1 Year Old Likes to Slap

Updated on March 06, 2008
S.M. asks from Spring, TX
9 answers

My little one is starting to slap. She is almost 1, and if I am holding her, she'll wack me in the face sometimes. Every time I try to say "no" or "that hurts", she laughs...I almost think she is trying to be affectionate and playful in a way and she doesn't get that it hurts. She met another baby recently and as soon as the baby crawled up to her, she slapped the baby on the head...not good. Anybody have this same experience? Any kind of discipline tactic that worked?


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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your advice! I have started putting her down when she slaps and haven't seen a change yet, but of course it's only been a day or two. I think you are all right about repetition and I think she'll get in the hang of it. Eventually she'll learn that it is not a pleasant thing to do to someone. It is good to know that I am not the only one with a baby who likes to slap!

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answers from Tyler on

All of my children went through that phase one way or another. I had a couple that slapped and one that head butted...that one was awful. How we dealt with it was to tell the baby no (firmly) while holding the hand that they hit with, and then put the baby in their play pen or crib without a bottle or toys. I don't mean keep the baby there for a long time, but just like time out with older kids, a minute for 1 year old, 2 minutes for 2 years old, etc. Although it may not seem long, they do understand after a few times. No baby wants mommy to put them down. It should correct the issue pretty quick. Hope this helps!


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answers from College Station on

In my class I have children up to 18 months, and around 1 or so they all go through that stage. I try to explain that hurts and get them to work on saying sorry and giving a hug. If it continues or takes on an agressive nature, then they have a time out. With most of my little ones its a stage that's over with in a couple of months or sooner. Good luck!!



answers from Longview on

I feel your pain..literally. My 2 year old son went through the same phase. At first I thought he was playing, but then he got to hitting pretty hard. He was hitting me, my others kids, and the dog. So, I started showing him how to "love mommy, or sissy, or puppy" by putting him down and showing affection to the one on the receiving end of his hitting. Now he hugs and kisses all of us. The hitting didn't last long once he realized that when he hit someone, they got to get in mommy's lap and play or get special treatment. It worked for me. Good Luck.



answers from Waco on

Our oldest son went through a brief period of slapping. Whenever he would do it, I gave him a stern warning and if he didn't quit I would put him down (if I was holding him) or remove him or myself from the situation and tell him in a serious voice that he wasn't allowed to slap and that if he continued I wasn't going to play with him. Occasionaly he'd test the waters pretty far and would wind up in his bed for a 'time out'. After a few times of this he figured out it wasn't any fun and stopped. Don't know if that helps but it worked for us.



answers from Beaumont on

Our 1 year old is doing this also. But so did our daughter who is almost 3. What I did was tell her no and if she continued, I sat her away from me (just out of arms reach) and said no. Putting her away from me made her realize that I didn't want to be near her when she was behaving like that. She could come back to me and try to be nice, but if she did it again, I sat her away from me again. It worked with her and seems to work with our one year old son too.
Good luck! They are testing us now. ;O)



answers from Houston on

Try touching your child and saying "Soft touch." Take her hand and touch it to your arm. And say that is nice and give lots of hugs and kisses. Touch babies you meet with your hand and say "soft touch."

Get the book "Hands are not for Hitting." Talk to your one year old about how much you love the way her skin feels or how nice it is when she holds your hand. Focus on all positive things that the child is doing. Reinforce the Positive.

It works. You may also want to try to start signing. "Baby Signs" are good ways to get your child to communicate sooner what her needs are. Both my children signed and they were very fluent early. It heads off tantrums and misbehaviors like the one you are experiencing. Your child is trying to tell you something. She is not receiving something, maybe she wants to be coddled and spoke to extra sweet like when she was a baby. Withdrawals from that extra attention another child is getting or if one of the parents is working to much or any other change in your routine, can cause stress on any child and they can lash out. The signing helped me talk with my children to work out issues they had even at one.

And, pray for your child outloud everyday.



answers from Tyler on

Well I can't say I have any advice for you, but I will let you know you are not alone. My son is 13 months and is doing the exact same thing. After reading some of the responses you have gotten I think I am going to try putting him down and not giving him the attention when he is doing it. Please let me know what you try, and if it works.

Hang in there, you're not alone. I am just prayerful that it is a phase that will pass quickly.....



answers from Houston on

My daughter is a year and a half and doing the same thing. It drives me crazy when she starts laughing. I just say no and that it hurts and then put her down and not interact with her for a bit. She still does it, but I guess consistency is key. I know eventually it will click and she will get it.



answers from Austin on

Hi Sarah,

Yikes! I'm lucky my babies never slapped. However, my boy did hit when he was a toddler.

Here are some ideas...If you are holding her and she slaps you set her down immediately in a safe area and go on with your business. She'll begin to realize you will not tolerate being hit. You may have to swat her little hand a couple time for her to understand it hurts. Just continue to do what you're doing, tell her "no ma'am!" Tell her it is wrong. Catch and hold her little hand back. She'll eventually learn. If she continues to hit other cildren, you'll have to set her in time out and again let her know what she did wrong. As she get's older you may want to try the "cause and effect tactic" by that taking away a favorite toy (for a day or two) then returning it when she shows good behavior. I am confident that she'll grow out of it.

Hang in there MOM! She'll learn!


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