18 month old cries A LOT. I am on edge and miserable.

(50 Posts)
Gyllenhaalic Sat 03-Aug-13 19:59:35

This might come out as one giant rant so I apoligise in advance.

My DS has always been what I would describe as a grumpy baby. I don't like labelling him but he has earned a bit of a reputation as being a cryer. It makes me sad but it's always him who's whinging and crying.

He is beautiful and can for very brief periods of the day be smiley and loving but these moments are few and far between.

He spends a good amount of his time with a frown and fake crying. Whinging and whining which can quickly escalate to all out screaming and sobbing.

I never really know why he's crying. Sometimes he will smile and laugh and then it just turns into a whinge.

He seems very frustrated. He's not yet walking and is receiving physiotherapy due to weak ankles. I think this could be adding to his frustration.

The problem is, it just seems that every little thing seems to tip him over the edge. He will literally just be sat and I'll sit and talk to him, he'll start to moan and crawl off crying.

If we close a door, he'll cry because he wanted it open. If he sees something he wants he'll cry. to be fair he has got about 30 words which he will use but he will say 'cup', before we've even had chance to pass him the cup he's crying for it.

I am at a loss as to what to do.

He will get up in the morning and whinge to come downstairs. Whinge in his high chair all through breakfast. Stand at the front window pointing and saying 'dar' (car) and then cries because we're not going in the car.

We were at a childrens party today and every person commented on how grumpy he was which just breaks my heart. I have started to make excuses for him and pretend he's teething or ill just because I feel so inadequate saying 'he's always like this.' sad

He was a grumpy baby who screamed and we've been back and forth to doctors and paediatrician incase of reflux. Tried him on Ranitidine and gaviscon but that didn't work. I cut out dairy from his diet for months, that didn't do anything either. Out of sheer desperation I took him to an Osteopath but again that didn't help.

We take him out and as long as the pushchair is moving he's relatively happy (well, he's not crying or moaning). I read to him but he gets annoyed and tries to snatch the book and gets frustrated with it. I play with him but he ends up getting frustrated with toys and throwing them accross the room and then whinging. How do I deal with this?

I just feel all out of ideas with him. I don't understand him and I just want him to be happy.

Is this normal? I keep thinking he must have something developmentally wrong with him. I scare myself by googling things and have come up with all kinds of sensory processing disorders/ autism/ extra chromosome diseases! The problem is that he's not predictable so I can never tell what will make him kick off and start crying so it's not one set thing that he hates or triggers him. He just seems unhappy.

Any ideas as to what's going on with him and how I can help him?

I'm so scared that he will always be like this and I'll have to walk on eggshells with him forever.

OP’s posts: |
Passmethecrisps Sat 03-Aug-13 20:02:50

Oh gosh.

I jumped on here all ready to go "reflux! Dairy intolerance! Blah blah"

You have been there.

Sounds so very waring. But how rude of people to comment on his grumpiness.

Can he do any sign language type stuff? I am stabbing in the dark but could greater communication help?

BettyandDon Sat 03-Aug-13 20:16:56

That sounds really difficult for you. In your situation I would just do what enjoys as much as I could. If he likes being in the buggy go for mammoth walks and things.

Have you seen a dr specifically about the crying?

Gyllenhaalic Sat 03-Aug-13 20:21:13

Well I did when he was younger. I've also told the Health Visitors and his physiotherapist as she was beginning to think he just hated her. I had to explain that this is just what he's like.

I do tend to go out every day. Hours and hours walking but surely this can't be good for him because he's not really practicing any skills or learning anything. Just sat there while I blabber on in his ear.

I just feel like I've kind of hit a wall really. 18 months of hearing your child cry and being on edge the whole time is just awful.

I love him so much. He gives the best kisses and can be so cuddly and sweet but it's always punctuated by crying and moaning.

OP’s posts: |
feekerry Sat 03-Aug-13 20:56:42

does he go to nursery or similar at all?

ZombiesAteMyBigToe Sat 03-Aug-13 21:17:25

I shuddered when I read your OP, as you described to a tee what my DS was like as a toddler. It was the hardest and darkest period of my life. He had reflux etc as a baby too and was a terrible sleeper.

