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Need help with terrible tantrums - 8 month old

(28 Posts)
Nikkim30 Sun 03-Jun-12 11:58:53

My 8 month old DD throws the worst tantrum I've ever seen and I don't know how to deal with them. It's mainly because she wants to be picked up and clingy is an under statement, often she won't even let me put her in the floor for a second. If you couldn't see her you would think she was being hurt!

Me on my own, I would just give in to it to get some peace but it's causing problems in my relationship with Dh as he says I pick her up too much (and have helped create the problem). We need to sort it out. I've spoken to the doc who says she isn't I'll (did have silent reflux, but she just wants attention).

Last night she screamed her head off for 1.5 hours in the middle of the night, it sounded terrible but eventually she went back to sleep. Sometimes she cries so much she can barely breathe, it's awful to watch and seems to be getting worse. It's before each nap, at bed time, when she is a little tired, nappy changed, or often who knows why!

Giving into her isn't an option for me any mOre so has anyone experienced this and did anything work for you?

Thanks so much.

RubyrooUK Sun 03-Jun-12 12:13:59

I don't think an 8 month old can have tantrums. A toddler or child has tantrums but a baby of this age is simply telling you what they need and frustrated if you don't understand.

Not to say it's easy to work out what's wrong with an 8mo old. I often had no idea so just kept trying things.

But honestly, I don't think you "give in" to a baby. You just meet their needs and shouldn't feel bad about it. It's too early for her to understand any sort of restraint or discipline. So don't feel bad about picking her up!

gingerchick Sun 03-Jun-12 12:19:28

You let her cry for am hour and a half in the night WTF she is telling you that she needs you! Babies do not have tantrums she just can't believe that her mother is ignoring her needs, poor baby!

Nikkim30 Sun 03-Jun-12 12:31:46

Not continuously, I ended up feeding her in the end but it didn't work, went in about 4 times and stoked her head, she stopped, then I leave thinking she is asleep and it starts again.. If I get her out of bed she is fine, but still tired and rubbing her eyes. Give her a toy she likes or the remote control she's as happy as anything for a while, but can't do this at 2am, then 4am every night, I will go insane!

Don't get me wrong I have been giving her what she wants but my husband and I need to continue our lives in some way. Until you have had a baby like this its hard to understand. 8 months of hardly any sleep and not being able to do anything g in the day as you are constantly holding a baby is tough.

Has anyone else been through this and tried anything that works? Looking for a solution, not judgement.


EBDTeacher Sun 03-Jun-12 12:33:44

I would put her in a sling and get on with your day with her in there.

She sounds like she might be getting overtired too. Do you spot her earliest sleep cues and help her get down for a nap as soon as she does them?

Agree with others that at that age you just go with what a baby needs

gingerchick Sun 03-Jun-12 12:36:13

I have two children both have gone through phases of extreme clinginess because its what babies do, you are her mother you are there to fulfil her needs whatever time of day or night that is motherhood

3littlefrogs Sun 03-Jun-12 12:37:36

She is too young for tantrums.

It sounds as if she is in pain. Being distressed when lying down, but improving once sitting up is a classic sign of ear infection.

Please take her to get her ears checked, and to be checked over for any other reason she could be in pain.

3littlefrogs Sun 03-Jun-12 12:40:47

Did you have a traumatic, very fast or instrumental delivery? She could have pain in her head/neck/ jaw. She can't tell you, so you need to think carefully about all the possible causes.

I do feel for you - Ds1 didn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time until he was 14 months old. It is exhausting.

EBDTeacher Sun 03-Jun-12 12:41:36

Some babies just don't sleep well by the way. My DS (21mo) is, and always has been, a rubbish sleeper so you have my sympathies there.

He goes to sleep like an angel at bedtime but the slightest thing wakes him up and he needs help to re-settle. If we try to leave him to self-settle he just works himself up into a frenzy.

Things that have helped are white noise (quite loud), keeping the 10.30pm dream feed going as it allows him to sleep until 6am instead of waking up hungry at 4.30am and a 'back to sleep' routine for night wakings (i.e. don't talk, no eye contact, hold in a horizontal position and walk same route over and over til he sleeps).

