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To ignore baby's behaviour

(19 Posts)
elizabethjane Mon 20-Dec-10 20:32:01

I have a 10 month old girl and she's great. In the last 2 months or so she's started to scream/yell and writhe about at times. She must be frustrated or unhappy about something at the time. It can happen in her highchair for example. I usually chat to her all the time but when she does this (described above), I notice that she is following me with her eyes as though waiting for my reaction, so I ignore it. I might just say in a casual/boring voice "I'm just getting your sandwich ready" or whatever, and continue what I'm doing without looking at her too much. When I ignore the behaviour like this she pretty quickly calms down again.

I know that when a toddler has a tantrum you shouldn't positively reinforce the behaviour but 10 months old is very young and I just don't know how others handle a baby of this age when they do this?

Instead of ignoring her should I do something more comforting? She is a happy baby otherwise.

I don't want to encourage tantrums and that's why I do what I do, but maybe you'll think I'm BU?

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Mon 20-Dec-10 20:40:56

Yes she wants your attention. They want that all the time grin. Give her a hug, give her a kiss, or chat away to her.

I personally wouldn't withdraw attention when she's asking for it. I think that could make a baby more anxious. I think when they want attention you should give it to them. I don't mean drop what you're doing to rush over and hold them grin but burst into song or give them a kiss or something, while you're doing what you've got to do.

I don't like the idea of a baby learning that there's no point asking for attention. I just think that give them as much as they want.

I should tell you that I am currently very broody and looking back on my 2's babyhood (they are 10 & 11) and wishing I'd appreciated it all more and wanting to go and do it all again.

So I could have a bit of a 'thing' going on grin

I just want to tell you to scoop up your baby and her with attention because you're going to turn round in the blink of an eye and she'll be all grown up and you'll be like me.

<bursts into tears>

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Mon 20-Dec-10 20:42:06

hmm there appear to be a couple of words missing here and there in that.

Never mind, you get the gist grin

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 20-Dec-10 20:44:27

awwww Hec

yy give her attention

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Mon 20-Dec-10 20:45:45

What's wrong with giving your baby attention? Maybe she wants attention but has learnt that that's the way to get it (until now). Although as she's so tiddly maybe she's just testing out something new.

I smother shower DS in hugs and kisses - he doesn't have to have done anything to deserve it (he's 14 months). When he has a mini hissy, I ignore but try and work out what's wrong - usually he's hungry or can't get me to understand something. I don't see him as doing it for "attention" iyswim.

lagrandissima Mon 20-Dec-10 20:46:15

Don't think it would harm to give her a cuddle / sing her a song / give her something to play with / show her something out the window, i.e. distract her. She's still very little. And like Hec says, you'll look back on the early days and realise they went in a flash. So baby her whilst you can, and don't stress about how she'll be a year down the line. She's a lot of developing to do before then and will be a totally different child. I don't think you're going to 'spoil' her by giving her too much affection or attention.

FabbyChic Mon 20-Dec-10 20:47:22

What you are already doing seems to be working! Hope she stops eventually.

elizabethjane Mon 20-Dec-10 21:24:27

Thank you all for the replies.
Hec the halls - awh, that's a lovely post!! If she wasn't in bed I'd have to give her a big cuddle now!

Iggly - my baby knows she only has to look at me, or if I'm looking the other way shout "ah!!!" to get instant attention. I've always enjoyed playing with her and reading to her and have been making the most of my maternity leave in this way. We have a playful relationship.
She has always had lots of attention from me. God love her, she's probably tired of all the cuddles and kisses! So she can't be doing this because its all she can think of to attract my attention if you see what I mean. I agree with you that babies need lots of attention so they develop good self-esteem. And you can't spoil a baby! (although the older generation say I do spoil her with attention!)

I suppose I've noticed that these wee episodes look like embryonic toddler tantrums!

lagrandissima - the problem is if she's doing this she'll be arching her back, red-faced and FURIOUS if I try to jolly her or cuddle her, so over the weeks I've found that if I just seem bored she'll stop it all of a sudden and we can carry on in our usual way after that as though nothing has happened.

It only happens once or twice a day really.

Fabbychic - thanks!

whoknowswhatthefutureholds Mon 20-Dec-10 21:28:43

distraction is a good idea. Do something different each time. Be a monkey/point to nothing/whistle

They are easily confused grin. She should stop!

MsKLo Mon 20-Dec-10 21:32:31

theres a book called toddler taming that you might like to read as it is interesting and may help as she reaches more tantrummmmmmmy stages!

and the baby whisperer does a toddler whisperer book thing too!

EminentlyImminent Mon 20-Dec-10 21:45:20

My DS (11 months) has been throwing mini-tantrums for the past 2 or so months. My favourite (!) type of tantrum involves him throwing himself from standing position onto his knees on the floor (he is tiny so not far!) where he then proceeds to do what looks like breakdancing (put his head low, hunches over and twists round and round in a circle, growling). I wait until he is no longer feral and then distract (bursting into song as mentioned above is v effective) or if he is in a highchair throwing a wobbly a very loud "Boo" is much appreciated - he'll jump and then laugh and then invariably forget his bad mood for long enough. Sometimes I have no idea what it is about (yesterday morning I just think he got out of the wrong side of his cot) but generally it is attention or having to do something he doesn't want to.

I'm also having to say Gently and Nicely constantly to stop pinchy grabby little hands in people's (mostly mine thank god) faces. He definitely understands (though not in a 'moral' sense) so I guess I think it's important to try and nip any behaviour like that in the bud now. Hard to know if this is 'disciplining' really - I would hope it is more guidance. Although if he does smack me in the face having been told gently, nicely twice I do put him down carefully on the floor and withhold attention for about 20 seconds (cue twisty turny tantrum) and then pick him up and distract. Is that too mean for an 11 month old?

Am putting toddler taming into my Amazon basket as I type....

QueeferSantaland Mon 20-Dec-10 21:56:41

My 8mo has tantrums. I didn't know before him they had them so early. He is destroyed if someone takes something from him. He screams and cries and squirms.

I think you sound like you're handling it really well; chatting to her and telling her why you can't pick her up this second.

I read on here "There is a reason toddlers are ticklish".grin This may be it.

elizabethjane Mon 20-Dec-10 22:44:00

emminently - it is reassuring to hear what you do with your baby. That's a similar ethos to mine I think. I also have to endure the pinching and biting - she is so shocked to hear the word "no" in a more-stern-than-usual voice! And then of course tries to do it again, at which point I swoop her away and distract as I have the feeling its an arguement I'll never win until her understanding is more mature!

queefer - thankyou, I'll look out for that book

elizabethjane Mon 20-Dec-10 22:44:44

and thank you whoknows and mrsK smile

MsKLo Mon 20-Dec-10 23:03:34

I find if I put my fifteen month old down and ignore the tantrum it usually stops

I must try it on DH...


backwardpossom Tue 21-Dec-10 00:07:43

I think that the 'tantrums' at this age are purely frustration - they can't communicate what they want and they get upset about it. That's a whole world apart from a real 'terrible-twos-tantrum', in my opinion. If you know what I mean...

Give her the attention, she's only little smile

TheUnmentioned Tue 21-Dec-10 00:12:55

Wait until they're two or --three- or four then you will be in no doubt about what a tantrum looks like! grin

Enjoy her, she is just expressing herself. Imo sometimes at that age they just do it because they can and why not?

TheUnmentioned Tue 21-Dec-10 00:13:26


elizabethjane Tue 21-Dec-10 09:21:40

Thanks everyone for the advice

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