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Dream baby to difficult toddler!

(8 Posts)
dragonflymama Sun 02-Jan-11 23:26:48

My DD (18m) seemed to be a dream baby, but has developed into a difficult toddler confused. Walking and talking now, but seems to have regressed in other areas - eating (perfect BLW now fussy), sleeping (down to 1 short nap from 2 long ones and only falls asleep in our bed at night), playing (erraticly with toys, frequently smacks / bites) blush and does not respond to being told off (actually thinks it's funny). Not sure what the turning point was - turning 1? me returning to work? her starting nursery? busy few months (guests, xmas etc)? sweets / chocolate? normal toddler-dom, etc.

My plan is to get her back into a good daily routine with regular healthy meals, fixed naps, bath and bed time. I've stopped any form of sweets, chocolate, sugar as send her bonkers and introduced the naughty corner for smacking and biting. Strangely enough she seems to be more affected by me pretending to cry (stops and cuddles / comforts me) than being told off by me or DH.

Any advice welcome as want my gorgeous little one back asap sad!

perfectstorm Sun 02-Jan-11 23:42:40

I think at about 16 months they often get fussy about food and only opt for bland. DS did as well. I was told this is believed to be because it's when they get very mobile, and in traditional cultures a baby who is very conservative about food will be more likely to survive (won't eat berries etc). They outgrow it - DS loves chilli, olives and brussel sprouts (ick) now. I was also told that you can't measure what a baby eats in days, but over a week. If she gets plenty of starch, some protein, fat and fruit, she'll be fine. I worried too but no need, really, and he eats all sorts now once again (we BLW so were also disheartened when he was suddenly hugely fussy - bread, mashed potato, cheese and berries was pretty much it at one point. Was dire.)

He also got really frustrated at that age - would hurt himself, want a cuddle, then suddenly hit me. I realised after a bit that he felt safe doing that, venting his anger on me, because he was secure. I ignored it because I felt he was too small to control his emotions, and sure enough he never does anything of the kind now (27 months). I'd be very wary about using withdrawal of affection/guilt as a discipline tool though. It works, and you adore her so would never misuse it, but looking at the Relationship threads here I would worry about accustoming someone to doing what a person they love wants on that basis. An adult partner may not have their interests as much at heart as you, and patterns set now may be ones you use throughout her childhood. Better perhaps to reason, reason, reason, distract distract and be very clear on how important it is to be kind?

Not that I know. I'm just another mother. But DS is past that phase now and an angel 2 year old. SO there is light at the end of the tunnel - hang on in there! grin

perfectstorm Sun 02-Jan-11 23:43:12

Oh, humus. He always adored humus. Apparently babies often do and it's full of iron and protein - maybe try that?

McGill Mon 03-Jan-11 11:35:07

If it's any consolation it just sounds like normal toddlerdom starting. We too had a dream baby who was soooooooo placid and easy-such a welcome relief After her much more difficult big bro. However now she is 18 months and a lovely funny but very mischeivous wee girl with bags of energy. Down to 1 short nap, gets frustrated v easily and often hits out/ occassionally bites at these times which was a bit of a shock as her brother never did that-she is much more fiesty and already has oscar-winning dramatic tantrums.... And here I was thinking I was going to have a laid-back chilled out toddler!!! She was also easily weaned but now is very variable with her food-usually ears almost nothing if even slightly under the weather/ teething which is most of the time! I tell myself all this fiesty mischievous behaviour ( she also mostly laughs when u tell her no and simply continues doing whatever devilish activity she was partaking in...) will maker her a fun indepedent adult... Here's hoping!! I have started just removing her from whatever room she is misbehaving in after a couple of firm 'no' s and this seems to help... Best of luck x

GrendelsMum Mon 03-Jan-11 11:51:47

I think that PerfectStorm is quite right on the food - apparently this sudden refusal of foods seen in babies all over the worlds, from totally different cultures, and is generally thought to have some kind of evolutionary advantage. So nothing you've done - evolution on display, I'm afraid!

Tgger Mon 03-Jan-11 19:09:22

Sounds very normal smile.

Bit young for naughty corner. I would chill out about a lot of the "naughty" behaviour. Decide what things are unacceptable (dangerous stuff) and toddler proof your house to avoid her getting stuff she shouldn't.

At this age no reaction is better than a negative reaction. They feed on response, good or bad, so a strong negative reaction can actually encourage the behaviour. If you don't respond then often that is enough for the behaviour to fizzle out.

Warning, get ready for the long-haul on toddlerdom- it lasts until about 4 smile.

Yes, it is good to have a routine and have good habits etc but often toddlers are defined by their pushing these routines!


Monadami Tue 04-Jan-11 18:11:25

My 18 month old was also a dream baby. Never had colds or collic. Always slept and fed well and was very laid back.

He's still a happy child but from about a year old he has become a bit aggressive, he's bitten his Dad badly a few times and I often get slapped and have heavy toys, the remote controls etc thrown at my head. When I tell him off, he laughs and slaps me again for my efforts.

He usually has a tantrum on a daily basis if he can't have his own way, which usually means he wants to destroy something. They don't last long though as we just ignore his tantrums, he now realises it's a bit pointless with no audience, so they're over as quickly as they began.

It's probably just a phase, as previously mentioned they get frustrated as they can't relay how they feel or what they need, so get very angry at times.

tigersmummy Wed 12-Jan-11 20:26:07

I hear you! My DS (now 2.11yrs) was a DREAM baby - only woke up once a night til he was 8 weeks then slept through the night, ate most things, was happy and sociable and started nursery easily at 12 months.

Now he's boisterous, energetic and lively - not problems at all, but with it comes frustration, his speech isn't as developed as his peers, he occasionally hits (today for the first time in 2 years it was one of the girls at nursery - mortified doesn't even touch it blush confused shock) and he eats only the basics (bread, cheese, marmite, baked beans, fish fingers, weetabix).

Its tiring. You do wonder where the placid little creature you gave birth to has disappeared, but I'm hoping for the end of the terrible twos (if this is what it is and my DS did start early) and the return of a toddler who is more compliant. Fooling myself? Probably wink

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