her stickers, then she gets a "prize" out of a box which we decorated together. the box is hidden and it's little stuff out of the dollar section. I am amazed at the difference in one day. She picks up toys without asking, says pelase and thank you. she still has fits, but she's 2. :) maybe something like that would work...if she's very hard headed, then you need to try other things that people don't like to hear.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 4:41 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My daughter went through this exact phase at that exact age (she's 3 now). She outgrew it within months, or even less. I did a lot of research when my daughter started this behavior and they say that this age is very difficult for babies. Think about it- they understand so much about what they want and how things work but have such a limited vocabulary, so they become very frustrated.
    If time outs aren't working, I used to slap my daughter (gently) on the hand when she would hit or kick us. I stayed calm and didn't "hit" out of anger but would get down to her level, gently (but with purpose) slap her hand, use an authoritative voice and tell her what she was doing wrong and if she continued, she'd get spanked again.
    Whether she outgrew it on her own or my discipline worked, she did outgrow it and is very well behaved now.
    As a note I'll add: I no longer "spank" but use time-outs. I find they work better when they are older.

    Answer by AutumnJade412 at 4:49 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Most 20 months olds know this is naughty behaviour and are doing it to test you or get your attention. I'd first be sure your are giving your child the undivided attention she requires. Stop and think for a few minutes and be sure you are truely giving her the UNDIVIDED attention she needs at this age to feel confident and secure. If you believe that you are then you and your husband together need to be consistent in your efforts. My 4 year old never bit but my 2 year old went through a 2 week stage that almost got him thrown out of daycare. You need to be consistent consistent consistent, even when your daughter is laughing and you think it's not working you need to keep going with it. I used phrases like 'we do gentle touches, we don't hurt our friends, we bit our food not our friends' in an authoritative tone so he knew I meant business and I would walk away from him. Hitting will only teach it's ok to hurt others.

    Answer by Mom22Littlemen at 4:57 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My thoughts are that spanking and biting back are not nessecary to teach a child to stop doing this. Also I don't think a 1 year old can grasp time out. What they do know is a parents love and attention. I got my twins to stop biting this way. I watched them closely when the started to get in a tiff and one started to bite. I said "no" very loudly to startled and stop the biter. When the biter stopped, I praise the child. It worked well for me. The twins used to tell themselves "good girl" when they were good because that is the behavior I displayed to them. Good luck!

    Answer by bjane01 at 9:02 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.