Toddlers: 24 Months+

Time outs

My lo will be 2 at the end of April, and I need to
Start thinking about time outs. When do you use them and where do you put child? Crib? Room? Chair? How do you keep them there? I'm already going crazy bc the weathers been cold and we're stuck inside most of day.. So the whining and small
Tantrums are starting. I try to ignore or redirect... But in sure I will need time outs soon,

Re: Time outs

  • Hmm I don't do time out. If he needs it, we sit on the couch together, take a deep breath, and get re-situated. 

    My neighbors just started doing time out with their 4 year old and they have a special chair. She is old enough to understand that she must sit there and think about her actions and what it means to say sorry or correct the behavior.


  • We do time outs. I started earlier with DS because DD already had time outs and once he was over 18 months it only seemed fair to her that he wasn't getting away with behavior she was getting reprimanded for.
    They get 3 warnings for most things. Automatic time outs for pinching, biting, hitting, kicking, or pulling hair because it is something we talk about A LOT in our house and I feel like they understand that is not acceptable. I have a red mat in between the living room and kitchen that the kids sit on. Then I set the timer for 1 minute for each year old that they are. Time outs aren't punishment as much as they are a break to stop, regroup, and move on. I don't say anything at first other than the warnings, then I point to the mat and say go to time out. Occasionally I have to take them by the hand or pick them up, but try not to. I set the timer, no eye contact or talking until the timer goes off, even if theyre flipping out. After the time out I tell them why they were there, we talk about other ways to handle those situations, they apologize, I tell them I love them and give them a big hug.
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  • LO started understanding time outs about 1 month ago (she will be 2 on the 19th).  If she is doing something like throwing items, ,messing with the TV, or refusing to listen I get on her level and inform her that what she is doing is not good and if she does it again she will have a time out. 

    Now, four weeks into doing them consistently she will stop for the most part but if she does not she gets to sit against the wall in the hallway for 1 minute.  I usually stand in a doorway in the hall, no eye contact and ignore her for the minute.  It took about a week but she now sits, giggles, then will begin to cry when I am not focusing on her because she understands she is in trouble.  If she gets up I grab her, take her back, and at her level inform her she is in timeout and will need to sit down till mommy tells her to get up.  If she continues to get up she goes in her crib but for over two weeks we have not gotten to that point again.  After the timeout I walk back over, tell her why she was in timeout and ask her if she is ready to be good.  I also ask her to say she is sorry and we hug/kiss at that point.  So far it's working well. 

    I have also asked my parents (main sitter) to do the same kind of timeout.  The now sit her in the hall too and do almost the same routine which is very important.  It's nice that all I have to do is give the warning and she prob 75% of the time stops the behavior. 

    After her second birthday she will sit for 2 minutes. 

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  • Personally, I think they are still too young to really understand why they are being isolated from a situation, and they don't have the attention span to stay there, it seems to just be more stress to add into your life. Time outs seems to work better when they are old enough to really understand why they are in trouble and sit still through it. The most I have done for discipline is make her sit with me or get down at her eye level and speak sternly about what she is doing that I don't approve of, and I have spanked maybe twice. Redirecting really seems to work best for us.

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  • I have been doing time outs with my LO since she turned 2.  It's for serious things like hitting.  Since she isn't much of a hitter she is only on the step a couple times a month but I personally think it works.  I let her know that she needs to sit there until the timer goes off (1 - 2 minutes) and before I set the timer I ask her why she is sitting on the step.  She cries and will say "because I hit".  She gets up when the timer goes off, we hug, she apologizes, and it's back to normal.  
  • our pedi recommend 1 2 3 Magic and i couldn't agree more with it. there are some really great TO tips (as well as bedtime stuff!).

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  • I really just don't believe in time outs for such little guys. If DD (or the little guy I watch) need a break I sit and snuggle with them until they've calmed down. 

    Honestly, it sounds like your LO is getting tired and bored of being inside. This time of year does start to get difficult. I'm tired and bored with being inside, too.

    What if you try introducing some new things to do? A sensory bin that can be changed out? (There are tons of ideas on Google.) Water table in the kitchen on top of a bunch of towels? Or with shaving cream in it? Cloud dough? I did a ball pit (pit balls and a blow up pool) for the kids a couple of weeks ago and it's still a huge hit. New books? I've also brought some outside toys in... the lawnmower minus the bubbles, the caterpillar tubes, the tent...

    Have you ever checked out Play at Home Mom? She has a TON of ideas, too. 

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  • I wouldn't do time outs for tantrums or whining, but we do 'time outs'. We do more of a go calm down though and it is because my DD kicks, hits and throws thing when she is angry. These are unacceptable so she needs to go calm down and then she can rejoin us. She has a bean bag in her room and she goes there, I do not do a timer, if she can regain control in 10 seconds she can come out. If she is in there for a minute or two I will go get her and see if she needs my help in gaining control of herself.

    I also try and identify her emotions - 'I see you got angry when DS touched your doll. It is ok to be angry but we cannot hit'.

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  • I started Time Outs at 2. When DD would do something that she wasn't suppose to or if I told her repeatedly not to do something and she wouldnt listen I would say "OK then you get a time out"

    I stand her in the same spot each time, a corner with nothing to look at and she stands there for 2 minutes. I do a minute for every year old they are.

    Now I only have to threaten a time out and she usually listens! Every once in awhile I repremand her and she gives HERSELF a time out!! Those are the times that make me want to laugh hysterically so I have to walk away.

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  • We've had success with both kids starting time outs by 18 months.  I know it doesn't seem like they will understand but they do!  I can ask my son "are you going to make good choices or do you need a timeout" and sometimes he'll say yes and sometimes timeout.  Sometimes when the timeout is over and I ask him if he's ready to make good choices he'll say no.  So he stays in there until he can answer yes when I ask him if he's ready.  He clearly gets it.

     When we first started he got them in his crib because I wanted him contained.  Now it's often the bottom step if we're downstairs or a little step stool in his room if we're upstairs but I don't think a designated "spot" is that important as long as it's removed from the situation.  They need to learn that timeouts can happen anywhere (ie, out in public, etc.).  My biggest problem is that he fairly often gets them for repeatedly kicking me while he's getting dressed after bath and as such, is often naked and he's learned that peeing on the floor is upsetting to mommy and therefore fun.  Haven't quite figured out what to do about that.

  • We just started using time outs (lo is 22 months) and it really works!  You have to be consistent.  We watched the DVD "Happiest Toddler on the Block" and they say you should stop doing the redirection at this age because the toddler sees it as the parent ignoring their request.  Always acknowledge them.  IMO I think time out is okay at this age.  Maybe it's not for all kids and if it doesn't work for you then don't do it.  We have out LO sit at the bottom of the stairs.
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  • We mostly use natural/logical consequences, choices, redirection and pick our battles.  But do use time-outs for hitting.  DD doesn't hit that often but when she does there is no warning, I just pick her up and put her behind the baby gate.  She stands there and cries for 2 minutes or so.  Then I come back ask her why she is behind the gate, she responds with, "I was hitting/pushing."  Then we ask her for an apology and if she wants a hug.  Lately she has been refusing to apologize, but we decided it's a battle not worth fighting at this point (I mean how can you force a kid to say something?).  So since she won't say it, I just say it for her.
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