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I don’t know how to keep my daughter entertained

(28 Posts)
Rainbowsomewhere Mon 21-Oct-19 09:00:55

She’s 16 months. Screams half the day. I don’t know how to keep her entertained. She’s always been really really hard work right from the start. She’s so active and doesn’t stop for one second.

It goes without saying, I love her so much. But I’m considering putting her into nursery full time as I don’t know how to cope with her behaviour.

Is it just this hard or is there something wrong with me or my daughter?

She’s currently screeching in the kitchen and I’m sat in the living room because I can’t take it anymore.

tumbleisatwat Mon 21-Oct-19 09:04:37

Teething? Calpol?

If not, get out of the house. Toddler groups, park etc

TheBitchOfTheVicar Mon 21-Oct-19 14:41:11


I used to spend a LOT of time outside the house - browsing the shops, soft play, at friends' houses. I always found it easier with some adult company.

Kittykat93 Mon 21-Oct-19 14:42:14

I feel like this sometimes and my son is nearly 2.the only option for us is getting out the house every single day, usually twice.

P1nkHeartLovesCake Mon 21-Oct-19 14:48:59

What do you actually do with her?

Do you have a local library? Lots do toddler groups and you can take her to get books every couple of weeks

Soft play?

Home baking? Bread, scones, Rice Krispie cakes are good for that age

Hand/feet painting?

Play fools/trains whatever with her

Go out for lunch?

Go and see grandparents? Or a friend with dc.

Park for a run around or out in the garden if you have one? Even in light rain it’s fine, with a raincoat and wellies.

Sounds like your child is bored to be honest, see needs activities. You need to plan the days so you’ve got stuff going on

SoyDora Mon 21-Oct-19 14:51:16

Echo the above, we stayed out of the house as much as possible. Activity in the morning (toddler group/seeing friends etc), home for lunch and a nap then out in the fresh air in the afternoon (walk/park/puddle jumping etc). It’s the only way to stay sane!

AthollPlace Mon 21-Oct-19 14:53:07

Surely at 16 months she’ll potter round with whatever toys are out? Mine is a couple of months older and has spent the last half hour going round the floor with a brush. Before that he was pushing a bus along the back of the sofa and exploring the contents of the tupperware drawer.

NaiceHamPlease Mon 21-Oct-19 14:54:25

DS is slightly older but was just the same. Also constantly on the go, usually climbing up everything. He's nearly two now and will happily play on his own for short amount of time or watch a few episodes of Hey Duggee.
I survived 12 to 18 months by being out with him constantly, walks, groups, shops, swimming, rides on the bus, anything just out and about. We still do loads now but can have a morning or afternoon at home if we need.
He has started nursery to days a week too, he still isn't keen on me leaving him in the mornings but enjoys his days there and it's been a absolute sanity saver for me!

Rainbowsomewhere Mon 21-Oct-19 14:55:43

It was a difficult morning writing that I’m feeling a little better now. We definitely don’t stay inside all day. Been to soft play this morning and for a walk in the woods after naptime and lunch.

There’s no way I could stay indoors all day with her and I don’t. She’s just always been very highly strung and active which is great as she’s doing well but it’s exhausting. My friends babies/ toddler are so much more relaxed.

Just feel like I’m letting her down a bit but I’m sure it’s just another phase I have to work through.

parietal Mon 21-Oct-19 14:56:22

make a list of activities she does without screaming. do those more.

e.g. if she doesn't scream in the bath, let her have a bath for 30 mins the middle of the day.

And talk to her a lot. it is hard work, but at this age, babies are working hard to learn words so the more you talk, the more she can learn to express herself without the screams.

Rainbowsomewhere Mon 21-Oct-19 14:56:38

Surely at 16 months she’ll potter round with whatever toys are out?

Haha no way. She’s never done this! Don’t see it happening any time soon.

ThursdayLastWeek Mon 21-Oct-19 14:56:55

No shame in putting her in nursery for a day or two if you can afford it!

The days are loooooong when they’re little and it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
My second child went to nursery a day a week from approx a year old, simply because his sleep was so bad. I felt like I saw him every hour of every day. So I outsourced for my sanity!

Rainbowsomewhere Mon 21-Oct-19 15:01:28

She does 3 days a week at nursery as I work part time. She loves nursery. smile

I just feel like I want to make the most of our 2 days a week together but I find it really hard.

Drabarni Mon 21-Oct-19 15:03:13

Just play with her, sit her down with toys. She may only last a couple of minutes to begin with, but the more you do it the more she will settle.
I do this with my gd, only just turned one but she can manage a few minutes already and once they like something they'll sit for ages.

BurnerPhone Mon 21-Oct-19 15:19:50

Oh OP I feel you, toddlers are hard work! Mine is 2.5yrs and he's very active and has the attention span of a gnat. Trying to nice crafty things or baking with him is just torturous at the minute as he wants to do it all himself and gets in a right huff when he can't.

Be kind to yourself, you're the best mum you can be and that's what your little wants. Sounds like you've done a lot with her today.
Chin up

Falafel19 Mon 21-Oct-19 16:09:39

My ds was like this. It turned out after 3-4 years of it that he had multiple sinus/ear issues and an allergy that went undiagnosed and made sleep hell and often impossible for him. He was exhausted and so his behaviour was desperate because he was just too tired to function and play normally. Worth taking her to an ENT consultant to rule it out if nothing else.

