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...that's DS slapping ME in the face, not the other way around!!!! (sorry, a little sneaky...)

He's just started doing it recently, mostly to me and sometimes to DH, and only when we're holding him. At first I would just say "we don't hit - hurts Mommy" which had zero effect on him, he would happily repeat (it's the two-handed slap, same action he takes when he throws his toys to the floor when he's playing, testing gravity...I think he's realized the motion works on faces too
). It seems to occur pretty randomly, I don't see a pattern of cause-effect at all.

Other things I've tried so far: 1. holding one hand to restrain him, which frustrates him, so as soon as I release his hand he does it again. 2. more lighthearted approach: "do you want to dance?" - taking one hand and dancing with him, which sort of works if it distracts him long enough.

Then he did it to his dcp in front of me one day (I think the same morning I told her he had started doing it) and she just took his hand and gave his palm a big smooch (she's very affectionate by nature; we are also very affectionate with DS which is one reason I love his dcp - DS doesn't seem to do well with people who aren't warm and affectionate w/him), and mentioned that "all kids seem to go through that". I liked her approach so I've been doing the "smooch his hand" method lately. Nothing seems to completely prevent it recurring, though.

So I am wondering...with babes this age, is it just a normal phase that goes away? Should I be trying some other techniques, or just stick with one of the above consistently until DS 'gets' it?

Another note - DH tends to respond much more seriously to it than I do (since he doesn't like to see me getting hurt, and doesn't want DS to think it's ok). He doesn't yell or punish, but he does tell DS very seriously "don't hit Mommy". I don't know if that's affecting DS doing it more or not.

Thoughts?
 

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I think there are several things attracting your son to this action:

-the way it feels on his hands
-the sound it makes
-the reaction he gets from you

So I think that a serious response is going to be just as reinforcing as a silly one. So I'd either move away from him so he couldn't do it again, give him something to hold or bang, or show him something else to do that distracts him. You could also take his hands and have him touch your cheeks more gently.
 

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i'm dealing with the exact same thing right now with our 14-month-old dd. she pinches and hits - and it hurts!!!
: i really have no idea if i'm handling it effectively. usually, i grab her hands and kiss them and immediately get her interested in some object that will occupy her hands - like a book, toy, etc. when that doesn't work - or, when it's not possible, like earlier today at the dr.'s office when i had no book or toy available to me - i say "ouch, that hurts!" or "it's not okay to hit". but, then i feel ridiculous because i don't believe that she understands what i'm saying. i know she recognizes the change in my tone and expression, but... does she get what that means in relation to her actions?? i just don't know.

the other thing i do is, when i can tell micah is really frustrated and that's why she is hitting and/or pinching me, i offer her a cushion or soft toy to hit and/or pinch instead. that's the solution i like the most, because it allows her to release that negative energy in a way that doesn't harm anyone - but it rarely works. : /

so, basically what i'm saying is, i need advice on this issue as well.
 

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My DD also likes to hit me, especially when nursing, which really bugs me...

I try ignoring it or making a game out of things (she raises her hand to hit me and I quickly raise mine and say "Pattycake!" and we hit palms together) but if it really bugs me or she won't stop, I end the nursing session, very matter-of-factly. Usually if she is distracted enough to hit while nursing, she's done and doesn't even care if I break the latch and set her down.

Same if I'm holding her on my lap and she hits me, I set her down. No big deal. It's not in anger, it's not punishment, it's just not letting her hit me and letting her go do something else when she feels that urge. I am very smiley about it but I try not to react at all if she actually strikes me.

I do the same things when she bites me (on purpose) when nursing: ignore, redirect, end nursing session and set her down.

I already sense the phase passing. But I'm sure it will come back again! I think it's totally normal, seems to happen to so many people.

ETA - I forgot a big one - I model gentle touches and if she'll let me, I take her hand and stroke my face gently. IT IS ACTUALLY STARTING TO WORK! She has known what 'gentle' means for months now but I see her actually starting to put it into action with me and with the long-suffering cats.
 

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what's going to count the most is your vibe. work away the flinch and aim for matter of fact. they are going to test what is okay, and my boys tended to be more hardheaded about it. aim first to not rise emotionally. then just stick to what you are comfortable with, that will in the end be as predictable as possible for him. any variation will make it a new and fun game. for faster ending of the behaviour, it has to be absolutely boring, which takes quite a bit of mind/body control and practice at first. anytime I have decided to become truly bored with a baby behaviour usually curtailed it or at least kept it from escalating. for our kids, hitting at first isn't any different in context than hugging or anything other conventional touches of love. some kids are simply more physical than others, and all have different tactics.

babies DO know what you are feeling, facial expressions, tone of voice, tension of body are going to express alot that words don't. 14 months is old enough to see direct cause and effect. however, it takes years to learn levels of impulse control. the best case scenario for me when they are out of control is to hold them snug where they could not flail, standing up most soothing for them, and reminding myself that i was making everyone safe, and smoothing the frustration. it means i have to be the bad guy and physically take charge. i have had little luck with allowing physical outlet for wee ones - one is too young to get self control or truly run it's course - hitting can become a habit. distraction is a perfectly good tactic, and if they are open to it, then they are still in decent humour. moonpie forgive me for my directness, but i wish i had known or understood what i know now, though of course i am only an expert on my own family. checklist your basics - work on your rest and food, and her rest, and go from there. when any of my babies were one, it was me that i needed to take care of and go easy on for coping energy and general enjoyment of the big change of infant to toddler. accept the behaviour, then deal with it. (for me, that usually had to start with forgiving myself as well)

generally, i find that most daddies do their thing fine and is best left uninterrupted. what your dh says may not technically mean much to your baby, but one day daddies are the glowing and absolute best and it's good for dh's to gain confidence and be part of what's going on, which can be difficult with the first years of mothering bonding. to an extent at any age, kids are going to appreciate other adults opinions more than their mothers. for one year olds, they do not have a real sense of a separate body from mom, of they are starting to which may also be why they are testing physically. i also feel that daddy protecting the mamma is a fantastic path, especially with a son.
 

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that is a good point about allowing them to hit a pillow or the bed. it's something i remember my mama letting us do when we were young - "are you mad? you can't hit your sister, but if you're mad, come hit this pillow with me! aarrrgghh!!" but yes, hitting can become a habit, and eventually i would prefer her to express her anger with words, not with physical violence.

i also have been showing her gentle touch - much to the appreciation of my dad's dog and two cats - and that DOES seem to be working (forgot to mention that earlier). when she's swinging at me, i gently hold her hand and stroke my face while smiling and saying "gentle, loooove mama," and other things like that. that works... when she is not mad or frustrated.

i still wonder how to honor her little toddler feelings, though, when she is angry and feels like hitting and pinching. because really, she doesn't understand, at this age, WHY i'm not allowing her to pull all the leaves off of one my dad's plants, or WHY i'm stopping her from whacking the cat with a remote control. so, in my mind, she has a right to be frustrated, but she is so young, and we can't communicate with words yet. it's confusing.
 
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