View Full Version : fussy 18 month old
08-25-2006, 09:13 PM
I need some advise on how to keep patience on dealing with a fussy toddler. My little one is almost never satisified. She makes everything so complicated - nothing can ever be easy. She whines, fusses, throws tantrums, and spends very little time self entertaining. On top of it all she only naps about 1 hour during the day. I am a sahm, so it is not enough of a break after listening to the whining all morning. I just started mommy's morning out at the church and she cried almost the entire time. I picked her up and she was asleep from crying. I felt terrible. I easily get frustrated and then feel guilty. I told my mother I do not know what to do, that only God can help me and her. I am so emotionally tired. I need some help on how to deal with her. She has been this way since she was 8 weeks old. It is better now that we can communicate some. She just seems so unhappy compared to other toddlers her age. I would love any advise and lots of prayers.
08-26-2006, 12:55 PM
Hi Rylees Mom! Welcome to C-Moms!! :wink:
I,m Jamie & I have a 19-month old daughter named Sam, so they are pretty close in age! :P
Usually if Sam is realllly fussy that means she is tired from not enough sleep or not a long enough nap. We have to wake her in the morning to take her go my MIL's and sometimes she's fussy and cries for no reason and seems to be that she's just tired.
How long does your daughter sleep at night?
Do you usually wake her up from her naps?
08-26-2006, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.
As for her sleeping, she sleeps 11 hours at night and her naps are not very good. They never have been. I mean NEVER! She naps about 1 hour. Every know and then I get lucky and she'll take 2 hrs. So, yes she is tired a lot. I know it sounds crazy but when she happens to sleep 12 at night, it makes the biggest difference. I do know that has and is a big part of the problem. I don't know how to get her to sleep longer. She goes to sleep on her own.
I would not say it's a stage because she has always been this way. very high maintenace. I can't feel any teeth, but it could be. and yes on the lack of sleep. I'll definately take the diet thing into consideration, she has a pretty bad diet. Good with fruits but only 1 veggie. She sleeps good at night it's mostly just short naps. So I'm going to try to watch what I give her to eat, especially in the evenings.
09-06-2006, 12:10 PM
What time does she go to bed? It seems that our little one does better with an earlier bedtime (almost 1 yr--about 7pm). You may have heard it already, but sometimes they get too tired to sleep well at night, and then that affects the next days sleep. Sounds like it might be sleep related, and it could just be temperament, too. Hope things get better for you!
09-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Just hang in there, knowing this shall pass. Put her to bed earlier in the evenings if she's not taking a good nap during the day and/or still wakes up cranky. Make sure she's eating well...as in, no junk. Watch the sugars, dyes and hydrogenated oils. Those can all make a child 'loopy' as we call it around here. Making them 'act up' during the day and not sleep as well at night. Mine will not sleep as soundly when they have A cookie or scoop of ice cream within 1hr before bed. It doesn't take much to set mine off, no matter their age. So, pay attention to what she's eating to try to curb the 'attacks' before they happen.
When they do happen...do your best to stay calm. Do not react. You want to respond deliberately. If she's screaming, talk to her calmly, telling her you cannot understand and therefore cannot help until she settles down and talks to you nicely. Of course, depending on her verbal skills, this may mean a lot more mom talk than kid talk. But anyway, you get the idea..to TALK with her to help her figure out what's wrong. Give her the words to express herself. Even kids with good vocab skills have trouble at times finding the right words to express their current feelings.
If you're too stressed to deal with her calmly, put her in her room/bed and tell her she needs to settle down. That mommy can't deal with her right now because mommy is stressed/upset too. So, she is going to go to her room for a while, while momma goes to her room to regroup too. Then after a few minutes of you in the other room, praying and otherwise regrouping, go back to get her.
As for when you're out...stop whatever you're doing and deal with the situation. If she's throwing tantrums, you need to come up with a consequence for the behavior. And stick to it. That may mean a swat to the behind, or that may mean a trip to the car and sitting quietly for X period of time. Whatever. Just come up with a consequence for the undesired behavior and use it each and every time. You slip once, it loses it's effect
With whining..don't answer. Say "I can't hear you." Tell her if she wants to talk to you she must use a 'big girl' voice. No whining allowed. But as long as she is whining, do not answer her 'request'.
Tara had some really good advice. I would just like to add a few things to that.
Really stay on top of her diet. Anything too sugary will through her sleep off. Try to provide food first (There are lots of "fun" foods that are healthy: macaroni and cheese, yogurt-covered raisins, peanut butter and crackers, cheese slices (try cookie cutter shapes), sandwiches, banana pudding, jello) After she has gotten mostly full, then offer a drink. (My dd used to fill up on milk at that age and wouldn't eat that much food.) I don't know if you do this or not. But, I am a firm believer that juices are not that great for kids. I have a friend that only gives her one-year old daughter juice and has since she stopped breastfeeding. [cringes] Milk and water are best. :)
When she throws a temper-tantrum or is whining, simply say, "When you can talk to mommy in a big girl voice, then I will speak to you." (I've read that if you say "if...then" then it makes your child take what you are saying negatively. It is best to say "when" instead because they know that this will happen after... KWIM?) If you know she is feeling a certain way (ie: sleepy, angry, sad), it is always good to say something like, "I understand that you are feeling___." Children at that age often cannot express their feelings in their own words. And it is okay to take a "mommy time-out" when you need one!! :shock: We all have to and you can tell your dd that you are going to do just that.