MissPricklePants Sun 03-Jun-12 12:43:10

She is far too young to be having tantrums. Is she teething? Could be an ear infection like frogs says. You have to just get on with it I'm afraid but it will pass.

MissPricklePants Sun 03-Jun-12 12:44:52

My dd is 3yo and still wakes through the night so I do understand the tiredness. She is still v clingy too so do understand how hard it can be.

EBDTeacher Sun 03-Jun-12 12:45:02

You could test the possibly in pain theory by giving her a dose of neurofen (not calpol as that makes them sleep anyway) and see if she sleeps better/ is less clingy.

dangerousliaison Sun 03-Jun-12 12:49:01

my dd would do this all day every day and all night every night if I did not give her the attention she needed. I would not dream of letting her cry for 1.5 hours at any moment of the day or night. she is screaming for your attention because she needs your attention.

I got fed up of people telling me im making a rod for my own back for co sleeping but thats what dd needed and what I needed to get a good night sleep and for having her in a sling throughout the day, but it is what was needed so we could both function and I could get on with our day.

I worked part time and she was perfectly happy at nursery on the 2 days she was there. But when I was around she needed the comfort of being close, she was like this from the day she was born. she hardly slept in the day time even as a new baby and would wake every 2 hours in the night for an hour. I would often get up with her in the middle of the night and have some floor time with me just laying next to her and her playing and babbling.

It is also tied in with developmental bursts with my dd, the seem to have a growth spurt and developmental burst every so many weeks, if I remember correctly it seemed to be very 5 weeks with my dd from birth through to a toddler she would be more clingy and active and sleep less, some nights she would be awake for the majority of the night talking and babling and sitting up, laying down rolling around and feeding.

Yes I've had and at times still have a baby like this. It's hard going but it seems you're spending more time worrying about the needs of your DH than your baby.

She's crying because she needs you. Even if that need seems insignificant to you (ie to be close/cuddled) crying is the only form of communication she has right now. In your situation I decided to ignore everything I thought I/DS 'should' be doing or what others told me I 'had' to do and just go along with what he appeared to need. We are both happier for it. Your DH will have to be patient as well. My personal opinion is if you stop listening to your child and tending to their needs they will eventually shut down and stop expecting you to. An adult can understand reason, a baby cannot. And I have to agree with the others, an 8 month old doesn't have tantrums.

I strongly recommend you check out the 'wonder weeks' website, it sounds like your LO could be going through a development leap. Or it could just be that she's going through separation anxiety - typical at this age. If so it means she's bonded well with you. If you respond to her needs she will become more independent

dangerousliaison Sun 03-Jun-12 12:53:31

agree with nicecupoftea, just put far better than I did

3littlefrogs Sun 03-Jun-12 13:56:59

An interesting book is "the Continuum concept" by Jean Leidhoff. It talks about the need for contact and comfort.

I would not recommend leaving an 8 month old to cry for more than 5 minutes.

diyqueen Sun 03-Jun-12 21:54:50

I think you need to help dh understand what babies need - have you got (sympathetic, like-minded) friends with kids who you could get into conversation with about this, with him there? My dd has had very needy phases too, pretty much as you describe, but we have opted to just carry on comforting her and keeping her close, it just seems the right thing to do for me. She had one of these phases just before learning to crawl, and with teething, as others have said it often seems to be a developmental leap thing, so it will be a phase and will improve.

Try not to let some of the harsher responses get you down or make you feel too guilty - you've come here asking for advice and are obviously already having a hard time. I've had a few crises of confidence and what has really helped me has been reading different baby care books from the library and using them to think about what kind of parent I want to be, and to come up with a plan in my head of how I'll deal with things. Talking it over with friends with slightly older babies has always really helped too.

AllBellyandBoobs Sun 03-Jun-12 22:31:48

My dd started behaving like this in the night when she was 8-9 months. After worrying that she was ill I realised it was separation anxiety and in order to maximize sleep for everyone she came in to bed with me and dh went to the spare room. Not ideal but better than everyone being horribly grouchy the next day. Hope it improves for you soon.

RubyrooUK Sun 03-Jun-12 23:10:14

Agree with nicecupoftea too.

