Dealing with an Overly Affectionate Toddler

Outbursts of Affection in a 17 Months Old

Can babies love in abundance? While there’s no reason to question the integrity of their hugs and kisses, they may deprive others of their personal space. When it comes to a 17-month-old giving affection with respect, it’s important to know when to showcase love or hold back.

There aren’t many parents who question their toddler’s demonstration of love and affection. But at times, there are kids who embarrass their parents by their constant display of affection in public, encroaching on personal space and leaving behind many awkward moments. Here’s how to deal with such over-affectionate kids and show them the right way to love; gently yet firmly.

How to Handle Affection in Toddler

  • Teaching a 17-month-old About Personal Space is Essential

    A toddler will learn to give respect if he is respected. So, you can teach him by talking before touching, slowing down, and then touching gently again. Once he understands the importance of anticipating touch before being scooped up or put to sleep, your toddler will also learn to show love the right way and look forward to enjoying shared activities with more consideration and respect.

  • Keep Strangers from Touching Your Toddler

    It’s okay to make strangers understand that adoring your baby by touching him is a no-no. Even if you’re comfortable with the person who would like to fondle your baby, touch his cheeks, or run a hand across his head, see if your toddler feels comfortable first. In case his body language speaks otherwise, be sure to help him through the unwarranted situation.

  • Treat Toddlers with Respect

    While you need not ask your kid whether you may hug him, you’re respectful about not startling him or approaching him too swiftly- right? However with other children in the neighborhood, or your nieces and nephews, it’s safest to ask before proceeding with any kind of initial touch. This will encourage your kid to practice the same behaviour too. In other words, your affectionate hugger should get used to hearing, “Aunty wants to hug you, is it okay?”

  • Disallow Boundaries from Breaking in Large Family Gatherings

    You need to protect your toddler from older children, doting relatives, and over-affectionate people in large social gatherings. This is because your uncomfortable intervention may not be enough to disallow your child from being hugged, kissed, or jostled around. This exposure will make your little one behave in a similar way with you, his peers and other elders too.

  • Show Subtle Admiration for Respectful, Affectionate Acts

    A joyful “Awww!” is an soft-expected exclamation when moms see their toddlers fondly hugging or giving spontaneous kisses to peers. But then, to ensure that this toddler behaviour doesn’t become a performance for further appreciation, you have to be subtle and genuine in your choice of words. Saying, “It’s indeed kind of you to give your friend a hug,” will leave your kid pondering how amazed, proud or touched you are!

In a few words, to help an overly affectionate toddler to practice restraint, it’s essential for their parents and caregivers to behave in the same way too. Are you ready to transform your impulsive “kisser-boy” into a gentler one? Go for these tips right away!


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