I'm needing suggestions on how to get my 3 year old to stop spitting!

Everyday we have an issue where he's spitting on the floor, his tablet, toys, etc and I'm LOSING my mind! We've tried talking to him about it, time out, taking toys away, making him clean his spit up himself--nothing is working. If you've dealt with this please give me your suggestions so we can get past this stage!

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. I'm needing suggestions on how to get my 3 year old to stop spitting!

Stay consistent with making him clean it and don’t give any reaction. At all. It’s his way of getting the attention that he wants, I’m sure.


Every toy he spits on. Take it away. He doesnt get it back. Same with tablet. If he wont listen he doesnt get it.


Reward him for not spitting for a certain period of time.


Does he brush his teeth regularly? Get him an battery powered toothbrush.

It’s time to ignore it. Don’t give him any attention for it…


Does his dad chew tobacco? They mimic…

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Not allowed any more, but when mine spit I smacked them in the mouth full hand just had enough to hurt but not cause damage. It stopped after 1 or 2 smacks. I told them spitting was nasty and they deserved getting smacked for spitting. We did talk even when they got smacked because as a child I got beat and smacked with the admonition of, “Don’t do THAT again” and wasn’t ever told what THATwas so I talked with my kids so they knew what they did. My mother would yell at me when I talked with my kids that, “Talking never works, just smack them and say don’t do that again,” it worked for you kids.


It took my son over a year 1/2 to finally get over it. It’s a struggle but hang in there.
But I found out if not giving him attention for it, or yelling, getting mad about it, making him clean it up every single time, staying consistent finally worked.
I rewarded him candy or stickers if he didn’t spilt for a certain period of time.

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Set boundaries, it’s ok to spit but only outside. Next time you are walking outside remind him that if he needs to spit then it’s ok to do so.


I’m with Melissa Stipek
If he spits on it, takes it. And not for 30 mins. He’s 3 so 3-5 days. Show him how long on a calendar.
If he doesn’t spit, reward him. Especially with affection.
But stop letting him win. He can’t listen, he has consequences. Consequences only work if they “hurt”. Time out doesn’t work for all children. So, find the punishment/consequences that work for him. Think outside the box too.

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A few drops of vinegar in his mouth when he spits inappropriately. Only took 2 times to break my son of that habit at that age.


When ever my son wants to spit or pour water out I allow him to do it as much as he want in the bathroom sink. This has helped him stop all together but if he does start to spit I just tell him he needs to spit in the sink… sometimes telling them to stop completely doesn’t work, he’s learned how to spit and it’s fun and exciting, give him an appropriate place to spit


Tell him you will take the next thing away he spits on then do it.tell him he cant have it back for a week.add a day for everytime he spits on something else.kids are visual show him on the calender when he gets it back let him cross of the days.


Ismacked my kids on the mouth hard enough to make them listen and they stoped


Wash his mouth out with soap. He will stop


I’ve been ignoring this, it’s disgusting and also so offensives my girl is in this phase same age. She giggles and just acts like she doesn’t get it, but she makes silly faces so I know she does. I’ve explained that it can be very unsanitary and down right mean to spit, and when she does it I just ignore the crap out of it. She does it aaaaaa lootttt and right at me. I’ve even said okay I’m going to shower now baby I love you. At this point she has heard why it’s inappropriate behavior. She doesn’t do it to anyone else but In our home towards me :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:. Lol it’s rough, thinking of you. So far, it’s reduced it significantly because she knows I’m not laughing, playing or dealing with it.

Ignore it and redirect and maybe talk to him about why you don’t want him spitting . He’s 3 and doing it for a reaction just like everything toddlers do ! Praise him when he isn’t spitting tell him thank you for not spitting and give reward .

Water bottle… low mist!


Glad I never had to deal with this one! I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done!


Tap his mouth and keep making him clean it.


My son is 19 months old and is a spitter. It must be a stage. He drinks from his cup and spits it every time.

I’m going through the same with almost 4yr old daughter

Give him a spit cup. Let him know its gross to spit on things, but if he wants to he needs to spit in his cup or vial.

I’ve heard vials work better because they can see it.


Is he doing it as sensory thing? Does he chew things also can be linked to sensory issues x

My daughter spit on me once I wipes it off and put it back on her and she cried so I told her that’s how I felt. She didn’t do it again.


Time out for 3 minutes each time he spits. If he moves the 3 minutes starts again. Go super nanny on his butt!

This thread has been a whirlwind to say the least.

I’d break it down to figure out what is causing the reaction.

Is he upset or just doing it just because?

Is he reacting to certain things?

Is it a sensory issue?

Does he verbally communicate?

What things have you tried to break this habit?

We have a comfy corner where we take breaks. He can choose to read a book, or we can communicate our frustrations. I don’t take toys, or hurt my child out of my own frustrations.

Maybe he’s looking for attention and as always, negative attention is still attention.

Maybe offer some different activities. He could be bored and acting out from that.


Give him something to spit in

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At this age, if nothing else works, try ignoring it a week. They’ll likely stop within a few days, week max. If they realize they get no attention for it, they’ll stop.


Does dad or someone hes close to do it? Cuz that might be where it was learned from …

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My son spits and he is 9. He’s pretty good about spitting in a trash can, sink, outside. But his is always triggered- like if he sees something gross, or if a fly landed on his food. He feels like it got in his mouth or something and he had to spit to get rid of the sensation. Just a thought before you go flicking your kid in the mouth… there may be an underlying trigger.

Spitting and swearing…take a tiny bit of powdered alum, it is NOT POISON and is concidered a type of spice you use in food, but has bitter taste. Try it 1st yourself because it’s awful taste. I did this 1x to my kids and after 1x all I had to do is pull out the bottle…lol


Please, before you flick your kid our do anything else extreme, find out if it’s a sensory thing. He could be producing a lot of saliva as well.


