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Thread: Kind of discipline for my 17 month old daughter

  1. #1

    Kind of discipline for my 17 month old daughter

    Hi everyone!

    I just want to share something about my daughter. She is a smart baby girl and always finds her way to get what she wants. If she doesn't get it, she'll eventually throw tantrums. Are all toddlers like that?

    If she already gets really stubborn or way beyond her limit, her daddy would spank her. Is that okay at her age?

    I am the weak one, I don't want to hurt my daughter. And every time this happens, my husband and I argue about how to discipline our baby. What I do is, if it's really too much, I put her in the crib, sort of a "time out."

    I am confused on what kind of discipline we would do. Please help...

  2. #2
    To spank or not to spank is a personal, family to family decision. Personally, we do not spank and I feel that 17 months is a bit young. However, that is something that you and your husband will really have to work out with each other. Parenting is about compromise and understanding and it is crucial that you and your partner agree about discipline for the most part.

    As for your technique, an age-appropriate time out for a 17 month old is about 1.5 to 2 minutes.

    As for the level of normalcy, toddlers and tantrums are a pretty common partnership. All 17 months old pretty much behave this way and for the most part, it is something that must be grown out of. At this point, your little one has limited forms of expression. She may not be able to say all the things she is feeling in a way that you understand, so instead she acts out her frustration through a tantrum. It is way of letting off steam and expressing the irrational feelings that accompany frustration.

    When you take something away, you could try replacing it with something that is safe and acceptable for her to have. Additionally, I would take a moment to analyze when and where the tantrums are taking place. Sometimes, little ones tend to get particularly irritable and prone to tantrums when they are hungry or tired. Dips in blood sugar can occur frequently with children of this age, which is why they often need something to eat every few hours during the day. Also, she should be getting around 12 hours of sleep per day, likely a nap during the middle of the day and a good stretch at night.

    I hope that this helps some!

  3. #3
    Got it.

    Usually, she throws a tantrum when something she should not play with is taken away from her, and you just answered it, we'll just have to replace it with something safe and acceptable then.

    No problems with her sleep, 3 hours during midday and 12 hours through the night. She has already a pattern.

    I felt a little bad about the time out though, I put her in the crib like 10 minutes. Have to ask sorry to her about this.

    Hopefully, my husband and I could work out the discipline that we give to Ryden.

    Thanks mom2many!

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Mom2Many gave you a lot of good information.

    I was a child care provider for 6 years, and cared for infants from newborn to 3 years of age in our home. This means that I worked with a lot of children through the 1 1/2 year old phase. Whenever a child would start to throw a tantrum or get upset when a toy was taken from them, I would be very firm, get down on their level, and I would say, "I won't let you do that. That's not okay." Usually their anger changed to sadness, and eventually they would stop crying and find another toy to play with.

    But the tantrums and outbursts were VERY rare. The reason they were rare was because at the first sign, I would let them know this was not okay. I did not spank any of my day care children, but I did spank my own. Spankings were few and far between, and were only used for more serious instances like direct disobedience. We have always trained our children to obey right away, but it started when they were young.

    I'm guessing that if you worked with Ryden for a week, letting her know that tantrums are NOT okay each time it happens, that she would start to realize that they don't "work". She won't get what she wants. You may need to have her sit on a little chair or in a specific place (without toys) while she is throwing her tantrum, but always letting her know that when she stops hitting, or yelling, or "flailing" that you will pick her up.

    Sometimes a child can throw a tantrum because they aren't getting enough positive attention. Children need attention and will often act out to get that attention - even if it's negative attention.

    It might help to structure Ryden's day so that you have certain things for her to do throughout the day. I will help you create a schedule, but I need ideas from you, LJ, Mom2Many and anyone else who cares to chime in with ideas of things to do with a 1 1/2 year old.

    Here are some things I can come up with:

    1. Read stories
    2. PlayDough (I can give you a recipe)
    3. Go for a walk

    And I'll let you all give me more ideas. Then I'll show you how to create a schedule. What time does Ryden usually wake, eat, nap and go to bed? Is there a "usually" for any of these, or does it change each day?

