Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months


When do you begin really deciplining your child and how to start? My LO is 12 months old and lately has started testing boundaries. He pulls my hair and knocks my glasses of my face at times. I tell him no sternly but sometimes he thinks it is a game and continues doing it. He also pulls the cats hair very hard. I don't know at what age they really start to understand consequences of their actions. Any advice? Thanks!

Re: Discipline

  • My LO is 21 months and we still have some of these issues.  I try to say things like that's not nice, we don't hit, say you're sorry...things I will continue to say to her as she gets older.  I do alot of redirecting and am starting to do some time out strategies (she sits on the bottom step for about a minute...sometimes on my lap. depending on where we are and what she is doing).  ...unless it is an immediate danger like today when she found a visitor's keys and headed toward the electrical socket.  Good thing we have plug covers.  Good Luck.  
  • At that age I don't think there is much you can do. If you're holding him and he pulls your hair/glasses I would tell him that hurts mommy and put him down. Let him know you won't hold him if he does that. As far as the cat I think it's just redirection. This age is hard with discipline. GL!



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  • Those things are all extremely typical things babies do. I am careful about the use of "no" because I would be saying it all day. Redirecting is what you will have to do for now. He will grow out of the hair pulling. My DD still grabs my glasses from time to time. I just tell her that they are Mommy's and not a toy and give her something that she can grab. As for the cat, just keep showing him the nice way to pet the cat. I tell DD words like "gentle, be nice, pet the kitty soft" etc. Be consistent, he wIll get it. Just keep explaining why he shouldn't do something's stead of simply saying NO.

    Some moms do timeout at this age, but only you can know if that is right for your kid at this point. (One minute per year of age is typical i think.) DD wouldn't get it right now. 


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  • At a year, all you can really do is redirect.
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  • Nicb13Nicb13
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers

    image mabenner1:
    At a year, all you can really do is redirect.


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  • Mine is 13 mos.

    Redirection works best but a stern no works well sometimes as well.
    Baby boy born May 2012
    LO#2 due June 2015

  • Our little man is almost 13 mo old. He is built like a brick and is super strong. So it truly hurts when he hits you. My husband and I are very consistent with the words and actions we use to deal with things. We say "no hitting" or "no kicking" or "gentle with the kitty cat/puppy dog". We have also taught him to be gentle. Right after we say those words we say "gentle - dodo" (we are bilingual) and stroke his cheek softly with our fingers. We then get him to do it back to us. He caught on rather quickly and I have even heard him saying to the cat "dodo" and being gentle with her. Of course there are times when he forgets, but that is normal. A quick reminder is usually all that is needed. At least he knows what is expected of him. I don't redirect usually because he needs to learn. I will only redirect/remove him from the situation, if he repeats the behavior and is too crazy to listen. We also do not do time outs yet as he is just too young. I hope this helps. Best of luck with your llittle one! :) 

  • DS learned "gentle" around that age. It really helped. Now if he is being too rough i say gentle and he'll pet the dog on the head instead of pulling his hair or tail. He knows what it means now. Just take his hand and pet the cat or correct whatever action and say "gentle" or another word you prefer.

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