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How To Stop Toddler From Hitting - A Guide To Calm Your Little One Down

Parenting a toddler can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences you'll ever have. Unfortunately, it can also bring out some undesirable behavior in your little ones. Toddlers are still learning to express their feelings and frustrations, so hitting is not uncommon among young children. If possible, it's always best to put an end to this behavior as quickly as possible—but how? This blog post will explore specific examples of appropriate discipline methods to help your child stop hitting others and channel their energy into something positive.

Understanding why toddlers hit

It's important to understand why your toddler is hitting in the first place in order to figure out how to get them to stop. Many toddlers hit as a way of expressing their frustration or because they are angry or overwhelmed; some may even be trying to seek attention.

Toddlers can also mimic behavior that they have seen adults do. When addressing the issue of hitting, it's essential to try and identify what is causing the toddler's behavior. It's important to understand that your toddler hitting others is not simply "just a phase" and understanding the cause behind this aggression will help you to get your toddler to stop hitting other kids and replace this negative behavior with healthier communication methods.

Set clear limits and expectations to combat aggressive behavior

When dealing with a toddler who hits, setting clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning is essential. Explain calmly and firmly that hitting is an unacceptable behavior and discuss appropriate ways for them to express themselves when they are frustrated. Try to remain calm, as toddlers often pick up on and may mimic adult emotions.

Redirect their behavior:

When a toddler begins to hit, it's essential to redirect the behavior to stop it from happening again. Talk with your child about why hitting is unacceptable and then offer an alternative solution, such as talking or using words instead of physical aggression when feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. You can also provide positive reinforcement when they successfully use non-harming solutions instead of hitting to express themselves.

Encourage empathy:

It can be beneficial to teach your toddler empathy by explaining how their actions make other people feel when they are hurt by them, such as if they hit another child. Discuss ways to express their feelings and emotions, such as talking or using words instead of physical aggression.

Model the behavior you'd like them to have:

Modeling the behavior that you would like your toddler to imitate can really help you stop them from hitting others. Show them how to use appropriate body language when expressing themselves and demonstrate how to resolve conflicts without resorting to hitting. Additionally, work on building a strong bond with your child by spending quality time together, listen attentively when they speak, and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Supervise playtime activities:

By supervising playtime activities, you can recognize any potential triggers for hitting before it happens and intervene early on to prevent an outburst from occurring. When supervising, you can encourage positive play and model appropriate behavior that your child can use when playing with other children.

Stay calm and do not react in anger:

It is essential to stay calm and not react in anger when your toddler begins to hit. Getting angry or yelling can worsen the situation, as it can teach your child that expressing emotions through physical aggression is acceptable. Instead, remain calm and use positive reinforcement and redirection when they misbehave.

Don't suppress your child's emotions

When your toddler is feeling overwhelmed or angry, it's important to allow them to express their emotions. It's completely normal for humans of all ages to experience emotions such as anger or frustration, so do not try to belittle your child's emotions in these situations. Instead, try showing your child that you understand their emotions and want to help them feel better.

Try to redirect their attention to something else:

When a toddler is beginning to show signs of frustration or anger, redirect their attention to something else. Provide them with an activity they can focus on, such as playing with a toy or listening to music. This can help them channel their energy away from hitting and into more positive activities.

Encourage positive physical activity: Physical activity can be a great way to help your toddler release tension and increase their emotional regulation skills. Encourage activities such as running, jumping, or dancing to help them expend energy in a healthy way.

Use positive reinforcement when they don't hit:

When your toddler can express themselves without hitting, it's essential to provide positive reinforcement. Acknowledge their effort and tell them how proud you are when they use non-harming strategies instead of resorting to physical aggression.

Provide playing opportunities: It can be beneficial to provide toddlers with plenty of playing opportunities, as it can help them learn how to interact appropriately with others. This also allows them to practice using words instead of physical aggression when feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.

Focus on your response, not your toddler's behavior:

Focusing on your response rather than your toddler's behavior can be helpful. It is important to remember that toddlers are still learning to express themselves and that physical aggression is often a way to communicate their needs or feelings. Accepting and understanding their emotions can help prevent further outbursts.

Provide consistency and clear limits:

Setting consistent and clear limits regarding physical aggression can help prevent hitting. Be sure to reinforce your expectations for your child's behavior and remind your toddler of any consequences that may occur from not meeting expectations.

