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7 month old tantrums, am I doing the right thing?

(12 Posts)
milkyjo Fri 01-Jul-11 12:28:33

My DS will not be put down to play, eat, sleep (basically for nothing!). He started teething at 4.5 months and since then we have put his crying down to teething or his reflux. However, I can't see how this is the case now. He screams like someone is killing him, it sounds more like an angry cry now. I can put him down straight after a feed on his mat and he will scream but then I can distract him with a toy. If he can't see me he will happily play, until he catches a glimpse of me and decides he wants picking up! We've just been on holiday to visit his grandparents and he was fine being supervised by them but as soon as he saw me all hell breaks loose!

So, I've tried walking out of the room and letting him cry it out, he does eventually stop after a few minutes but as soon as I come back he starts again. Should I be leaving him when he's like this? Should I walk out again? How long would this go on!!!??? I've also tried putting him in his pushchair and letting him watch me tidying the kitchen, talking to him the whole time - he then cries but smiles at the same time, like he is enjoying himself but doesn't want to show it, but then just screams and hyperventilates!!!! Also tried ignoring him but being in the same room. Its embarrassing when we're out because his screams are so loud and all the time and although I say I don't care what other people think it does get me down.

The reason we know its not his teeth is because this has been going on for 2 months every waking minute with no more teeth appearing. His reflux is getting better and it doesn't matter what position he is in he'll scream unless its on my shoulder AND walking around, none of this standing still or sitting, even though he is still in exactly the same position!

Any replies would be greatly appreciated, thanks x

greenshoot19 Fri 01-Jul-11 12:54:57

hey milkyjo! this seems like totally normal behaviour for a 7mo, don't worry nothing strange is happening to you! (albeit extremely frustrating i know). this is when they start to become much more aware of whats around them, much more attached to you maybe and learn how to communicate more effectively and unfortunately that tends to be by throwing tantrums half the time! my dd also did a similar thing although slightly later, prob 8months. the good news is, it is probably only a phase and won't last forever! as your ds gets more mobile and independent he will get more content again.

i definitely think you're doing the right thing by sometimes leaving him to it, especially if he calms down himself, that shows he is already learning that you are not at his every beck and call and actually there is nothing that wrong with him. i think you just need to assess each situation individually, when my dd (now 1yo) has paddys i know when she just needs to be left alone and when she needs a hug. you are developing stamina as you adjust more to this new phase, hang on in there!! HTH.

greenshoot x

greenshoot19 Fri 01-Jul-11 12:55:54

p.s. if you are able, have you tried buying any new toys or doing some different activities with him, to help distract him from his tantrums?

Octaviapink Fri 01-Jul-11 12:56:55

I don't think it's reflux I think it's frustration! It's a rotten age to be, 7 months. You can't eat, move or sit up properly but you're big enough to understand that other people are doing all these things and it's maddening not to be able to! My DS really likes his bouncy door-frame thing - he can hammer up and down in it, see what's going on and feel like he's able to move himself. Your DS may find that if you carry him around it feels like he's in command of a much bigger, more co-ordinated body and he see no reason to be parted from it! Has he got a bumbo or one of those walker things that they sit in and scoot around?

Iggly Fri 01-Jul-11 12:59:29

Honestly I wouldn't leave him to cry it out - unless you really need to. How about sticking him in a decent sling or an outward facing pushchair when you're out? Also don't put him down right after a feed, give him a bit of time first.

It's better in the long run to provide reassurance now otherwise he'll always be clingy without security.

Also can you get out and about everyday? This def helps!

Also reflux isn't always better by 6 months - it can get worse with solids. Certainly did with DS until I worked out what foods made it worse.

RitaMorgan Fri 01-Jul-11 13:04:21

I disagree a bit - I wouldn't ignore or walk out on a 7 month old. He has a strong and totally normal desire to be close to his mother and is communicating it in the only way he has.

Do you have a sling? I put ds on my back when he's like this and just wants to be held - then I can get on with doing stuff in the kitchen or whatever. Putting him down and sitting on the floor next to him, or talking to him when you're tidying sounds good to me if you can't pick him up right then.

greenshoot19 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:16:10

In my humble opinion, reassurance and security is provided by lots of affection, quality time, begin fed and watered etc. etc. letting them know you are not always able to attend to them has nothing to do with creating an insecure baby - rather the opposite! one that learns how to be content and happy in their own company as well. my husband was smothered as a child, his every need attended too, but yet would camp out on the landing at night for fear his parents were leaving him!

Iggly Fri 01-Jul-11 13:25:04

But leaving when crying isn't reassuring?

When DS gets upset - he's a toddler so I consider him to have tantrums not a baby - I don't walk off. I'll give a quick cuddle (if it's over something he cant have) and tell him where I'm going and that'll I'll be back. But would never just walk away.

matana Fri 01-Jul-11 13:25:31

My DS is almost 8 months and has just come out of a phase like this. As he's not usually a clingy baby i tend to give him as much attention as he needs and loads of cuddles and closeness. Even just knowing i'm close by tends to help him. Having said that, his phases tend only to last maybe a few days to a week and he's mostly very independent, so i can imagine it's very tiring going through it every day for two months. I agree that a sling may be helpful. Also, this is a really difficult age for them as one of the other posters has said. They want to be able to do everything right now and try to run before they can walk. Giving them plenty of time to help them accomplish new skills can help - sitting/ standing them up, tummy time etc etc.

greenshoot19 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:34:11

iggly of course, i do always do it affectionately and explain (the best i can to a baby) where i'm going, i don't ever just walk out. it should never a spiteful thing.

RitaMorgan Fri 01-Jul-11 13:43:04

I'm not sure my 10 month old would understand the difference - if he's asking to be picked up and I don't and instead leave, he would be very upset.

milkyjo Fri 01-Jul-11 16:10:23

Thanks for all your replies. Its good to hear both sides of the argument. I think I will persevere with the pushchair and try and keep him occupied. He is definitely screaming for attention not any other reason. I can now understand his frustration as he is not yet able to sit in his highchair and even struggles in his bumbo so doesn't like sitting in them, he also is trying to roll but gets annoyed that he can't - I think he's a bit of a slow developer! I have a sling but I find it hard to actually do anything with him on other than walk around the house - which I can do with him easily without the sling. I really don't want to wish his life away but I just feel he'd be happier when he can move a bit more!

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