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Really struggling with grumpy 15 month old DS

(5 Posts)
Holly66 Tue 18-Oct-11 15:14:09

Hi everyone,

I am having a really hard time coping with my 15 month old DS and am posting in the hope that someone can offer me advice or at least reassure me that this is just a phase and that it will get better. I'm a single mum so I have to cope with it on my own and i'm just feeling quite lonely at the moment.

DS has, until now, been a very happy child who has hardly ever had a bad day or been too difficult but just recently I feel like I’m living in a nightmare.

Here are my 3 main issues:

Un-happy: He is constantly grizzling and seems un-happy most of the time when he is with me. He is spoilt rotten and has lots of toys and has lots of time with me on my days off and at the weekends. He is allowed to roam around the house (with safety features in place obviously). I take him out regularly. I have taken him to the doctors to rule out illness and teething. I have given him Calpol but it makes no difference to his mood.

Clingyness: He has become VERY clingy, I can’t leave the room even if I leave the door open and he can still see me. I know that this is a phase but is there any way I can make life a bit easier. Did you use any good strategies etc?

Eating: He has also become a pain with eating and is now refusing to eat but then gets cross because he is hungry. He wants to do it himself but can’t. I have tried giving him spoons and helping him but he just gets frustrated. I am keeping him going on finger foods but as winter is coming I’d like to be able to get something hot in him. Every meal time has become a battle. Any tips on teaching him how to do it himself?

He goes to nursery 3 days a week and they report that he is a completely different child there. They have even showed me video footage as I didn’t believe them but there he was all happy and smiling. They say he hardly ever makes a fuss but does that mean that I’m the one that is making him un-happy? I feel like I pick him up from nursery and he immediately gets grumpy, its horrible.

Sorry for the rant and if i'm making a fuss over nothing but I now feel like I must be the worst parent in the world.

Thank you in advance

oldmum42 Tue 18-Oct-11 15:39:29

You Are not the worst parent in the world, not by long way.You are not the one making him unhappy, but he will be more relaxed at showing frustration/unhappiness to you, as you are his mum, not just a nursery worker he only sees now and again.

It's not unusual for kids to behave better at nursery/school. DS is at the right sort of age to be developing food frustrations and also clingy behaviour (this includes being upset when you return after being away, like at nursery, he's having fun then you arrive and he suddenly realizes you were gone, without him, which is a stage they all go through).

Have you tried giving him finger food at the same time as feeding him from a spoon - it works well with my DS (11 months), let him chew his toast fingers (or whatever), and spoon mouthfuls of his dinner into him when the opportunity arises.

Holly66 Wed 19-Oct-11 08:36:19

Thank you oldmum, was just feeling a bit down about it all. The nursery told me to give him a bowl of dry cereal (as its easier to clean up then wet food) and a spoon so he can try to feed himself and then when he is distracted try and feed him which worked last night actually.

He woke this morning at 5:10 and wouldn't re-settle. Maybe the doctor is wrong and maybe he is teething as the only thing that got him to calm down was calpol.

oldmum42 Wed 19-Oct-11 12:41:00

Glad the distraction feeding worked!

They are teething pretty much constantly at this age, poor things, but I think some days they cope, and some days they don't, and waking and not resettling is typical, but also make sure it's not hunger - I've noticed DS4 wakes a lot earlier if he's eaten less than usual the day before (sometimes days he eats less, some days more), so I offer him an extra snack before bed if he's not so eaten much that day, otherwise, yes, he would wake up at 5.30 or 6 instead of 7am as we would like. It usually works!

Albrecht Wed 19-Oct-11 12:43:43

Agree with oldmum42 about the whinging because he feels comfortable with you. He's obviously having fun at nursery but maybe its also a bit much excitement / stimulation sometimes and he has to let it all out once he's in a safe place (with you).

Ds is also 15 months and is getting 2 back teeth through, even though he doesn't have all the front ones yet, and is very miserable. He's also started doing proper walking rather than a few steps and crawling so is more tired and therefore grumpy than usual.

I carry him on my hip if he's hanging on my trousers and crying. Also have an Ergo sling which is good for older babies.

With feeding, put a long sleeve bib on him, plastic tablecloth on floor, not your best clothes on yourself, give him a spoon and one for yourself so you can try and sneak some inbetween his own slopping about. Thick soup, stew, humous, thick yoghurt might make it in there. I read that they lose the urge to self feed after a while so if you don't let them try you'll end up feeding them yourself foreeeevvveeerrrrr!

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