Other than that - consistency, consistency, consistency. Tara mentioned all the good points. I just wanted to elaborate. :wink:
Oh! And please make sure you are taking time for yourself too. It sounds like you are really stressed out. Do something relaxing that you enjoy for at least 30 minutes each day. (ie: take a walk, take a bath, read a magazine, scrapbook, read your Bible)
Good luck! This won't last forever. One of these days, you will look back and wonder where the time went. :D
09-06-2006, 02:34 PM
Since you already have a lot of good advice on here I will just add one thing, my daughter goes to bed at 6-6:30 :shock: I find that usually my kids won't sleep in any later but if I put them to bed earlier they still wake at the same time as usual... if I put them to be later they wake up at the same time as usual as well! So I find that to get a good night sleep a earlier bed time is necesarry... then they wake up happy.... I wake up happier too because it gives me a few hours without them in the evening.
You're a sahm? So what kind of schedule does she have? Some children (mine for example) must and has always had to have a set schedule...If you're a morning person or are willing to become one, I would definately wake her up earlier and stimilate her little mind with activities of some sort..I would avoid the tv as much as possible and as mentioned stay on top of her diet...you may even find that there's a trigger food (mine is anything with red dye 40 )...Just an example here but say ~
7 am - wake up,get dressed have breakfast, help cleanup
8am-10am - active play time
If she's stimulated enough, she might even take a nap around 10ish :wink:
Then she'd be up and changed and ready for lunch
More active stimulation, wide body movement indoor or outdoor works best, then she might go down for a short afternoon nap
After nap should be a healthy snack and some quiet time like reading books or stacking blocks...nothing really active a few hours leading up to bedtime...after dinner is bath and bed
If you haven't tried it, there's several companies putting out lavendar baby bath now - works like a charm even for toddlers...
I scheduled my daughter and all the babies and toddlers I've taught in childcare over the years...It really helps to have a set routine for "fussy" babies..
I hope this helps...It sounds like if her bedtime is tweaked a bit and her day starts early, that she might not be so demanding of your patience...you'll have the energy to stimulate her and enough quiet time to have some "mommy time"
Well it looks like the ladies have given lots of good suggestions! :D I find w/my 17mo ds that sleep is VERY important!! He get about 10-11 hours a night and then gets 2 good (1-2 hour) naps a day. If he misses the second nap, he is a devil! :twisted:
And I agree with the diet suggestions. Ds gets no sugar after 6 in the evening. We just can't do it, he's too wound up to go to sleep. Fruits and veggies are a very important part of their diet at this stage. I find myself that I give up after one or two tries at a new food. I read somewhere that it can take up to 20 tries to get kids this age to try a new food! :shock: Just keep offering it, and try not to give the drink first. Both my ds's will fill up on drink before food. Their like camels!!! :wink:
Good luck and I'll be praying for you! Keep us informed on how she's doing.
09-06-2006, 06:46 PM
My dd is 18 months old and I find when she is at her worst is when she is bored. So I try to do activities with her / give her something to do. That seems to prevent the negative behaviour. Also when my dd has a tantrum I leave the room, I guess I don't believe in negative behaviour getting an audience.
I would recommend if you are a SAHM to make sure you stick with the new mommies group to get support through trying times like this so you don't get too frustrated.
09-19-2006, 03:54 PM
Hi Rylees Mom,
Just wondering how things are going with your dd? I also get easily frustrated too, I'll try to take my dd out and then if she acts out then I'm like, is this really worth it?
I hope things are going better with her. As much work as it was to go out with her to various playgroups it was worth it as it allowed me to ge tout of the house and give my dd and me a change of scenery.
my 18 mo. old has been very fussy the last few weeks, well last night I noticed he has 4 teeth coming in. :shock:
maybe she's like my middle child - just needs a lot of fresh air!! try it.
09-20-2006, 10:46 AM
When mine was that age I would put himin his bed and told him when he was in a better mood he could get up and after a while he learned, but that is a very difficult age. It will get better.
09-20-2006, 11:26 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. It helps to know I am not alone. She is doing better. The past two days she has napped very well, which helps out tremendously. I have tried watching what she eats and it seems to have helped some. I still see no teeth though. She does best when she is entertained. But I can't constantly entertain her. She is getting a little better on self-entertaining. Only a little! I'll keep everyone posted.
09-20-2006, 08:26 PM
I agree with many of the suggestions here. I would agree with the diet. Very important! I also have a daughter who doesn't like naps but something that helps is having her on a good diet and physical activity so that way is tried and wants to sleep. :wink:
09-26-2006, 09:36 AM
I'm so glad to hear that she is doing much better these days! PTL! :wink: