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Very determined 19 month old - Everything is such a f*cking battle :-(

(20 Posts)
Tillyscoutsmum Fri 08-Jul-11 14:05:02

That's the second time I've posted a thread title with swearing in it. Most unlike me but its been "one of those weeks days". Sorry.

DS is 19 months. He is very big (been in 2-3 clothes since about 15 months). Very strong. Very willful and very determined. I am just getting so downhearted with every little thing being a major battle.

Nappy changes = hell on earth. Invariably ending with him, me and the house being covered in shite. He will not lie still. He kicks his legs really hard. He screams and cries. I swear the neighbours must think I'm trying to murder him.

Getting him in or out of the car seat/buggy is a nightmare. He struggles, goes stiff as a board so I can't get him in. Accompanied by the usual screaming.

Walking anywhere is also terrible. Fine when he wants to. As soon as he's had enough he just sits on the floor and then goes ballastic if I try and carry him (easier said than done) or put him in the buggy (see point above).

Mealtimes - sometimes ok. Sometimes just comprise of him flinging food, drinks etc. around. He threw a full cup of water at dd's head this morning and she's got a huge lump and bruise sad

Bathtimes are terrible. Trying to wash/wipe his hands and face after meal times ? Yup, awful too.

I am covered in scratches. His nails are too sharp and desperately need cutting but he will not let me cut them. I've tried nibbling them when he's asleep. Getting him to copy his sister after she's had her done in the bath. DH and I resort to holding him down whilst the other does it but even then, we can only get a couple done before the screaming/kicking etc. becomes too much

He really can be a lovely little boy. Very smiley, cheeky and loving but I am just getting so fed up of the daily battles. He is just so determined sad. I feel such a twat for not being able to control a 19 month old. What the hell am I going to be like when he's older and bigger FFS ?!!

Any helps/tips please ?

smearedinfood Fri 08-Jul-11 14:08:11

Fingernails while he watches CBeebies? Standing up nappy changes?

And some mummy breaks for you wink

Seeline Fri 08-Jul-11 14:10:53

Has he always shown signs of stubborness or is it a recent thing? They're not called the terrible two for nothing - both my DCs started at about 18 mths!
Hard I know when everything is a struggle but pick your battles - is it always that important that you win?
How is his speech - is he getting frustrated at not being able to communicate much?
Try giving him a choice sometimes to help him feel that he is in control a bit more. Which trouser would he like to wear? shall we walk or go in the buggy? Does he want to walk to the tree or the lampost before going in the buggy? Would he like this cup or that cup? Just little things
Have you tried changing his nappy standing uprather than lying down - it might work!
Hope things improve soon for you - I know how hard stubborn children are!

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 08-Jul-11 14:17:02

My dd is a bit like this, although only 17 months. Singing is what works for her - everything I do, I sing about it and she lets me get on with wiping face/brushing teeth/changing nappy/whatever. I look like a twat, obviously, but it's a small price to pay.

Oh, and pull up nappies are brilliant!

Know what you mean about feeling stupid not being able to control such a young toddler. My dd is big too, and I really do wonder what it will be like in a year or so. I laughed out loud at your stiff-as-a-board description when trying to get him in the pushchair. Been there many times, and it is always embarrassing.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 08-Jul-11 14:21:12

He's always been a stubborn little fecker grin. From the moment he was born and even before. Took 5 days of contractions before he decided to make his appearance (back to back and 10lb 5oz).

Thanks for the tips so far. I think his speech is probably a bit delayed for his age. DD was saying more at this stage (from memory) but he walked at 10 months and was climbing on (and launching himself off) the kitchen table by 11.5 months, so I think he's been concentrating on that. He has a few words and can mostly make himself understood though. He can certainly say "No" pretty well !

Sirzy Fri 08-Jul-11 14:21:18

My DS is 19 months and I sympathise with you!! Thankfully he is only small for his age but still very strong and strong willed.