OP, I certainly wasn't judging you as I found it very hard often to work out what my 8mo old needed. And he was a difficult baby at night - waking every 45 minutes until 6mo when he woke every 3 hours or less till 16mo. So I do understand how crippling it can be to have no sleep, no evenings and no life.

I was just trying to say in my first post what nicecupoftea says better. Babies are hard work but they don't tantrum and I was trying to reassure you that picking up your child in the situations you describe is not giving in (to my mind).

My son had terrible separation anxiety at 8mo. He cried if I went to the toilet and he was with his dad for 30 seconds. It was very oppressive but it did pass.

candr Tue 05-Jun-12 20:41:17

Can you get on the floor with her and play games where you gradually increase the distance between you so she gets used to being apart. You should be able to leave the room without her stressing for short periods o time but some children have more seperation anxiety than others. How is she when others hold her and you wander away?
She will get better with reassurance not 'protecting' Keep your voice light as there is nothing for her to worry about rather than 'it's ok mummy's here' etc.
Hopefully night sleep will improve but I have an 8m DS who still wakes every 2 hours and can cry for up to 3 hours (while being held, left, comforted etc) which can drive you to despair in the small wee hours.

missmapp Tue 05-Jun-12 20:43:42

My friends dd was like this and it turned out she had severe ear infections- this was after many visits to the gps- id go back and check.

narmada Wed 06-Jun-12 13:25:50

If you have ruled out physical pain, next most likely thing is separation anxiety like previous posters have said . It's a normal, healthy, developmental stage that most babies go through. It comes in waves - around 9 months, peaks again at 18 months, and again sometimes around age 3.

Sometimes you just have to roll with it, as frustrating as it is. Trying to convince a baby not to have separation anxiety is, well, pointless smile

OliveandJim Wed 06-Jun-12 14:58:09

My DS slept very badly, epseically so around 8/9 months, was extemely clingy, your DD sounds like a normal baby to me.... It gets better (eventually) we saw a huge improvement by 1 year. Your DH is wrong, you're not spoiling your baby, there is another thread on here about Dr Gonzalez's new book (Kiss Me) who advocates that a lot of poeple use out dated advise (liek leave them to cry, it's good for them - wrong!). Under 1's need to be picked up and re-assured when they cry, put yourself in your DD's shoes so to speak... All you can do is cry to get attention, what exactly are you teaching her when you ignore her when she cries for you? She's too young to learn independence.

girlgonemild Wed 06-Jun-12 16:06:36

I don't know if this will help but the only thing I read which ever matched up to how my DS was as a baby was Dr Sear's description of a high needs baby.
It doesn't offer magic solutions, some babies are just like this, but it did help me accept that this was who my child was and that there was someone who understood! I'd found all the books and advice other mums gave was unhelpful as they just didn't seem to get how my DS was (sometimes you do meet mums of high needs babies and you recognise each other instantly!).

That said the biggest change for us was doing CC with the help and advice of an HV. DS was a different child with more sleep. It sounds like your DC is overtired in part, but also that she does just need holding in the daytime etc. I think you should a) ask for some HV help and support if it's feeling overwhelming b) try and work out when you have good days/periods of time and look to replicate it on other days so you are working towards a routine which suits your dd. Routines are really hard to implement with really needy babies (feeding and waking every 45mins doesn't lend itself to those 3hr schedules in all the books!) but once you can get a bit of consistency in place I've found it really helps keep DS calmer c) do use a sling to get things done during the daytime when your on your own!

There aren't easy solutions. I think sleep is the biggest hurdle so ask for help to do sleep training. My DS is just 2 and still gets in a state over nappy changes more often than's just one of those things. Tackle the things you can and don't fret about the things you can't change. Eventually she'll grow out of it!

MistyB Wed 06-Jun-12 16:30:52

Tell us about your day, how she wakes, sleeps, how she is when she is at rest, at play (if that happens?), what makes her better and worse, is she sitting, crawling? What does she eat and drink? How is she before, during, after eating? How are her bowels? What about her skin?

I'm wondering if there are things that might give other Mums of high needs babies a clue?

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