Baby Hints & Tips

Gentle techniques to discourage baby pinching

Community question: How do I stop baby pinching?

My 4 and a half month old has been pinching for a while now, what gentle techniques have you used to stop your baby pinching?

how do I stop baby pinching

Say no when baby pinches

  • I tell my 5 month old no and I undo the pinch then I stroke his arm and say gentle. Crystal
  • My now 11 month old loved pinching peoples faces we would just say no and grab his hands and rub them on our cheeks and say gentle, good boy Nate, gentle and smile and when he refused to and kept pinching we would refuse to play with him until he stopped. Hardly ever have an issue now Stayc
  • My LO started around 5 months pinching. I gently released her fingers while saying ‘we use gentle hands when touching mummy/daddy’. I can now say ‘gentle hands’ and immediately will release the pinch & the pinches are now few & far between. She’s 8 months now & has probably been responding in this way for about 6-8 weeks. Michelle
  • My 4 month old pinches and keeps holds on occasionally and I find saying no and gently prying his fingers off helps. Maybe give bub something to grab or pinch instead? Tegan
  • I had the same issue with bubs and it hurts, he would also scratch. Thankfully he has outgrown it. I would say no and turn my face away from his, then say gentle while rubbing the palm of his hand wherever he pinched. Also keeping his nails short seemed to help. I really do think he just out grew it though. Michele
  • My little one does it, not as often now but at about the same age it was really bad. I just tried to ignore it but if it was really bad or really hurt my I would grab her hand gently and say no darling that hurts mummy. I know they can’t really understand what that means but it seemed to work to not give her the big reaction and she’s moved on to something else. I do the same with hair pulling just distract her and grab her hand gently and hold it in my hand. With the hair pulling thing I don’t let her do it as a game, which you would be surprised how many people let her pull it as a game. That’s way to confusing for them Rhianna

Hold baby’s hand when they pinch

  • My son used to pinch but I just held his hand as he usually did it while feeding. He doesn’t pinch anymore, just feels around for a hand to hold onto. It’s also encouraged him to start putting his hands to good use like holding his bottle Doey

Baby will outgrow pinching you

  • They will grow out of it, you need to find the trigger as more or less it’s frustration of some sort. Simone
  • At 4 months she wouldn’t be pinching on purpose, probably more of a sensory development thing. I just try and avoid my 4 month old little hands venturing near my tuck shop arms!! Emma
  • At 4 1/2 ? Months it is more of a reflex than anything … time will solve the issue. Just gently remove their hands every time. Kyra

Give baby something to hold to avoid them pinching

  • They have this new body part that works and they have no idea what they are doing with it. I just find having something there for them to hold, grab or placing something in their hands works. If be seriously worried if someone pinched a 4 month old back… Maryellen

Do not react when baby pinches

  • Completely ignore the pinching and tell others to do the same. With no reaction, positive or negative, there is no behavioural reinforcement of the action. Wendy

More tips for 4 month old babies

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