19mo will not stop fucking whining. Please tell me it's just a phase.

(25 Posts)
likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 18:31:46

All day. All the livelong day. Regardless of anything. The tiniest things lead to desperate wailing, or screams of indignation, or constant whingeing. It is so, so draining. I'm trying very hard to not respond irritably because whatever's going on I'm sure that won't help, but god. It's hard. I wish he'd stop. He grumbled non-stop as a newborn right up til he could crawl. I can't cope with months like that again.

Is this normal? Is it some developmental thing? How do I not throw either of us through the window?

SandyChick Fri 22-Nov-13 18:37:50

I could have written this post hmm

Marking my place until someone comes along with some helpful advice.

ThreeBecameFour Fri 22-Nov-13 18:43:37

marking my place too....have a dd 2.5 being exactly the same...

MolotovCocktail Fri 22-Nov-13 18:49:24

Is he speaking yet? Are you able at second-guessing his wanfs/needs? He could be feeling frustrated; you might not be 'getting' what he's after.

What's his sleep routine like?

Aside from this, what's your relationship with him like? What's a typical day like?

And if nothing else, remember the MN Mantra that 'this too, shall pass'.

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 19:03:01

Ugh. There are lots of us. Not sure whether to be relieved or horrified!

He speaks really, really well (I hope that doesn't read as a smuggo boast - he hit more or less every milestone bang on unexceptional average, but his talking has boomed rapidly and he mostly does 3-4 word sentences and seems to know the word for everything). It doesn't ever feel that there's enough time for it to be a misunderstanding thing, it's just random instantaneous fury. There's a bit of a sep anxiety thing too - he's started screeching whenever I leave the room (to go elsewhere within the home), which has been fine since he was about 11mo.

His sleep is bad, but currently better than it's ever been: he bfs to sleep 6ish, wakes to feed briefly every 2-3 hours through the night, up for the day 6/7ish. He mostly naps for an hour or so at nursery.

Atm I've been trying to humour him, which has slowed us down dramatically in the mornings and we don't manage to leave home til about 9. (I'd prefer to leave closer to 8, ideally; I've been flexible in the hope that this is a short-term thing, but now I'm wondering if it would be better to just be more ruthless, get ready quickly regardless of how upset he gets, and hope that the more structured start helps. But I'm really not sure.) He's mostly OK saying goodbye at nursery - sometimes smiles me off, sometimes briefly protests, but only v occasionally cries.

I collect him from nursery at about 4, he tends to come out happy and cheerful, has a long bf. If it's a good day, getting dinner takes little time and only a bit of grumbling, then we eat, play a bit, bath and bed. If it's a bad day, sorting dinner takes ages and then he just wants to sit in my lap bfing throughout anyway, and sometimes he'll unexpectedly crash out on the boob at 5.30. On the whole evenings are far less stressful than mornings, or weekend daytimes.

I feel that he's often easily bored. But I can't do anything interesting with him or go out or whatever if I can't have fifteen minutes to get washed and dressed first. sad In the mornings, he wants me to sit and bf him every twenty mins. I don't know whether to go with this in the hope of reassuring him so he stops doing it, or whether to be v firm and refuse.

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 19:07:23

I know it has not always been like this - we used to leave home at 8o'c without anything else being different, and I'm aware he's moved in and out of phases of wanting constant bf. So in that sense I'm sure it must be temporary. But I can't work out if things are going up and down or if it's trended downwards, if that makes sense - are we just going backwards.

He's really not being at all unreasonable - I wish it didn't push my buttons so powerfully. I think a lot of it is from those unrelenting months with a small baby who just was never, ever content.

SandyChick Fri 22-Nov-13 19:47:45

My ds talks really well too. He can make himself understood quite clearly which is often the problem. As when it's time to walk to school he wants to go in the car etc. He's not having full blown temper tantrums yet but lots of whining, crying, and saying 'no'.

He sleeps fine. 12 hours at night hand an hour - 1.5 hours at lunch time. Eats well etc.

He's that toddler in the restaurant who is causing a scene!!! He knows what he wants and is not happy when he cant have his own way but he's still too little to understand or discipline.

We tend to go through a few weeks/months of grumpiness then he's happy for a while then back to grumpy.