It is possible to manage physical aggression in your toddler and create a safe space for them to express their emotions without hitting or scolding them. It is important to remember that toddlers need patience and understanding as they learn to regulate their emotions. With consistent guidance, loving support, and positive reinforcement, your toddler will soon be able to express themselves appropriately.

Praise your toddler when behaving as desired:

When your toddler can express themselves without resorting to physical aggression, praise them for their effort. Letting them know that you are proud of them for making the right choice will help encourage positive behavior in the future.

Give them an alternative way to express themselves, such as talking, drawing, or playing with toys:

Physical aggression is often a result of feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Help your toddler find a healthy alternative to express their emotions by offering them other activities. Give them time to cool down and suggest activities such as talking, drawing, or playing with toys to help them constructively work through their feelings.

Monitor media consumption:

It is essential to keep an eye on what your toddler is exposed to in terms of media. While some screen time can be beneficial, too much can harm their behavior. Make sure that what they watch is age-appropriate and does not contain violent or aggressive content.

Offer comfort:

Above all else, it is essential to offer love and understanding when your toddler behaves aggressively. Let them know that you are there for them and will help guide them as they learn how to handle their feelings healthily. With patience, consistency, and support from you, your child will soon outgrow their physical aggression and become more emotionally mature.

Help them cope with frustration:

When your toddler feels overwhelmed, it can be difficult for them to make wise decisions. Teaching them strategies to cope with their frustration will help them manage their emotions and be better equipped to make the right choice in challenging situations. Offer helpful tips such as deep breathing or counting to 10, which can help them feel calmer and more in control of the problem.

Explain why certain behaviors are not acceptable:

It is essential to explain to your toddler why certain behaviors are wrong. Explain that hitting other people or throwing things is not an appropriate way of expressing anger or frustration, and discuss alternative methods they could have used instead. Talking about these topics openly will help your child understand why it is important to act calmly and respectfully when faced with difficult circumstances.

Model appropriate behavior and create a safe environment:

Children learn to understand appropriate and inappropriate behavior by watching their parents. Show your toddler that you can control your emotions by avoiding hitting, spanking, or engaging in aggressive behavior when frustrated. This will help them recognize that physical aggression is not an acceptable way to express feelings, and instead, they should use positive methods to manage their emotions.

Providing a safe and secure environment is critical to helping your toddler learn how to regulate their emotions and make good decisions. Make sure they have plenty of time to rest and play to stay calm and relaxed regularly. Additionally, establish clear rules and expectations for behavior, as this can help create a sense of security for your toddler. Having consistent rules gives them something concrete to rely on when faced with difficult choices or emotions.

Three steps to stop toddlers from hitting:

Step 1. Talk to your child:

When your toddler acts aggressively, the first step is to remove them from the situation and tell them that hitting is not acceptable. Be firm and consistent when responding to this behavior, as this will help your child understand that it will not be tolerated.

Step 2. Show them what to do instead of hitting:

Once your toddler has calmed down, it is essential to show them what to do instead of hitting. Redirect the behavior by suggesting alternative activities such as drawing, reading a book together, singing, or dancing. These activities can help distract your toddler from the situation and give them an outlet to express their emotions constructively.

Step 3. Offer positive reinforcement when they behave appropriately:

Once your toddler has begun to understand the consequences of hitting and learns how to express their emotions positively, it is essential to reinforce this behavior with praise. Give your toddler verbal and physical credit when they show gentle behavior, as this will help encourage them to continue making good decisions.


Learning how to regulate emotions and make good decisions is crucial to your toddler's development. With the proper guidance and support, you can help your toddler learn how to manage their big feelings and make positive choices. Establishing clear rules, rewarding positive behavior, providing a safe environment, and praising them for being gentle are all great steps for helping your toddler develop healthy decision-making skills that will last a lifetime.


 How do I stop my toddler from hitting?

Take a moment to grab your toddler to the side and explain that hitting behavior is not acceptable. Stay calm and speak calmly to your toddler and show them what to do instead of shooting, such as suggesting alternative activities like drawing, reading a book together, singing, or dancing. Once they have calmed down, remember to offer praise for being gentle to encourage positive behavior in the future.

What should I do if my toddler hits another child?

If your toddler hits another child you should quickly step in and explain to your toddler that hitting others is not the correct way for them to explain their feelings and encourage your child to apologize. Additionally suggest some alternative choices that your toddler can make when they feel angry. You can offer your apologies to the child's parents as well.

How can I encourage my toddler to make good decisions?