I agree with singing, wind the bobbin up is a great way to be able to do nappy changes fairly easily. I have found trying to stay calm is the best bet otherwise it turns into a battle of wills.

Now he has more speech things are getting easier thankfully as he is able to communicate more what it is he wants.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 08-Jul-11 14:22:50

Will maybe give pull ups a go and try standing nappy changes but his poos are mostly very sloppy (sorry if TMI), so not sure how easy/successful that would be ?

titferbrains Fri 08-Jul-11 14:38:56

gosh sounds pretty tough going, you have lots of sympathy from me.

My childminder tells my DD she will count to 5 to wipe her face and then does 5 wipes as slowly or as quickly as she needs to in order to get face clean. She has been doing this for ages and I quickly followed suit when I realised that DD stayed calm when she did it! I am also very gentle if she is being very grumpy and start on cheeks then move slowly to mouth. Scrub a wipe across your own mouth and you'll see it's not that pleasant.

Pull ups - not good for wet poos, you have to rip them off and catch at the perfect angle so you don't end up with poo on your wrist/hands (pulling down leaves a nice trail of poo on legs and hard to get their feet out cleanly). Have you tried being really silly at change time? Does the nappy go on my head? no? where does it go then? perhaps talking about what you are going to do will help him to stay calmer, and will also encourage a bit of chat from him?

She also responded well to being given something to hold during nappy changes, she liked a tube of cream (lid well on) or perhaps a hairbrush.

I do try to tell DD what is going to happen wherever possible and tho she still freaks out, it doesn't last that long. She is 2.7 but is similarly stubborn - tho perhaps not quite as bad.

And the usual thing of lots of praise for when they are being good. DD also likes reporting back to daddy, grandma etc about being particularly good about something, eg, I shared my toys, I touched the baby gently etc. Dull chat but does seem to give a sense of pride in good behaviour.

Nails - in desperation I got DD's stuffed toy and clipped a tiny bit of fur off to demonstrate that he didn't mind having his "nails" done. It has taken months and months for her to come round to having sitting calmly to have them cut and I am satisfied if I just do one or 2 nails! I do them at bed time when she is having milk and try to have a calm chat about her day while I'm doing it. I let her choose which hand/finger.

Pinkjenny Fri 08-Jul-11 14:43:08

I change L's nappies with him standing up. It means chasing him around a bit, which obviously he loves hmm Poop nappies are done on the changing mat on the floor, with me literally using all of my strength to keep him down.

We have the same thing with the car seat at the moment. Again, literally forcing him in, whilst wittering on at him in a sing song voice doesn't help him, but makes me less likely to lose my rag.

I feel your pain.

Pinkjenny Fri 08-Jul-11 14:44:12

Perhaps we need another weekend away to sob into our wine glasses, doll.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 08-Jul-11 15:09:59

Jen - can we make it a month week ?! They are both in maximum irritation mode at the moment. I feel like I'm going insane sad

I try the sing song thing (it always worked with DD. I spent almost a year of my life singing "Twinkle Twinkle" on constant loop) but it makes NO difference to DS. Hopefully, as he gets a bit older and able to communicate more, it will become easier, right ?!

This too shall pass and I may even make it in one piece !

Pinkjenny Fri 08-Jul-11 15:12:47

Course it will. We know it passes. The sing song thing makes NO difference to L at all, it just keeps me calm. Well, calmer.

Grit your teeth, my love, and keep with the wine.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 08-Jul-11 20:43:03

Thanks chick wine

mumsgonemad123 Fri 08-Jul-11 23:02:50

sounds like my twin boys, one in particular is so very wilfull. here's my top tip! :

i have had a load of toys passed down from my much older nephew, things like action men, dinosaurs etc, i save these for nappy changes / getting him into buggy / car seat / highchair only and because he never sees them at any other time and he loves them and will actually lay still for a nappy change with an action man in his hands lol. get to yr nearest pound shop and buy a load of cheap tack and keep in a box for emergencies.