    I truly believe that once you start to structure Ryden's day so she doesn't get board that you'll also see a change in behavior and you'll both be happier.

    Warm Regards,


  5. #5
    Things to do with a 1.5 year old:

    1. Water play (My little one likes to sit in the tub with different size cups and pour water between one cup to another-if that makes sense). There are also water tables that are specifically designed to encourage this form of sensory development with little ones, though I think they are a bit pricey .

    You could also set her up in a little pool outside, just make sure you or another adult keep a close eye on her.

    2. Coloring-- Some 1.5 year olds can handle this and some cannot. I would definitely keep a close eye on her to make sure she is not eating the crayons or trying to decorate the walls.

    3. Homemade Finger Paints- This blog link is for a homemade finger paint recipe. It is made out of all-natural ingredients and perfectly safe for consumption. I make this all the time. I haven't quite figured out a way to get it to dry quite the same as store-bought fingerpaint but my toddlers have fun with it just the same and I don't have to worry about them getting sick from eating it. It is also very easy to clean off of surfaces.

    4. Little ones love to make music and dance. Invest in some baby-friendly instruments like drum or make your own, then set aside some time every-so-often for music day!

    For more ideas I would recommend checking out Play at Home Mom LLC. This is one of my favourite blogs and it is packed with fun, creative ideas for keeping little ones happy and entertained.

    Hope that helps =)

  6. #6
    Hi Ryden's_Mum,

    I see you're getting some super advice on this subject.

    It can be difficult when toddlers start to throw tantrums but is a normal part of development. That said, it is good to try and explain to them what is acceptable and what is not so that they do not use a tantrum to get attention. From what you have described, I think it would be beneficial if you and your partner had a thorough discussion about discipline and agree together on the discipline style you will use. Consistency is key and it will confuse your daughter (and be a lot less effective) is you are using different discipline styles. I am an advocate of Gentle Discipline as I believe this teaches mutual respect in a loving way. Dr. Sears has some excellent Gentle Discipline resources.

    In terms of activities which are great to entertain a toddler of this age I would recommend:

    - going out of the house to 2 activities a day if possible. This could be: the park, a walk, playgroup, a toddler movement and music class etc. The change of scenery will help to interest your toddler and the activity will help her to burn off some energy so that she is less likely to get frustrated. These activities are also beneficial for starting to learn social skills.

    - a craft activity each day is an excellent way of focussing a toddler's attention. As mom2many has said above, there are some excellent internet resources on this. Making simple cards, finger painting, drawing around hands and feet, colouring and playing with soft clay are all lovely ways to entertain a little one.

    - It is recommended that you read at least 2-3 books a day to your baby/child. There are just so many benefits to this and getting lost in a book together is a lovely way to bond.

    - I don't know if there is something similar to a 'toy library' in your area but we have recently started attending one and my toddler loves it. For a small cost, he can play with loads of indoor and outdoor toys once a week and then we get to take one toy home with us to borrow for a week. You could always arrange an informal toy swap with your friends.

    - I like my son (he's 21 months old) to have some 'musical time' each day too. This could be him banging his drum or having a go on our piano. Or we sing songs and dance together, sometimes to a kid's music cd.

    I hope you have fun trying out some of these ideas! In my experience, the more entertained and occupied a little one is the less they will get frustrated and throw a tantrum.

    Do let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes,

    Last edited by ljmarsden; 26th September 2012 at 08:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the insights! As for Ryden's schedule, usually she wakes up at around 7AM. The first thing she does is kiss me and say I love you. I teach her that, everyday. We stay on the bed for like 30 minutes, just hugging, cuddling and tickling her. I then prepare her breakfast. After eating, I let her play, around 1 hour play. Then I teach her the letters of the alphabet. Then Animals. She has books for it. After that she goes back to play, then I work. She sleeps at around 12nn and that would be for 3 hours. Sometimes we go for an afternoon walk but most of the time, we stay indoors. So now I understand why she easily gets bored and throws a tantrum.