If it helps, he is almost four and a dream (a dream that never ever stops bloody talking though). He got better as he got older and could communicate better.

IIRC we watched a lot of CBeebies and when we weren't watching tv I did everything I could to tire him out. I'd get him out the pushchair to walk whenever I could, even if it was just to look at bricks or bugs, I talked to him all the time, I made treasure baskets, water play, got out all my saucepans and Tupperware to play with, muddy play and digging in the garden and bought noisy and exciting toys. The bit that worked best for him was a constant stream of consciousness about what I was doing in a calm sing song voice, leaving gaps for him to speak. I praised him all the time for not whinging, for playing nicely etc. He fell in love with a silicon pastry brush which we took everywhere, but whilst he was chewing that he wasn't whinging,

After a few months he stopped whinging so much and life got a bit better but this is such a hard phase when you get a more difficult baby. My first child was the ideal baby, toddler and child so DS was a total shock to the system.

VenusSurprising Sat 03-Aug-13 21:22:17

Oh I feel for you- he does sound very smart.

Maybe try sign language: we did and it was great when there was a lot going on for the DC and the sign would come for home.

It gets easier when they communicate better: make sure he's hydrated all the time.

Chin up, it doesn't last forever, even though it feels like it's never ending.

ZombiesAteMyBigToe Sat 03-Aug-13 21:23:32

DH reminded me that DS had a very limited diet (probably due to the reflux too, he associated food with pain and only ate white things), so I worked on making foods fun, slowly increasing the foods he would tolerate. As his diet improved so did his behaviour and his sleep.

I also didn't bother with toddler groups and at that point we couldn't afford any other childcare, so it was just me and him all the time. Honestly he is one if the most sociable and confident little boys I have ever met, he loves people and like I said, never bloody stops talking!

puppiesandkittens09 Sat 03-Aug-13 21:47:04

Gyllenhaalic, I can only imagine what you're going through. I know this might sound harsh and really hard to do, but you could give it a try and see if it solves anything. would you be able to let him cry it out? if there's nothing wrong with him (not ill/ hungry/ etc) and he's just moody, you could see if being a bit more indifferent towards his crying would teach him not to do it anymore.
telling him it's not good what he's doing might also help on the long run.

would he answer you if you told him 'show mummy what you want' (or however you talk to him)?
also, as ZombiesAteMyBigToe suggested, singing to him could also work. That's how i used to stop my daughter from crying when she was little (when she was about 1-2 months and couldn't move an inch i used to put her down on the couch/ bed and do my chores while singing to her, that was the only thing that settled her down when she wasn't being held)

The TV option is good too, for a short time, to give you some peace of mind. Do you have BabyTV? It's channel 623 on Sky, I'm not sure whether you have to pay for it or not, but you look it up on Youtube to see if it works with your little one. I normally let my Daughter watch it for about an hour a day while I do my cleaning and I don't even need to watch her, she'll sit still giggling and dancing to the nursery rhymes.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, remember you're not alone and we're all here to support you. Just take deep breaths and keep telling yourself it's worth it.

If you need someone to talk to feel free to pm me.
I only tried to tell you what worked with my daughter in the past, thinking perhaps out of all this you might get a useful idea. Wish you best of luck with this, let us know what you decided to do and how it went flowers

lola88 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:12:45

I think he sounds very frustrated DS was like this he was a constant grump until he started walking and got some freedom and independence I think he just didn't like being a baby tbh he can still be a grump and has taken to pulling me around the house by the hand crying when i ask him what he wants he doesn't seem to know.

I keep going by thinking that once he can talk and tell me what the problem is he will be better again. Did you notice any improvement when he crossed milestones like being about to sit up / stand up / feed himself?

I can imagine it must be fucking annoying to want to walk and not being able to sad and i know how frustrating it is when your kid is always the one moaning and crying my friends 12mo has recently turned into a grump and I secretly enjoy it because now DS isn't the only one moaning blush

Gyllenhaalic Sat 03-Aug-13 22:13:11

Thank you all for such kind responses. I was beginning to think that I am the only one who has ever ever had a child like this.

I am not sure about the crying it out thing though. I am not against it but he still seems so young and it's not as if he's crying continuously for long lengths of time, just whinging and on the verge of tears.