Establishing clear rules, rewarding positive behavior, providing a safe environment, and praising them for being gentle are all essential steps in helping your toddler develop healthy decision-making coping skills that will last a lifetime. Additionally, engaging in activities together, like reading or playing games, can also help teach your toddler about making good decisions.

Tricks of the Trader Joe's: 10 items to feed your kids on the cheap

Tricks of the Trader Joe's: 10 items to feed your kids on the cheap
With over 500 stores in the United States, Trader Joe’s has taken parents’ mundane grocery shopping experience to the next level. And then there are the bragging rights. The minute someone brings up Trader Joe’s in a convo you almost always get enthusiastic “Oh, have you tried…?” Or “You MUST GET…” Folks just love to boast about their go-to TJ’s items. 



I'm one of them. I used to be overwhelmed upon entering those sliding doors, my anxiety level building before I even grabbed a shopping cart. There was just so much eye candy in each aisle that I found it increasingly hard to figure out what to buy.

But now, I've cut through the Trader Joe’s clutter — and discovered amazing finds for my kids that'll make shopping a little bit easier and less stressful. 

Here’s how to make breakfast, lunch and dinner (snack and dessert too!) for your kiddos in just 10 items. Bon appe-TJ’s!


Organic silver dollar pancakes (frozen breakfast section). TIP: The perfect pint size option for your little ones tiny fingers. No fork required! Just add fresh blueberries and strawberries to make this a healthy start to your kids' day!


Sunflower butter or Organic TJ creamy unsalted peanut butter (same aisle as applesauce). TIP: If your child has nut allergies, use the sunflower butter. It's yummy and tastes just like peanut butter! Whatever you choose, just spread on some whole wheat bread and lunch is served!

Organic Low-Fat Yogurt Squishers (refrigerator section next to the orange juice). TIP: Throw in the freezer! Your little one will think it’s ice cream and it will keep their lunch bag cool, too!

Snap peas (refrigerator section next to the fresh vegetables). TIP: These veggies literally taste like candy. Seriously! And they make a popping noise when you bite them. Fun! If that won't convince your picky eater, try making it a numbers game. Ask your little one to open each pod before eating it and count how many peas are inside!

Organic sliced apples (refrigerator section next to the bags of lettuce). TIP: They are organic, fresh and delicious. Just grab and go!



Carrot Apple Crushers (same aisle as apple sauce). TIP: It's on-the-go apples sauce with a veggie twist! Who doesn't love a sweet treat with a side of veggies for their little one? Put in the refrigerator for a refreshing afternoon treat. It's a sneaky delicious way to add veggies in to your picky eaters' diet! 

Organic fruit wraps (fresh fruit section, usually in a bin on the wall). TIP:Your kids will think they are candy. These gummy treats are filled with fruit, but your little one's don't have to know that. Great for outing to the park or the beach this summer.

NOTE: Megan Colarossi originally wrote on July 1, 2014 -

Traveling with your baby: Tips and Tricks for a Successful First Flight

Traveling with your baby: Tips and Tricks for a Successful First Flight

Traveling with your baby: Tips and Tricks for a Successful First Flight By: Collette Stohler

The thought of the first flight with baby can strike fear even in the hearts of the most seasoned travel veterans. As a new parent, even leaving the house after having a baby can feel like an Olympic sport and booking your first flight with baby can be downright terrifying. However, with a little planning, a few key tips, and a good sense of humor, you’ll be on your way to successfully traveling with your baby. Do not let the fear of traveling with baby rob you of creating precious memories. Here are ten things to know before your first flight with baby!


1.) You can travel with breast milk & formula:

As a mother (or father), you’re able to travel with breast milk and/or formula in quantities greater than 3.4 oz or 100 ml to feed your baby. This is also applicable to other ways that you feed your baby such as with toddler drinks or food pouches as food for babies are considered medical supplies. According to the TSA website, “Your child or infant does not need to be present or traveling with you to bring breast milk, formula and/or related supplies” This means that these rules are applicable whether you are traveling with or without your baby.

In the United States, you can bring frozen breast milk or fresh breast milk with you through TSA. You are also allowed to bring whatever ice or accessory is required to cool the milk such as an ice pack or frozen gel pack. When passing through security, TSA officers may ask to test your breast milk with a vapor strip. If this happens, you can kindly ask the officer to change into a fresh pair of gloves to test your milk. Don’t fret, mama. The vapor strip does not touch your breast milk. According to the TSA website, “Screening will never include placing anything into the medically necessary liquid.”