    Thank you LJ and Mom2many for the great ideas, I know these are all helpful and I'm going to do all these.
    I know my daughter would love your suggestions! I'm excited to try all of these and see which one she likes most. One thing is for sure, she loves to dance! Everytime she hears some music, she just dance spontaneously! If I won't tell her to stop, she won't stop.

    I'll give you updates once we've tried all your fun and exciting suggestions!

  8. #8
    Hi Ryden's_Mum,

    Awww that sounds like a lovely way to start the day!

    Yes I think it would be good to have some dedicated music and dance time each day given that your daughter naturally enjoys moving to music. I hope you both have a great time trying out some of these activities and I'll be interested to hear which she enjoys the most.

    With best wishes,


  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Daily Schedule For A 1-1/2 Year Old

    Hi Ryden's_Mum,

    15 hours of sleep a day seems like a lot for a 1 1/2 year old, but it must be nice to be able to have her go to bed at 7PM, up at 7AM and taking a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day.

    I'm guessing she may move out of that 12 hours of sleep a night or she may shorten up her nap soon, so the schedule I'm going to suggest will be with a shorter sleep time.

    The schedule I propose below will give you 6 hours a day of free time where you can work, do chores, have quiet time or spend time with your husband. But it also gives you and your daughter a lot of structured time together and helps ensure you are both getting some good exercise each day.

    On top of this, my guess is that if you keep a schedule similar to this, your daughter will ask for milk bottles much less often (which is another healthy transition) because I think the milk bottles (every 2 hours) are a source of comfort for her and are also something that makes her feel good when she's bored. This type of schedule will definitely lessen the boredom, lessen the poor behavior and will also give you more bonding time with your daughter while ensuring that youre working on her ross and fine motor development.

    Something that you may find helpful would be to choose one letter, one color and another topic for each week. You might choose the animal "dog", the letter "D", and the color brown as your theme for a week. Then you could read books about dogs during your reading time, and print out a Dog coloring page with the letter "D" on it for her to color in brown like on this page:

    If she can't hold the large crayons yet, then you can do brown finger painting. She could also paste "Dots" on the letter D. Her small motor skills may not be developed enough for her to actually get the "dots" on the "D" but she can decorate the page with dots until she is older and her fine motor skills are more developed.

    Here's a great page that shows a 2 1/2 year old doing "D" projects. Again, you can gear these down to your 1 1/2 year old's age, but I wanted to give you some craft ideas and how this works really well.

    Biggest challenge for you… planning in advance, which you can do in just one hour a week. Just plan for the next week, gather the materials you need, and then when that week rolls around you'll be ready to go. An hour of planning will make the next week go much more smoothly.

    Sample Schedule for a 1 1/2 year old

    7:00-7:30 AM time with Mum in bed/read book
    7:30-8:00 AM - bathe/change/breakfast
    8:00-9:00 AM - Toy Time (1 hour of time for work, hubby or quiet time)
    9:00-9:30 - Coloring Time
    9:30-10:00 - Go for a walk or to the park (good exercise for you and Ryden)
    10:00-10:30 - Green Smoothie Snack (nutritious food for you and Ryden)
    10:30-10:45 AM - Finger Painting
    10:45-11:00 AM - Play Dough
    11:00-11:30 AM - Outside time or Music Time where she can move around and expend energy
    11:30-12:00 PM - TV Time so mum can make lunch
    12:00-12:30 - Lunch
    12:30 - 3:00 - Nap (2+ hours for work, bonding with hubby, quiet time for you)
    3:00-3:30 - Green Smoothie Snack
    3:30-4:00 - Outside Play
    4:00-5:00 - Craft Activity
    5:00-5:30 - Toy Time so mum can make dinner
    5:30-6:00 Dinner
    6:00-7:00 Free Play (TV Time, Dance to Music, Play with Toys) (time for mum to clean the kitchen)
    7:00-7:30 Get ready for bed/change/bathe/brush teeth
    7:30-7:45 Read a story
    7:45 Go to sleep

    8:00-10:00 - 3 hours of time for work, bonding time with hubby, quiet time for you

    Please post back and let us know how your first day on a schedule goes for you.

    Warm Regards,


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