Toddler hitting baby sibling...what to do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-07-2004, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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My 18m old son is constantly hitting my 3m old son with his hands or objects. I always hold his arms and tell him, "Don't hit the baby. We don't hit. We use gentle touches, especially for baby" type of things.
I am getting nowhere. He is often loving towards the baby as well, but several times a day he'll bash Luke in the head and snatch his soother away. I understand this is probably a jealousy type thing, but does anyone have any tips for dealing with this kind of thing?
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#2 of 5 Old 12-08-2004, 12:18 AM
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My first two babies are spaced the same, and when we had our second (DD Zoey) Owen loved her so, but beat on her regularly. It was so difficult for all of us! I found myself yelling often "Stop mauling her!" I also tired the gentle verbal cues "Gentle touch please. . . Baby Zoey likes gentle kisses on her belly . . " But none of it seemed to work. My son was (and still is) a very physical child (as odd as this may sound, I mean this in an emotional rather then agressive or active way -- he has always needed lots of touch to know that he is safe in the world). I believe that all of the changes of having a new baby around really lead him to seek out physical stimuli with this new baby. So when he became aggressive with her, I used the verbal cues, but added physical stimuli. Sometimes, I would say, "i wonder if Owen needs a big hug . . . how bout if I hug you and hold you in my lap?" Or "Let's go for a walk, " "Let's do ring around the rosie . . ." This diversion to positive physical stimuli really seemed to work.

Interestingly, We just had our third baby, and Owen is having the same struggles, but deals with the physicality differently. Instead of hitting, he is picking baby brother up, trying to hold on his lap, or worse, trying to carry across the room! The old tricks don't work, so i have to come up with some new ones!

HTH! Good Luck

Mom to Owen (11-14-00), Zoey (4-3-02) and Zeke (9-1-04)
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#3 of 5 Old 02-12-2008, 10:38 PM
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My 26 month old is continually hitting/pushing my 8 month old to the point where I can't leave them alone for a moment. I always tell her to be gentle to baby and give her alternative ways to interact with him, such as bringing him a toy or talking to him. I encourage her to use words rather than her hands if she wants him not to interfere with her play. I try to have special toys that are hers alone so she can have some space. She alternates between very sweet behavior towards him, and the hitting. I am getting so frustrated and don't know what else to do. It makes our days at home together very trying! It helps to know I am not the only one with these problems.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-13-2008, 10:20 PM
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I really like Naomi Aldort's approach to this. The kids are most likely hitting because of their own pain/hurts/feelings etc with having a sibling who is making it's own mark on the family - so her advice is to love them and reassure them even in those times when they're harming their sibling without punishment or lecturing (they already know not to hit right?). Her article is here, I found it very helpful and within 2wks of implementing her ideas my ds was a changed boy - despite it feeling like I was rewarding him for hitting by cuddling him - but it wasn't about that at all.

HTH, sorry for the short reply, but if you are interested further I can talk of more strategies I did as well.

It's a Delight-Filled Life.

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#5 of 5 Old 02-13-2008, 11:29 PM
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I feel sorry for the baby-your first priority should be *protecting* him. I'd not give the toddler access anymore, for a start, even if it means baby lives in a sling. It's not fair to a 3 month old to be abused even if it's by an only-slightly-older sibling.

I'd also try to give the baby to someone else at least once a day and spend some focused time with the toddler doing whatever it is he likes to do.

Laura, CBE and mom to Maddiewaterbirth.jpg ( 06/03/04) & Graceuc.jpg (  09/10/06)
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