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 09-Jul-11 11:51:45

Thanks mumsgonemad smile <<faints clean away at the thought of dealing with wilfull twins >>

And a big thank you to everyone else who responded. I've just read back through and noticed I was very negative and ungrateful yesterday. Sorry - it really was just one of those down days. Feeling much more positive today (probably because DS is currently asleep !) so will try and implement some of the tips. Thanks again smile

SailorVie Sat 09-Jul-11 12:04:27

Hi there

I really felt for you when I read your OP. I have a suggestion for the nightmare nappy changes, as my DS (now 17 months) used to be a nightmare at nappy changing time. We bought a changing mat with straps (I think the brand is called Rabbitts?). They are designed in a way that a child cannot flip themselves over while they are pinned down.

Once my DS realised that there was nothing he could do, he sort of gave up writhing around (after a week or so of using it), and thereafter the nappy changes were much easier. We then stopped needing to use the straps on a regular basis, and only used them for occasional changes. 5 months on, we don't use the straps at all. However they're always there if need be!

As for the inevitable battles, my tip would be to divert attention from the matter at hand, whether by singing a silly song, pointing to something else, changing tv channel, whatever it takes really. I noticed that if his attention is diverted, then he is less likely to melt down.

I also second the person who said to offer your little one a choice - whether it be one pair of trousers or another, and also describing what will be happening next. Even if your DS is non verbal, he will most certainly understand quite a bit of what you are saying, so saying things like: 'say bye bye to toys, its bedtime', gives them a warning if you see what I mean as to what you are intending to do. I think when things happen to them out of the blue, then they feel a complete lack of control, hence the freak outs.

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 09-Jul-11 13:34:52

Thanks SailorVie - I will look into those changing mats. I do the warning thing and choice thing (and picking battles). DD was quite "spirited" as well and those things really helped. Turns out, she wasn't quite as spirited after all ! I didn't know I'd been born grin

hettie Sat 09-Jul-11 14:31:50

nappy changes were hell with ds until someone taught me the leg over technique. Basicaly change them on the floor (on matt) sit to one sidewith your bum parallel to theres (but at a slight angle) and then put the leg nearest them over the lower part of their tummy/chest. You can restrain them fairly well with this leg without hurting them and it still leaves your hands free to do the wiping etc. I was a bit hmm when first described this as I thought it was a bit harsh, but actualy it stopped the tears tantrums (me wanting to kill him grin) and after about a week he seemed to accept that this was the deal and actualy I didin't have to be quite so restraining with my leg, shortly after that I could change him normaly (oocasionaly havign to resort to leg over when he'd forgotten!)

Tuppenyrice Sat 09-Jul-11 14:39:15

Can u bung him in the bath/shower when he needs changing? He may fight u initially but then enjoy playing with toys/water.

AlabamaWorley Sun 10-Jul-11 09:18:53

I have changed DS's nappy with him standing up since before he could walk, because he was a nightmare to change from 3 months when he could roll and escape. I used to let him hang onto the sofa and give him a book. Now at age 2, it is still a nightmare so we are potty training next week!

At the moment, he doesn't want the nappy off (even if full of wee from the night before, or poo). Then once I manage to get it off, and he has stopped asking for it back on, he won't let me put on a clean one-cue him shouting "no clean nappy!"

I usually try to lean him against the sofa and give him something he doesn't usually get to play with like my ipad or something. Sometimes, I have asked if he doesn't want to stand up like a big boy, does he wnt changed on his back like a baby. This sometimes works. I am amazed that my friends with kids the same age have such an easy time with the kids just lying on their back no problems!

With regard to pull ups, they are much easier to get on. For poos though, I rip the sides open so I can remove it like a normal nappy, otherwise if poos are soft, then you can get poo on their legs if you try to pull them down like pants!

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