Additionally, breast pumps are allowed on airplane as they are considered medical supplies. Whether you are pumping or breastfeeding, many airports have private, safe, and secure feeding pods in the airport.

While most TSA officers are well educated on this subject, it is recommended to bring a copy of your rights with you while flying in case of the odd encounter.

2.) Learn the rules of your airline

Many rules for traveling with baby vary by airline so it’s important to know your rights. Here are a few key questions to ask before picking an airline to fly:

  1. Does your airline allow preboarding for families? Most do, but some, such as Southwest Airlines, allow families to board after their priority customers.
  2. Does your airline allow diaper bags in addition to carry-on bags? Check the baggage policy on the website.
  3. Does your airline allow breast pumps as an additional bag on board? Some do as breast pumps are considered a medical device.
  4. If you’re flying basic economy, are you able to reserve seats in advance or not? If you are not able to reserve seats together, you may not be able to sit together. For this reason, it is recommended to skip basic economy fares.

 3.) Pick flight times that offer you the best chance of success

Prior to booking your first flight with baby, think about your general routine for the day. While you might not have a schedule, you understand good and bad times of the day. Try to avoid flight times where baby is likely to be fussy (i.e. early morning flights and night flights *ahem witching hour*).

 4.) Baby needs to be on the reservation

Children under the age of two can fly for free within the United States when booked as a “lap infant” on a flight. When it’s time for your first flight with baby, make sure to add your baby to the ticket that you’ve booked, even if they’re flying as a lap infant. You can do this during the booking process by adding a lap infant or you can call your airline after booking your ticket to let them know. There needs to be a record of your baby on the flight, even if they don’t have their own seat.

Additionally, it is important to bring some sort of identification for you baby (birth certificate, passport, immunization records, etc.) in case the airline asks. TSA doesn’t require proof that the child is under the age of 2, but the airline may ask.

 Please note that the safest way to fly with an infant is to have the baby fly in his or her own car seat in their own seat.

5.) Carry-on essential items

Airlines lose luggage all the time so come prepared and carry-on the essential items for baby such as:

  1. Diapers (my rule of thumb is 1 diaper per hour of travel + an extra day in case of delays).
  2. Wipes
  3. Change of clothes for baby
  4. Changes of clothes for Mom (because as a rule, when baby poops, it’s usually on Mom.)
  5. Changing pad
  6. Diaper bag that I can bring to the bathroom (I use a Kibou fanny pack)
  7. Bottles to feed my baby
  8. Extra breast milk (I use the Ceres Chill breast milk chiller)
  9. Pacifiers
  10. Sleep sack if it’s a long flight
  11. Medication for baby

6.) Wear your baby

Wearing your baby through the airport will help keep your hands free throughout the check-in process, security, and boarding. Your baby will also love feeling close to you in the baby carrier!

 7.) Relax your nap schedule

Babies love routine and so do parents. In a perfect world, the plane would take off on schedule and nap time would be while you’re in the sky. Go into your first flight with baby knowing that travel days are usually hectic, and things won’t go according to plan. Try to relax your nap schedule for the day so that you don’t make yourself crazy. Watch your baby’s wake windows and look out for his or her sleep cues so baby doesn’t become overtired.

 8.) Feed on takeoff and landing

Babies don’t know how to clear their ears during takeoff and landing so giving them something to suck on is extremely helpful. Try feeding your baby during takeoff and landing or at the very least, give them a pacifier to help their tiny ears clear.

9.) Free Checked Items

When it’s time to travel with baby, there are certain items that are free to check to your destination. In addition to your allowable checked baggage, parents can check strollers, car seats, child carriers, and booster seats for free at check-in or at the gate. If you have a stroller that is carry-on size, this is also allowable (pending the rules of the specific airline) in addition to your allotted carry-on allowance.

 10.) Rent Items at your Destination

Kids require a lot of stuff, even when you’re a minimalist mama. One of the easiest ways to streamline the travel process and minimize the stuff you need to pack for your travels is to rent baby items at your destination through companies like BabyQuip. You can rent car seats, cribs, pack & plays, and even the SNOO! These items can be delivered directly to the airport or to your hotel or vacation rental.

While booking the first flight with baby can seem terrifying, we’re here to tell you that you’ve got this! Remember to relax, breathe, and give yourself grace throughout the process of traveling with a baby. Don’t worry about the crowds around you and try to focus your energy on your baby. It will all be worth it because these memories with your baby will last a lifetime.


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