He's very very easily tipped into tears and gets angry and starts throwing himself around. Often with no obvious cause.

I am pretty sure it is frustration but part of me feels like he can't help that and it's my job to help him feel less frustrated. Then I feel guilty for not being able to cheer him up.

However, I must admit I don't always respond kindly to him. I have been known to snap at him and just tell him to STOP. Sometimes he does just stop crying and carries on playing, other times he's upset by it and it makes him cry harder.

Arrrgh I don't know! I am prepared to try anything I guess.

I just feel like there's always an air of misery around him. That sounds terrible doesn't it? I know it does. He's just so hard to be around sometimes and sometimes I just have to remind him I'm in the room and clambers over me crying. It's as if he's just wired to be sad sad

zombies Thank you for your post. It made me realise he won't be a frustrated baby forever and one day he'll be chattering away to me! It's just hard to see that when you're in the thick of it, isn't it?

I can't help but feel a little bit 'robbed' of his babyhood and the happy go lucky toddlers I see in the park. DS really will just cruise around whinging and crying until I distract him with a snack, put him in the pushchair or we go out in the bloody car!

He's just relentlessly miserable. Every medical professional says he's fine. He's putting on weight. He's pointing, talking a bit, babbling constantly. He just does it all in a whiny voice and it always ends in crying.

I swear sometimes I'll just look accross the room and smile at him and aski him what he's doing and he'll throw himself down and begin to whine because he's remembered I'm there!

OP’s posts: |
Gyllenhaalic Sat 03-Aug-13 22:27:19

Hahaha lola I had to laugh at your comment about secretly liking the fact that your friend's 12 month old has become a grump!

All my friends babies are so placid and happy to just sit and watch. DS has never ever been that sort of baby. He always needed a lot of input. I'd secretly love it if my friend's DD whinged bit which sounds evil!

OP’s posts: |
BaldricksTurnip Sat 03-Aug-13 22:38:52

I'm afraid to say that he sounds like a completely normal toddler grin They do do ALOT of crying and moaning at that age. I think it's mainly sheer frustration at not being able talk/walk etc. Please don't take the advice to let him 'cry it out', which is a euphemism for 'ignore your child', as this most certainly is not what he (or any child) needs. Maybe try and join some groups where you can meet other mums and toddlers so that you can both get a bit of a break. Best of luck to you smile

puppiesandkittens09 Sun 04-Aug-13 00:16:44

baldricks, I might have generalised the idea a bit too much. op, what I meant is try not to give him more attention because he's whinging. like, if you think it's a tantrum, let him know it's not nice what he's doing and ignore the whinging. start singing, playing with his fingers/toes, distract him with toys, etc.

Gyllenhaalic Sun 04-Aug-13 21:52:15

Thank you to everyone hwoo has responded. Don'y worry puppies I know what you mean, i suppose he has learned that whining and crying gets him what he wants. It's just so hard to listen to and it's sending me to the edge! I feel loopy. I love him but there are times when I just don't like him sad . Everything we do now is so so strssful. I find us rushing through simple things like a trip to the local garden centre today. By the time we got DS in the trolley, we felt we couldn't stop to actually look at anything bcause he'll start whinging to get moving or reaching over and crying for things he can't have. Nothing is simple or fun anymore because it all has to be carefully planned around him and his moods. Is this normal?? Probably not but I needed people's opinion and advice!

Baldricks Thank you, I am very relieved to hear you say he sounds like a normal toddler! I know they all get frustrated and moany, I know they can whinge and cry but with DS there seems no obvious cause. It's not even like a constant pain cry or anything, just a constant grizzle and he'll flare up into tantrum, throwing himself around, hitting himself etc at the drop of a hat. I just don't seem to be able to make him happy.

OP’s posts: |
Apileofballyhoo Sun 04-Aug-13 22:03:49

How much sleep does he get?

Gyllenhaalic Sun 04-Aug-13 22:30:26

He sleeps from 7pm til 7:30am (REALLY CAN NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT!!!) Then has a nap about 11:30- 1pm. I think he is getting enough sleep. He's moody nd whingy even after only 10 minutes of waking up in the morning.

