I got a bloody nose from a bully. His name is Ryan.

Umm, I thought the  “terribles” didn’t start until they were TWO? Okay, Ryan isn’t terrible, but… he’s violent! Anyone else have this problem??! He doesn’t get much interaction with other babies his age, but it’s not just kids he’s violent with, it’s us too.

He currently likes to slap the face–and while his hands are in the vicinity, he’ll grab a chunk of skin too. Or claw and scratch. The other day he got my nose and when I put my hand over it because it hurt so much, my hand was dripping blood.

It’s an issue because Ryan will whine because he wants to be held–okay, not a problem–but then we go to hold him and he won’t stop hitting us in the face, scratching at our eyes, or pulling our hair! We sternly tell him to stop and that it hurts, but it’s not working. We set him down and walk away (which makes him cry). But he hasn’t learned ((yet??!))

So I figure it’s normal for a baby his age? But then my ICAN ladies come over for our monthly meeting and one of them brings her 15 month old. Ryan pummels him, tries to crawl on top of him, pulls his hair, takes his toys, goes for his eyeballs. And what does this poor kid do? Nothing. It’s not like I expected him to “fight” back (okay, maybe I kind of did), but he just went on his merry way, not even once concerned about knocking over Ryan or grabbing his nose. ((And yes, I intervened when Ryan was acting like this and told him to play nice, don’t hit, etc etc etc))

So why does Ryan do it!? Is it NOT normal? Or even if it is, what are your best tips to teach him to stop?

19 comments to I got a bloody nose from a bully. His name is Ryan.

  • jennifer

    oh man, that sounds awful! it’s hard to imagine our beautiful babies acting like that. hopefully he outgrows it soon.


  • Ashley

    One of the children I Nanny will be 11 months this month and she does that ALL THE TIME! I am guessing it’s normal idk if they know it hurts us. The pinching kills me though. I just try and consistently push her hand away and say don’t hit every time. Hopefully it’s a short phase.


  • Wow, what a roughian! I don’t remember my son doing too much hitting or pulling of the hair/skin, but it did happen on occasion. What type of reaction do you give? maybe he is intrigued by it?

    Hope he understands soon, maybe you can try grabbing his hands and firmly telling him ‘NO’ or ‘STOP’ immediately after he hits/scratches/goes wild. He might soon realize that your tone of voice is not pleasant or positive and neither is his behavior. Good luck!


  • Beth

    I think Ryan is “intrigued” by it…he seems to be entertained by it and thinks it’s funny. I don’t think little Ryan understands that it hurts. He will learn….got to be a phase! He will learn! 🙂


  • My eight-month-old has been grabbing at my hair and face when I pick him up for about a month now. It’s awful! And if he gets tired of nursing, he pulls off and starts pinching me. I think he’s just experimenting — wants to grab, pull at, and mouth on everything. It’s normal.

    Not acceptable, though, so I’m trying to figure out a solution myself. My usual one is just to hold him out at arms length and watch him kick and wiggle. He really is a little ball of energy! He doesn’t really mind this tactic, but at least it keeps me from getting hurt.


  • Sounds like he might need to interact with more kids his own age. And what kind of games or stimulation do give him. He might just be acting for attention or out of boredom. Moo used to do that but with some time outs in the playpen, contstructive playtime and observing how kids her age are suppose to play. And you can always talk your peditrician. Sometimes hormonal imbalances can be at fault. Just don’t let the situation go unaddressed. Keeping telling him no and putting him back down for a time out. He’ll get the message.


  • B

    My 11-month-old is starting to hit in the face, and she always looks at me afterwards with a look of half-amusement. When I ask my mom about it, she said that they’re just at that age where they’re starting to test what they can and cannot do (not just to you, but what is socially acceptable in general), and you’re the one they feel the most comfortable testing with because they know you love them even when they do something undesirable.

    I know it sucks for him to cry, but be firm and consistent in withdrawing your attention from him when he does these types of things and you’ll get a handle on it 🙂

    Hope that helps!


  • Lindsay Oussa

    OMG this sounds just like my almost 14-month old!!! You are definitely not the only one!


  • Stephanie E.

    It’s totally normal. He’ll grow out of it – don’t worry! My son is doing this also – and it’s especially painful if his nails are really long…. Hang in there!


  • oh darling it is totally normal and before you know it he will be onto something totally sweet again 🙂 It does totally suck. Its as if you are holding him while playing defense!


  • what happened the the sweet kid i’m always reading about? your kid sounds terrifying!

    i’m (mostly) kidding of course 😉


    Emily @ Baby Dickey Reply:

    Hahha, he is terrifying! 😉


  • All the babies I have been around have all went through the phase. I am no expert, but it was short lived. I agree with being firm and consistent on how you deal wit it.

    and if he doesn’t out grow it, there is always Ultimate Fighter


  • Maybe I’m the only one, but I don’t think this is at all normal. It’s normal for kids to test limits and maybe pull hair (or some other act) because it gets a reaction from you. But to do all of these things and often? You used the word violent and that isn’t good!! I worked in a daycare for 3 years and was a nanny for 2, so I do have some experience with this.I would talk to his doctor as soon as possible so that you can hopefully figure this out before it gets worse. Good luck!!


    Rebecca M Reply:

    you don’t think it’s normal for an 11 month old to get frustrated and hit? How else would they express themselves?


    Veronica Reply:

    Rene : have you ever been around children?


  • I used to babysit a little girl who did this. She would grab my face and claw me, it was awful. I would say some kids just do it, and some do not. May be get him around other babies more a little, but I’m sure he’ll grow out of it. He may just be doing it for your reaction, positive or not. May be ignoring him would work? But I know when Austin scratches me (he turns my face to get to my hair, which he twirls and “pets” when he’s sleepy) it hurts so so bad and it’s hard to just ignore! Good luck! I think this is something normal that a lot of moms and babes go through!


  • Rene

    Rebecca and Veronica: Did you read my entire reply? I definitely think it’s normal for babies to act out from time to time because they are frustrated or to elicit a reaction. But it shouldn’t be frequent behavior. It shouldn’t be the norm. If a child is acting like this most of the time (and not just some of the time), there is a problem. I worked with children for 5 years and I have an 11 month old myself. He has never hit anyone or any thing, not even once. He finds other, non-physical ways of expressing himself. I’m also in a mom’s group and have been on playdates with many other babies the same age. I’ve never seen a baby get violent. Aggressive, yes but not violent or hurtful. I’m certainly not an expert, I was just trying to encourage that she seek out professional help if it doesn’t get any better. And maybe this was an isolated incident. I don’t know. I just don’t want it to be pushed under the rug because everyone is saying it is normal. If it’s happening all the time, that is not normal and something needs to be done. I’m only trying to help and offer a different point of view. I’m not judging and not looking for an argument. The most important thing here is Ryan and I am only offering my opinion. Feel free to ignore what I have to say!


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