He's very clingy too but he's with me 24/7 so understandable. He's actually fine with grandparent but doesn't want Dh as all only mammy.

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 19:56:56

Sandy, is his clinginess a recently amped-up thing, or has it been pretty constant? My DS has always tended towards clinginess (he's only been in nursery for 3mths, although that happened way more easily than I'd anticipated) but it's so pronounced atm. I used to be able to walk to the bathroom and he'd either let me go or follow me, but now he just shrieks and sobs. If I pre-empt that by picking him up to take him, he insists desperately on bfing. It's like he just needs me to sit there constantly being endlessly available. sad But I need to do things, too.
I think I am still being available whilst doing them - I'm watching, and listening, and chatting, and trying to involve him as best I can. But I do need to get washed. And all the while I can feel my frustration and fury rising, and I'm guessing he can too, which just compounds everything.

And yes, actually, what you say is true here too - it's very much that DS is able to voice his dissent so clearly that often creates the problem - I feel that I'm forever declining persistent and clearly-made requests. Put like that I think this is never ever ever going to end.

SandyChick Fri 22-Nov-13 20:08:37

Definitely always been clingy. I still can't go to loo without him crying after me. He sits on bottom step and whines. I've started to be a bit more assertive with him as I've been pandering to him too much without realising or maybe just for an easy life!!

It doesn't matter what i say or do most of the time at the minute as he always wants to do the opposite. Distracting him or trying to make getting ready to go out a game etc just doesn't work with him.

LowLevelWhinging Fri 22-Nov-13 20:16:24

^

Can I just point to my name and can you guess how I thought of it? smile

On my third child and it's no different from my first. Like your DS, my 18mo DD needs constant entertaining and I hand on heart feel that nursery entertains and stimulates her a million times better than I can.

And the rest of the time?

this too shall pass this too shall pass this too shall pass this too shall pass

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 20:32:15

So what do you do, lowlevelwhinging (excellent name!)? Do you give in to it - sorry, that's poorly phrased, I don't think it's manipulative behaviour - or do you try to discourage her?

Sandy - yes again! Mine's impossible to distract, too. So single-minded. He knows what he wants and it's definitely not any of his mother's half-baked suggestions. grin

MolotovCocktail Fri 22-Nov-13 20:32:38

My dd2 has just turned 19mo and I've noticed that she is more clingy at the moment. I think I am usually her favorite person wink and it is more pronounced at the moment so I gather from other responses that, at approximately 19mo, this is a developmwntalt thing.

OP, I think that your ds may be feeling some exacerbated version of separation anxiety. I think this because from what ypu describe, I infer that he uses long bf as a way of saying close or literally 'attached' to you. Nursery is relatively new to him, so that fits.

He seems an intelligent baby who is utilising demanding behaviours to shape your responses. But this is wearing you out, so clearly, something needs to change.

I think he needs to sleep through the night by this age. I mean, I assume he's fully weaned and therefore should not be waking for milk in the night? Evidently, it's the emotional attachment he's waking for.

Other than this, I'm not sure what to suggest, other than you need to reassess his sleep/feed cycle.

MolotovCocktail Fri 22-Nov-13 20:38:00

* developmental blush

My dd2 wakes at approx 7am; sleeps from approx 11am-1pm; goes down for the night by 8pm. Has one milk feed (whole cow's milk) before bed - about 6oz.

Hth x

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 20:40:46

I'm kinda reluctant to stop allowing him that emotional attachment, though - esp right now, because as you say nursery is still quite new to him, plus he's possibly doing some v normal 19mo developmental thing.

He's shifted gradually from feeding every hour, to feeding every two, to feeding every 2-3 hours through the night, so I feel fairly confident he'll continue to progress slowly - he is, after all, no longer needing milk to transition from every sleep cycle to the next, and sometimes he doesn't nurse at all, just cuddles to sleep.