OP’s posts: |
ItsNotUnusualToBe Sun 04-Aug-13 22:39:26

I have no practical advise but just a plea to you : make sure you look after your own emotional health.

Misty9 Sun 04-Aug-13 22:49:10

It does sound a lot like frustration. Funny question, but have you tried doing much rough and tumble with him? Tears release stress hormones, but so does laughing. Is he ticklish at all? It's not good to always tickle them, but does he like it? We chuck ds around on the bed and he now asks for rough and tumble (by pointing at the bed) when he's feeling a bit frustrated!

If he's frustrated by not walking, does he like being in walker type toys? Jumperoo type things, or proper old fashioned walkers? Or a door bouncer?

I really feel for you though; when ds was 6mo, he was grumpy for the entire month. It got to the point where I was about to take him to the gp as thought there must be a reason for it! Then it just passed. He's 23mo now btw.

Gyllenhaalic Sun 04-Aug-13 22:58:23

Thank you itsnotunusual I am trying...though failing! It's hard to be upbeat and not get down about it.

Misty9 yes he is ticklish and laughs a lot when I get my chin on his belly and tickle him whilst blowing raspberries etc. I have o be careful when I do this because sometimes it over stimulates him and he just cries! Usually he will laugh though. I never really thought of using that as way of relieving his stress and frustration though so thank you. I will try it!

He hated his door bouncer because it restrained him too much. He did like his normal baby walker but I found once he could pull up and cruise that he didn't want to be in it any more. He got annoyed and wanted to go where he wanted to without the frame getting in the way!! He likes to crawl about and be free. (Well, I say he 'likes' to..he doesn't like being stopped from doing and will cry if I restrict him it BUT he will still come up and whinge even when he is playing or crawling about.)

I think he wants to touch and feel everything. He's not happy being a baby at all and wants to experience everything. He has SUCH a low thresh-hold for frustration. It's sad for him more than anything. I just want my son to be happy.

OP’s posts: |
ItsNotUnusualToBe Sun 04-Aug-13 23:05:29

Please put as much thought and effort into cheering yourself up as you do for your son. Really, it is just as important and possibly more effective / productive.

Best wishes.

Theironfistofarkus Sun 04-Aug-13 23:11:40

One of my Dc was exactly like this as a baby. I used to call him asbo baby. Is now a very cheerful positive and v clever young man. So easy to look after. He does have v mild sensory processing disorder but it doesn't really cause him any difficulties in life - doesnt particularly like loud noises etc and is sensitive but that's it really. Worth just keeping an eye out for though. Most likely your DS is just frustrated.

Gyllenhaalic Mon 05-Aug-13 11:32:37

Thank you theironfistoffarkus that is reassuring that he;s now easy to look after! I can't ever imagine our DS ever being happy or 'easy'! I have taken to avoiding people and not taking him to people's houses because I know how he will behave and I can't take their comments sad I feel the need to make up excuses for him all the time but in reality he's just not a nice baby to be around which makes me feel guilty. Everytime someone passes comment or looks at him like this hmm it just reaffirms how 'different' and difficult he is. We take him to toddler groups and soft play where we don't know anyone so they tend not to comment!

OP’s posts: |
Misty9 Mon 05-Aug-13 19:35:19

I can't believe your friends makes comments sad if you can't rely on them...! Have you ever said anything? Not confrontational but just, 'it worries me that he's unhappy, so I try to focus on the positives' or something?

Hope the rough and tumble helps - other than that, I'd echo other posters and emphasis looking after yourself and getting a break when you can. It's a long phase, but it will pass. Hugs.

pipsicles Mon 05-Aug-13 21:35:44

I'm sorry to hear that you have so many people in RL making you feel bad. That seems really insensitive sad

I agree with others who have suggested baby signing if you feel he is frustrated. My DS was about 18mo when we started going to classes, although I had been doing bits and pieces with him myself at home. We went to sing and sign classes, which, as the name suggests, uses songs to teach the signs in a fun way. There are two DVDs to go with the classes and CDs and books too, so you can do a lot of it at home. DS has always been a bit late on the communication front, but he suddenly came on leaps and bounds when we started classes and it has really helped to avoid too many tantrums because we understand each other even when he can't say the words. It might be worth looking into anyway...

Do make sure you look after yourself.


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