My Baby Does Not Play Nice

11 Replies
Nick - May 16

My 9 month old son is the baby that other babies don't want to play with. I took him to my friends house and he spent the whole time trying to pull her daughter's hair and bite her. We had to remove him from her twice because he had such a good grip. He also plays this way with my neice. At day care he is the only crawler who they still put in the saucer; I think it might be to keep him away from the other kids. Does anyone have any suggestions? I want my baby to be able to play with other babies. I tried telling him NO, very loudly, but my sister said I wasn't being serious enough.


pbj - May 16

I don't really believe your son is being mean, he's curious. I was a daycare provider for babies under 12 months years ago and biting has nothing to do with aggression at this age, more than likely he is teething. Hair is fascinating to a baby. I'm doubting he will understand "no" at this stage, but he may be able to understand you are not happy by the tone of your voice. I wish I could have better advice for you, but I would suggest discussing it with your pediatrician. He/She could maybe give you some tips. But like I said I really don't think he understands that it's wrong, he's probably just exploring, but I know it can be frustrating.


Rabbits07 - May 16

I was thinking the same thing as pbj..that's it's probably not something he is doing to be mean. Generally when tots start the biting and stuff it is out of jealousy or anger (for example when another child has something they want). A baby that age really isn't capable of those emotional reactions. My sister attended a seminar where the speaker addressed reducing undesireable behaviors in young children and babies. He suggested using a method similar to time out. His suggestion was that when baby is doing the undesirable behavior...remove them and immediately put them in their playpen or as he referred to it 'THE PEN'. He said one minute is sufficient for children under 2. After the minute is up reintroduce them to the activity. If undesirable behavior starts again, immediately place them in the pen for another minute. Continue for as long as behavior persists. His claim was that even young babies are able to comprehend cause and effect and that after consistent and repeated trips to the pen the behavior will stop. Of course that's a__suming your lo doesn't like to be in the play pen! Some babies don't mind it at all. If my baby wasn't objectionable to being placed in the playpen I would be wary of using it as an object of punishment. But if he doesn't like it already it probably wouldn't hurt to give it a try.


Jamie - May 17

Nine month olds DO understand the word "no" - it just has to be applied consistently, and followed up with reinforcement. Say "no" as you're picking him up and moving him away from the "no". My daughter is also a playgroup bully. There is a 5 month old that she particularly adores smacking, and stealing her bottle as well. (Even though my daughter won't drink from a bottle, and also won't take formula, which is what the 5 month old gets) I enforce the "No" by picking my daughter up and moving her away from the 5 month old. The 5 month old's mother also came up with a solution - she will fix a sippy cup of juice for my daughter, and offer it to her 5 month old first - my daughter steals the sippy cup, leaving the 5 month old to enjoy her bottle in peace. While it's the "easy" solution to the problem, it teaches my daughter that it's okay to take things from other children, which is not a lesson I want her to learn. So I take away the sippy cup, and continue saying "No" - it's slow going, but she is learning.


HannahBaby - May 17

i really dont think that babies do it on purpose. My daughter isnt around kids alot so when i took her to a play group she was kind of pinching the girls skin and pulling at their shirts. She was so excited to see little people like her. I told her no and took her hand off of the other kids but that didnt really work. Kids are all about discovering new things. THe only way i would worry is if hes notplaying nice when someone takes his toy/does something that he doesnt like. Good luck


HANNAHs Mom - May 17

Your son sounds just like a normal 9-month, social, curious, playful and a little a__sertive, just like my dd....she loves to pull her sister's hair as well. Sounds like you are doing the right thing by just removing him from the situation. Distraction with another toy or game works great too.


ChannY - May 17

I don't think he's being rude at all. My daughter who is 13 months old, she loves my hair and would play with it for only god knows how long. I think she's comparing my hair to her hair. so I think thats why they like the hair. Biting, she doesnt even bites unless she needs something to chew on for her teeth. Im pretty sure your son doing the same things.


Nick - May 17

Thanks for all the advice. I just asked at day care if pulling hair was a problem for him and all three women said YES! I don't really think he is being mean either. I think he just get's so excited, but I have to protect the other children. I like the "baby time out" idea. I didn't know if he was too young. I can't use the pack n play though, because I want him to like being in there. Maybe I will put him in a booster seat that I don't use. I will let everyone know how it works.


Kim L - May 18

Nick: I think you are being very smart about it! I agree with the other ladies too that you don't have a mean baby, just a curious one - but they DO need to learn boundaries, even at tender innocent ages. Even if a baby doesn't mean to hurt another baby, sometimes they will and they need to learn that they can't do that particular behavior. I know if it were your little buddy who was receiving the bites and the hair pulling, you'd want the other mom to step in and take control. Good job - keep it up!


Nick - May 20

Well, Wednesday whenever he pulled our hair we said "NO" and if he did it again he went in his booster seat in the kitchen for 2 or 3 minutes. We had to do it about 5 or 6 times. At first he would scream, but now he just whines. On Thursday we went overthat same friends house ALL day and he was only in time out ONE time! I can't believe how well it works. He was like a different child and they played well together all day.


Rabbits07 - May 20

Nick, I'm glad the time out is working for you (and baby!) We used it on our last son when he was around 16 months old and always trying to climb over the door way gate. It worked really well with him, too.


ash2 - May 21

honey trust me, this si normal for a 9 month old. just remember to correct him every time you catch him...... wait untill he is 3 years old, and he is having a knock down drag out fight with another kid at mcdonalds......... hehe good luck



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