Otoh, I am possibly more inclined to refuse to bf a wide-awake child who only came off the boob 5 mins earlier. But I can't really work out whether it's better to be firm about that or better to just give in for now. confused

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 22-Nov-13 20:45:43

"developmwntalt" looks Welsh or something! grin

MolotovCocktail Fri 22-Nov-13 21:09:43

Well, you can only do what you feel is right. Best of luck x

likelytoasksillyquestions Sat 23-Nov-13 04:38:47

Thanks smile

munchkinmaster Sat 23-Nov-13 05:36:07

At 18 months we have recently given up (initially day time ) breast feeding because of the whining issue. I totally get that in your situation your child is seeking reassurance and it may be the time to stop. For me, dd really liked to feed but could not understand why she couldn't do it all the time. I know other people might have let her but I just couldn't see her get so upset and knew there was no way she could understand why this was allowed sometimes but not others. Now she cuddles and sucks her dummy after nursery and we are both much happier. that blue fecker iggle piggle was a good distraction early on

she is still a massive whiner I am trying to know the difference between really needing me and having a tantrum and ignoring these. Morning are worse. I'm a bit shit and she has her dummy a lot at the mo (don't tell her dad).

munchkinmaster Sat 23-Nov-13 05:37:12

May not be the time to stop.

Forgot to ask is it just you and ds at home?

likelytoasksillyquestions Sun 24-Nov-13 15:21:29

Thanks munchkin. I think that's exactly it, not understanding why he can't feed alllllll the time. I wonder how long I would have to wait for him to understand that a bit - or perhaps I need to work out some hard rules as to when he can or when he can't, then maybe he could understand that. Or maybe I need to move from demand-nursing to some sort of schedule. The morning is esp tricky in that regard - most of the time until v recently I've been able to say "no milk now, mummy needs to [make dinner, get dressed, whatever] and then you can have milk", but in the morning - the best I can try is distract-distract-distract, because once we're up ideally I don't want to nurse again til after nursery and that's much too far ahead for him to even understand. Hmm.

You are also v right about needing to try to distinguish between needing me and having a tantrum, which I don't find v easy atm! I am reassured that mornings are not easy for you either, although obv I don't really mean I am happy your mornings are hard iyswim.

Interestingly we have just had a really easy weekend - I went at his pace (although not always with his demands, and we've def had a few angry protests about various things!) and it was much nicer for both of us. I wonder whether any of that having-needs-met stuff can get stored up to keep him going through the week, or if it only lasts as long as it's happening... I might experiment with a much more rigid up-dressed-breakfasted-and-out morning regime, too. If it does make everything worse at least I have the flexibility to switch back.

Yes, it is just him and me at home. In some moment of pre-motherhood insanity I actually thought this was a reasonable idea... grin

MiaowTheCat Mon 25-Nov-13 09:03:43

Mine is doing my head in atm. Think she's got her final molars coming through as well as her missing "fang" teeth but I can't find out for sure since when I tried to check she just bloody bit me! Also going through the transporting every single item out of her toy box and handing them to me expecting me to say thank you and hold onto all of them phase which is getting wearing to say the least (grannie got a right royal tantrum the other day for not being able to hold the contents of her entire basket of play fruit in her hands at once).

likelytoasksillyquestions Mon 25-Nov-13 13:09:33

Not sure if this will be consolation or infuriating, but that does sound v sweet (from the perspective of the person who's not currently having to do it a million times a day, of course!)

I guess maybe some of DS's "annoying" things would sound v charming to the uninitiated too - pause for thought here. smile

I think we're teething-free atm (best sleep in over a year this week!!!) - maybe DS just doesn't know what to do with himself...

munchkinmaster Mon 25-Nov-13 21:12:50

All sounds so familiar. The absoloute certainty in there head of what NEEDS to happen combined with the complete inability to tell you what.

have to say we stopped nursing all together as no longer felt like it was helpful. Just kind of happened - couple of rushed mornings with no time after months of agonising over it.

Keznel Mon 25-Nov-13 21:37:37

I too have a constantly whinging 19month old DD. She doesn't talk well so I assumed this was her only form of communication, but yeah draining is an understatement she whines at literally everything. She too is stuck to me like a plaster constantly, it's me & my shadow at the moment I can't remember the last time I peed alone. The clingyness is new for her as she was previously a daddy's girl! Funny how they are all around the same age maybe it is a developmental thing good to know I'm not alone in this. DD sleeps & eats well. So I'm at a loss to explain it, other than just another phase........

likelytoasksillyquestions Tue 26-Nov-13 08:21:46

It is officially normal 19mo behaviour and none of us have broken our child through parental inadequacy.

<relief>

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