Old fashion butt whoopen will stop that

All is good but I fine put why then if nothing its wrong I would tell him it’s nasty an he would have get his mouth wash out hand & face I’m old school if it a king out

Drop or two of Hot sauce I bet he’d stop, my dads friend did this to his son and it worked like a charm

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Just be consistent, whatever you decide to do.

I think we let ours spit in our backyard only. Gave him a place and time to practice his new (although not that great lol) skill. He’d get in trouble (can’t remember the consequences) if he did it inside. Sometimes kids just do things because they can- if it isn’t harmful, letting them do it in a controlled space is healthy. Gives them control, within boundaries.

Good luck!


My daughter will be 3 in January and I literally am going through the same thing nothing works and I’m constantly repeating “stop spitting on this or that and even her hands” :woman_facepalming:t3: I tried the ignoring it and they will stop method yeah didn’t work. I’m at a loss so just here to say you are not alone cuz I’m secretly going crazy over here

I wipe my sons mouth really good with a wet towel every time. He stopped.


Have you tried ignoring him? I have 6 kiddos and the quickest way for me to resolve this type of issue is ignore it. He is looking for a reaction (good or bad) and you are giving it to him. If you ignore it he will get bored I promise (it’s a gross habit I agree)


My mom did that on her foster mom and her f-mom hocked a loogie and spit it right back in her face. Since then she stopped and was quite tough on me about it. I don’t do it now just from that story lol


Does dad or someone chew or spit a lot?


Following for my two year old

My grandson will be 3 on the 20th of Dec and he’s doing this all the time it drives me nuts

Aha…children are a joy :joy:
Honestly…the more fuss you make the more he will do it. Its a new skill…yes its disgusting lol…and it will pass soon enough if you can just ignore it.

Easy! Give him a cup and make him spit in it for 15 minutes. Do this every time he does it. Also start taking things away! That is a very nasty disrespectful habit and you need to nip it in the bud

For those that have suggested hot sauce, WTF is wrong with you??:rage:


Mine watches his dad spit all the time. And started copying. Couldn’t make the son stop because his dad still does it. But finally got him doing it only outside or in the trash can. He did spit in my face once. But one pop to the bottom and he hasn’t done it again.

I’m in the same boat with my almost 3yr old. I’m following this thread for ideas

My 2 year old had started spitting, and I would tell him “That’s yucky and mommy is going to move over here because I don’t want spit on me” and I’d leave the place I was sitting/standing, or “That’s yucky, mommy isn’t playing the game with you until you stop spitting”. He doesn’t do it anymore.

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My 3 year old does this too, and if we get mad about it then he NEVER STOPS. The only way to get it to stop is by not giving him a reaction.

My son did this for 2 years. His pre k teacher was fed up and taught him if he wants to spit, spit on himself (down his own shirt) :rage: We tried EVERYTHING. Eventually he was diagnosed with adhd and “high functioning” autism. He had a combination of being too smart for his own good, learned behaviors (from our reactions), and his own processing. What worked best, is patience/calm redirection in a quiet, slow speakong monotone voice/ and consistent reinforcement with natural consequences. You may wish to create a positive rewards sticker chart. So he gets a sticker in morning and pm if he does not spit. If he earns 10/14 stickers in a week, he can pick a prize… each successful week, up the amount…11/14, 12/14


A good spanking on the behind


No hot sauce that’s just cruel


Ignore him when he does it. He looking and feeding off your response. It’s attention seeking behavior, good or bad, he gets attention. My grandson does this.

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Pop him in a corner, nose on the wall every time he decides to Spit, Consequences will stop this behavior.


You just have to keep reminding him he is not to do that. In a stern voice. He’ll eventually get it.


I just told them they could only spit outside, the trash or toilet. If they felt they had to spit then go to one of those places. It seemed to work out. I even put a tiny trash bins in their rooms

My 3 year old son was doing this for a few months. Instead of telling him he couldn’t spit, I told him where it was appropriate to spit (tissue, sink, trash can, outside, etc). I thanked him each time he spit in an appropriate spot and reminded him each time he spit elsewhere. It worked for him.

Ignore. Redirect.

Perhaps having him “clean” up his spit will help him realize the behaviour isn’t worth the consequence.

Ya’ll out here with medieval parenting techniques… :flushed: if your adult ass can’t regulate your emotions… what the hell makes you think a toddler should be able to? :woman_facepalming:t3:

I’ve had kids in my class that would spit. I would take them to the washroom and tell them if they need to spit it goes in the toilet.

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Pop him in the mouth.


When discipline was used the child got smacked in the mouth and his mouth got washed out with soap. No second do overs you learned not to spit immediately


My daughter used to do this. I got fed up telling her off, so every time she spat I just said ‘bless you’ as if she was sneezing, she soon got fed up that it wasn’t getting the right attention x

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Draw a circle and make him spit in it until he can’t spit anymore


Ignore him…no cookies. Etc.zlk day alk week til he stoos.no desserts icecream etc…reg meal done and ignore…til he stops he likes your [email protected]

Currently battling this with my 2yr old. If I ignore her she quits sooner but its hard and so frustrating! She even fills her mouth with whatever she is drinking and spits it all over my bed :tired_face::woman_facepalming:t2:

Tell him if he doesn’t spit he will get a treat by a packet of chocolate buttons and every half hour give him a button or two . Bribery goes along way with kids

My son just turned 18 he still chews on everything!

I don’t wanna be the one to say it … but pop out flick him in the mouth when he does it. Like not to hurt him but mostly to shock him.