Toddler Hurts Baby On Purpose

Toddler Hurts Baby On Purpose


Welcoming a new baby into the family can sometimes be difficult, especially for the older sibling. Many parents are aware that toddlers often struggle with impulse control and may intentionally or unintentionally hurt their younger siblings.

It’s important for parents to stay calm and address the situation immediately to ensure the baby is safe and the toddler understands the bigger picture.

In this blog post, we’ll provide great advice for parents on how to help their toddlers with self-control, positive reinforcement, and one-on-one time, while also addressing negative attention and using time-outs when necessary.

We’ll also explain the importance of gentle touch and gentle play, and how to help children understand their own feelings and emotions.

So, if you’re worried about your toddler hurting the baby, don’t imagine the worst-case scenario just yet. With some helpful tips from this article and a gentle approach, you can make sure everyone in the family feels safe and happy.

Why would a Toddler hurt their younger baby brother or baby sister?

baby, kid, portrait

It is not uncommon for toddlers to hurt their baby brother or baby sister on purpose for a variety of reasons. One reason is curiosity ad exploration. Toddlers are still learning about the world around them, and they may not understand that their actions can hurt others.

Another reason is attention-seeking behavior. Toddlers may feel jealous or left out when a new baby arrives and may act out to get more attention from their own parents

Toddlers may also copy adult behavior, including hitting or pushing, which can lead to them hurting the baby.

Frustration and lack of communication skills can also contribute to a toddler hurting their baby sibling. If a toddler is not able to express themselves properly, they may resort to physical actions.

Jealousy and possessiveness can also be a reason why a toddler hurts their baby sibling. The arrival of a new baby can be challenging for a toddler, especially if they are used to being the center of attention. They may feel like the new baby is taking away their time with their parents, leading them to act out.

In What Ways Can a Toddler Hurt the Baby?

Ways a toddler can hurt a baby include pushing, hitting, biting, pinching, pulling hair, suffocating, dropping, or throwing objects at the baby.

Toddlers have poor impulse control, and they may not understand the consequences of their actions. They may feel jealous of the attention given to the new baby, especially if they were previously the youngest in the family.

Toddlers may also hurt their little sister or little brother unintentionally by being too rough during playtime. Parents can teach toddlers gentle touch and positive behavior through positive reinforcement and one-on-one time.

It’s important to immediately stop any hurting behavior and explain to the child how their actions are hurting the baby.

Preventing toddlers from hurting babies on purpose

Preventing toddlers from hurting babies on purpose requires a lot of attention and effort from parents. Here are some tips that may be helpful:

  1. Supervise interactions: Always supervise interactions between toddlers and babies. Don’t leave them alone together, even for a short time.
  2. Teach gentle hands: Teach your toddler to use gentle hands when touching the baby. Demonstrate how to touch the baby softly and gently, and praise your toddler when they do it correctly.
  3. Positive attention: Provide your toddler with positive attention when they interact appropriately with the baby. This can include verbal praise, hugs, or small rewards.
  4. One-on-one time: Spend one-on-one time with your toddler so they don’t feel jealous or neglected by the new baby.
  5. Time outs: If your toddler hurts the baby, immediately stop the behavior and give a time out as a consequence. Make sure the time out is in a safe place and appropriate for their age.
  6. Teach impulse control: Toddlers are still developing impulse control, so teach your toddler how to manage their emotions and actions. You can use simple phrases like “gentle hands” or “stop and think.”
  7. Stay calm: If you feel angry or upset, take a moment to calm down before addressing the situation with your toddler.
  8. Reinforce good behavior: Reinforce your toddler’s good behavior by praising them and providing positive attention.
  9. Separate play areas: Create separate play areas for the toddler and baby. This will prevent them from getting in each other’s way and reduce the risk of accidental harm.

Remember that toddlers are still learning and developing, and it may take time for them to understand how to interact with the baby in a safe and appropriate manner. By providing supervision, teaching gentle hands, reinforcing good behavior, and using appropriate consequences when necessary, parents can help ensure that the baby is safe and that their toddler develops positive interactions with their younger sibling.

What to do When Your Toddler Hurts its Younger brother or Sister on Purpose?

there are several things parents can do to address the situation If a toddler hurts their baby brother or sister on purpose,

Firstly, it’s important to stay calm and attend to the baby’s injuries. Parents should immediately stop the toddler from hurting the baby and separate them.

Afterward, parents should explain to the toddler that their behavior is not acceptable and that hurting the baby is not okay. Parents should help toddlers understand that they need to have self-control and gentle hands when playing with their younger siblings. Parents can also teach toddlers alternative ways to express their emotions, such as using words to express their feelings.

Following up with positive reinforcement for good behavior is important as well. Parents can give their toddlers positive attention and one-on-one time to encourage good behavior. It’s crucial to make sure that the baby is safe at all times, especially when toddlers are around.

Many parents may worry that hurting the baby is a big deal and may feel angry or upset with the toddler. However, it’s essential to see the bigger picture and focus on helping the toddler develop better impulse control and behavior.

Time-outs may also be helpful in helping toddlers understand that hurting others is not acceptable. and reinforcing good behavior. Parents should make sure to give their toddlers a clear explanation of why they are receiving a time-out and how they can avoid hurting others in the future.

Final Thoughts

Having a new baby in the family may be a significant thing, especially for toddlers who are still figuring out how to control their impulses. Parents should spend quality time with their older children, show them affection, and promote excellent behavior by doing so.

It’s essential to stop the conduct right away and gently explain why it’s bad when a toddler hits the newborn. Instilling self-control in children is another benefit of timeouts.

Family members need to maintain their composure and keep in mind the greater picture rather than losing their temper or concentrating on criticism.

Toddlers can learn to play with their siblings in a way that doesn’t injure anyone by using gentle touch and emphasizing emotions.




What to do when your toddler hurts your baby?

If your toddler hurts your baby, stay calm and attend to your baby’s injuries. Separate your toddler from the baby and explain that their behavior is not acceptable. Teach your toddler alternative ways to express their emotions and follow up with positive reinforcement for good behavior.

How do I get my toddler to be gentle with my baby?

To encourage gentle behavior from your toddler towards your baby, model gentle behavior yourself and use positive reinforcement when your toddler is gentle. Involve your toddler in caring for the baby and supervise their interactions closely. Teach your toddler how to be gentle with the baby by showing them how to touch softly and talk in a gentle voice.

How do I get my toddler to stop pushing the baby?

If your toddler is pushing the baby, it’s important to intervene immediately to keep the baby safe. Teach your toddler that pushing is not acceptable and show them alternative ways to express their emotions. Use positive reinforcement for good behavior and consider giving your toddler extra attention to help them adjust to the new baby.

When a child intentionally hurts others?

If a child intentionally hurts others, it’s important to address the behavior and teach them appropriate ways to express their emotions. Use positive reinforcement for good behavior and consider seeking the help of a professional if the behavior persists. Encourage empathy by talking about how the other person might feel and encourage the child to apologize and make amends for their actions. Consistency and patience are keys to addressing this behavior.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.