SinkGirl Mon 21-Oct-19 16:17:24

My twins are now 3 and were both diagnosed with ASD when they were 2. I remember being so confused because my friends with toddlers the same age were doing activities, the toddlers were playing with toys, and mine just weren’t. I thought I was just really shit at parenting.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your DD, just that there’s a very broad spectrum of play skills and social skills at this age so what everyone else does may not be what you can do.

I’d really recommend working on play skills starting now - the single biggest thing we learnt when starting out with play therapy was hand over hand, also something called PEIC-D here.

So if you have some blocks out, cover her hand with yours and help her stack the blocks. after several attempts she may repeat it on her own, if not keep going. If she’s doing fine with that try a bit of turn taking - so she stacks a block then you do, etc.

The other thing is to follow her interest and then copy her movements - so if she picks up a book and starts turning the pages, grab a book and do the same. If she throws a block, you throw a block etc. This can open them up to developing more play skills.

Otherwise keep getting out of the house, it will get easier - if you actually have an concerns about her development then ask your HV to come round.

Rainbowsomewhere Mon 21-Oct-19 19:19:34

re reading my first post it looks like I ignore her and pay no attention!

But I play with her all day. I’m constantly trying to keep her entertained.

She was awful as a baby, cried every minute she was awake. At 4 months I cut out dairy which helped. She’s a lot easier as a toddler than she was as a baby but probably still cries 50% of the time. I can take a lot of screaming as I’m used to it but thought it would be better by now.

Thanks for your post @SinkGirl and everyone else. I just don’t think it’s normal. She’s my first but comparing her with my nieces/ friends children she is very unhappy a lot of the time. I don’t know anyone who has struggled as we have. I used to leave NCT meet ups early in tears because she was always crying. I know parenting is supposed to be tough but this feels impossible.

Development wise everything is great. She advanced very quickly through crawling/ walking. Sociable and loves saying hi to everyone. Really hyper active but very frustrated. Which could still be part of the problem.

Time for a cup of tea.

dameofdilemma Tue 22-Oct-19 14:04:21

* used to leave NCT meet ups early in tears because she was always crying. I know parenting is supposed to be tough but this feels impossible. *

Yup, I had one of those. Went to every class going, endless trips to the park etc. Was still tedious.

Nursery was a gift. Dd loved it, dropped her (already short naps) altogether by age 2 and became great fun.
I remember telling the nursery staff how difficult she was - they looked bemused, dd was fine.
If I hadn't gone back to work I would have lost my mind.

Now she's a very bright, sociable, kind, fun 7 year old while some of her pals the same age, who were angel babies/toddlers, are turning into moody, difficult wannabe teens.
Children change all the time, it won't always be like this, you're doing a great job (and they will never remember how much you played/sang etc at that age).

mamandematribu Tue 22-Oct-19 14:15:26

What about local playgroups or local
Nursery?? Maybe enrol her for a few hours until you can get the free 15 hours at age 3??

You could also try a local mum and toddler group.

If she's crying a lot is she in pain? Teething would seem likely or has she had a fall recently?? Sometimes kids can walk on broken bones and parents not notice.

Consider visiting the local library for story sessions and to borrow for her?

Playgrounds and parks??
Also some days just stick her in front of Peppa pig or CBEEBIES if you need some peace

mamandematribu Tue 22-Oct-19 14:19:12

Speak to the health visitor about your problems with her. Could she possibly be showing early signs of special needs such as autism. My own dd was diagnosed at age 3 . She didn't scream though. She was very happy and smiley but did not talk or interact with other toddlers. Each child presents differently so it is worth speaking to a professional.

W0rriedMum Tue 22-Oct-19 15:12:49

One of mine was like this - she didn't entertain herself at all and was pretty "high needs". When she had a sibling, she seemed to get better as there was more going on - nappies to fetch, baby to stare and talk at, etc.

I survived the early days by doing what you do - play groups, walks to the park/see neighbourhood cats/library. Nothing much more you can do!!

Sweetooth92 Tue 22-Oct-19 15:19:38

My little one is a bit older but always been the same.
The only thing that seems to knacker him out totally is an hour or so swimming, followed by a big lunch.
My go to for a decent nap and slower afternoon is the toddler morning at our local fun pool (w/ sides, wave machine etc) and then a Pizza Hut buffet 😳 the exercise followed by the carbs used to get me a decent nap & then he would be happy for a few hours playing at home with me/a walk to costa and a bit of shopping etc in the afternoon or whatever. I think the kids that thrive at nursery (as does DS 4x full days a week) enjoy all the activity and constant stuff going on and need a little more on the days off. My little one is like having a third dog-without two good slots of daily exercise he’s destructive and uncontrollable.

milliefiori Tue 22-Oct-19 15:25:44

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious but have you had her checked for silent reflux? That causes pain and leaves them screaming for hours and hours. Ranitidin or Gaviscon or both can help massively.

And I agree, get out of the house. I got out twice a day, every day at that age. I used ot feel a panic attack setting in if I stayed at home. Looking back, it was fun. At the time it felt lik ea slog. But we went to soft play and library story time and music group and church play groups, the one o'clock club, every playpark within a five mile radius. Every City farm. We rode on buses and trains and tubes and DLR. We explored twigs and snails and tadpoles in ponds. We went to markets and shopping malls and toy stores. Anywhere to keep their attention long enough to stop the squalling and then to tire them out for a nap so I could have a cup of tea in peace.

milliefiori Tue 22-Oct-19 15:27:22

Also, if you are out and about for a lot of the day, it's fine to put Frozen on a loop every afternoon while you cook tea or have a cup of coffee in peace. TV is a life saver. Anyone who doesn't use it has help. Or very placid kids.

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