Why does my 16 month old hit me?


I think my son is going through a major developmental milestone. It's been a week of waking up at night screaming, and his napping is terrible. He wakes up screaming after 40 min. I tried to put him down again, but he refuses. On the other hand he has been playing a lot with toys, paying attention and trying to figure out toys. Before this week he was just opening cabinets and taking everything out, just exploring the entire house. Now he actually sits and plays with toys, which is new. He'll be 16 months. Is he in a major developmental milestone? I need patience.


Yes PATIENCE is in order and the milestones he is hitting are intense ones. It's the 18 month "touchpoint," as T. Barry Brazelton calls it. 1. Cognition- he is moving from here and now thinking, looking at what is in front of him (i.e. taking stuff out) to symbolic thinking (i.e. pretend playing with toys). 2. Autonomy and a sense of self- first time they feel this they truly begin to understand, I am Patrick. 3. Because of autonomy they increase their battles for control. Every limit, like sleep, is a challenge to them to overcome and to assert their autonomy. Pick your battles wisely 4. Explosion of language- this is usually the culprit for the sleep disruptions....

So, here you are in Burst of Development, which brings regressions in other skills learned. By the way, congrats on recognizing that it was a milestone rather than a problem. Like I always say in our groups, stop asking, "what's wrong? and instead ask, "what's changing?"