Dealing with the Toddler’s Habit of Grabbing Things from Baby

When toddlers are provided with an authority over anything, they would be quick enough to use, or abuse, it. The most prominent example is regarding their habit of grabbing things from your 3-months old baby. You have every reason to dislike this attitude because it is bad not only for the baby but also for the toddler.

The matter is certainly not about the toys or candies which your toddler would grab from the baby. It’s more about the compulsive behavior that makes the older buy to grab everything which the baby holds. It also shows your older child’s unmet needs which you would need to address. Most probably, your toddler is struggling to prove his position in the family; and he does this grabbing to show that he has some authority over something.

But, you also need to understand that it’s not the sibling rivalry the grabbing habit can be related to. It can be a way which the toddler thinks right in order to interact with the younger one. Furthermore, the children do not always feel bad about getting something grabbed from them. Even if they do, it would be a way for them to learn something new about relationships and interaction. So, an intervention from the adult might not be necessary in this regard.

However, if the grabbing becomes persistent, a support from an adult may become necessary. So, if it is the case of sibling rivalry or toy envy, you can play a role to teach your older child some social interaction lessons by processing the emotions, and to ensure the little one that you are there for him.

Here is what you can do.

An interpretation can do the trick
While you 30-months old kid is grabbing things form the 3-months old, he isn’t really aware what effect the 3-months old would have. So, if you intervene and tell the older kid about grabbing using some appropriate wordings, it can help him to get some self-awareness.

At the same time, the younger kid wouldn’t really understand what you say but he will definitely get a feeling that you are there for him. Just make sure that you are empathetic for both of them. That would give them the confidence that they are being heard.

Do not force on sharing
As a parent, you would wish your children to share things between each other. It can only happen when they have good interaction among them. This interaction starts to develop when children feel secure in their ownership of things. So, if you are forcing a child to share his toy with the younger one, the development of a feeling of being secure and, ultimately, the interaction will be delayed.

Let the child with toy’s possession decide the duration of his turn
If you are asking the child to give the toy to the other child while he is not done playing with it, you are basically leaving him unfulfilled. It will eventually bring him into the grabbing mode. So, let the child play with the toy for as long as he wants.