At what age can you put your child in time out?

My daughter is 15 months old and I don't want to continue the hand smacking because I feel it is teaching her it is ok to hit others. When can I start sitting her in timeout? When did you start with your childen? And what are some tips?


Asked by Anonymous at 5:09 PM on Feb. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (11)
  • i put my son in timeout before he was 2. find a corner and make it her timeout corner (for every time she goes to time out). put her in it and then sit behind her (dont show her attention or anything) but that makes her stay there. 1 minute per year old

    Answer by SThompson21 at 5:12 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • My daughter is 13 months old. I feel the same way, when we smack her hands, she hits us back because she thinks it's a game. We started time out about 2 weeks ago. She goes in the pack and play with no toys and I tell her I love her but what she did was wrong. Then, I turn my back. I wait one minute. Then I pick her up. If she is crying, I won't pick her up until she stops, only tell her that I love her and talk to her until she calms down, then I pick her up. Picking her up when she is crying will make her think that if she cries enough she gets her way. This is working for us. HOWEVER, I wouldn't use this method if she goes in her pack and play for naps or play because she might think she is in trouble when it is nap time. Our duaghter plays in her toy room and sleeps in a toddler bed.

    Answer by navy-wife at 5:14 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • I never smacked hands. We did time out from 1 and up. I put them in they playpen in the other room for time out. As they got older they knew it was time out and never got up from the corner I put them in.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:18 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • Why do people think their kids are just born bad? Why is a it necessary?

    I usually distract my son away (he is 14 months) from the thing he is doing that would be considered bad. If I can tell hes testing boundaries or looking for a response (notr because he KNOWS he is doing something wrong ...he doesn't) I usually don't play into it and he moves on to something else.

    When he is older I will explain things to him when something arises that may be deemed naughty...but please don't automatically assume they are being naughty and know it...punishing them when they don't know right from wrong is a little stupid.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:19 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • I started timeout with my daughter when she was 1 1/2. i always pick her up and put her on the bottom step of our stairs and she has to sit there for 2 mins. then i go and sit on the floor in frount of her and tell her why she was there. then i tell her i love her and i let her go play again.

    Answer by daydreamer22 at 5:43 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • Anon 3:19- DO NOT tell me, or others, how to raise or discipline our children. Not all children are the same. And grow some balls will you! If you want to put your opinion out there don't post anonymous. That's just silly. Either way, keep your negative comments in your pie hole. Thanks.

    Other mama's- Seems like most of you started around the same time and do basically the same thing when it comes to discipline. Thanks for your help!

    Answer by mommacierra at 5:50 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • I just recently started with my 17 month olds, but they started it earlier at daycare.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 6:02 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • mommacierra I'd have to agree with your criticism of anon's comment. I have a friend whose 2 year old runs through my house trying to knock my picture frames and paintings off of the wall and then slamming my stone coasters down onto the new hardwood floors all-the-while ignoring his mother's attempts at trying to get him to stop. How do you "distract" that behavior. You know your own child. If you know that they know what they're doing is wrong, they need a time-out or to have the object temporarily taken away. My friend's son knew that hitting my portrait until it started teetering off of the wall was wrong but kept doing it because he knew she was never going to enforce what she was saying. If you don't gently teach children that inappropriate behavior is awarded with a negative consequence, they'll never learn to behave properly. I'm posting annonymously because I think she uses cafemom lol.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:14 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • We started a modified time out as soon as they were around 6 months. They were removed, sat with us for about 30 seconds, told "no touch, time out" (or whatever) then released to do it again. LOL It did work each the time they were about 8 months it was working on its own. At a year, we were sitting them in time out for a minute.

    We've recently found out there's a reason that way doesn't work. There is an immediate reward...the release from time out. It's different now for each situation...but they generally stand in time out until they are ready to do as they were told or if they were doing something they shouldn't have done, they have to demonstrate the correct way to act in that situation...there's a bit more to it, but it's worked better than the "minute per year" rule.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:31 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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  • You can use time out now but you have to do it a little differently now than you would with say a 3 year old. Time out should also be used sparingly, for serious offenses as it'll lose it's meaning otherwise.
    Let's say she hit you or a friend. Tell her "No hitting" then take her into another room and hold her in your lap facing away from you for a minute. After the minute repeat "no hitting" then give her a kiss and move on.
    She's also still at age where distraction can be your best ally. If you can see her about to do something wrong, try to step in and divert her attention. Also, praise, praise, praise her when she is behaving. Be specific too. That'll go a long way and minimize the amount of time you'll have to spend disciplining her.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 7:57 PM on Feb. 4, 2009

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