19 month old(25 Posts)
Hi, my daughter is 19 months old. She's an absolute sweetheart, but some of her behaviour is really upsetting me and is dominating my view of her. The problem is she reacts in a massive way to people handling her.
- Nappy changing is just awful. She kicks, flips and bites if she gets a chance. I have to grab a leg for dear life to try and stop her from getting poo everywhere. She gets upset, I get upset.
- Any sort of restraint. She fights the buggy, the car seat. She screams, kicks, and arches her back.
- Wiping her face.
- Getting her dressed and putting on her coat. She'll often swing to the floor and hurt herself.
- Attempting to hold her hand to guide her or pick her up.
I'm sure some of this sounds very normal to a lot of you, it's just the frequency and the extremeness that is so upsetting. I had some elements of this with my older son, but not nearly to this extent. You basically have about 20 fits of some sort each day and it is WEARING! And I feel like an absolute monster when I have to grapple with her so frequently.
She's a very independent little girl and I love and respect her nature. But her massive reaction to the simplest of actions I feel forces me to handle her in a way I would never want to and that in turn probably makes her fight it more next time. I try to approach these tasks in a light hearted way and try not to restrain her unless I really need to, but it doesn't seem to change her reaction.
I know she's at that pickle stage. She's also got a bit of a speech delay (not many proper consistent sounds), which is probably frustrating her.
If any of you have any practical suggestions to help me and her dad through this arse of a stage I would be supremely grateful.
I have no helpful suggestions but my 16 month old is exactly the same in everything that you have described and it is very wearing.
Didn't mean for the subject title to be quite so vague.... So thank you if you took a punt and read this!
Haven't actually got any advice (someone who does will come along soon hopefully!) but just wanted to say you sound like a really lovely mum, I really liked what you said about "respecting her nature" It is easy to enforce our own values on our child, or to be (overly) authoritative she they challenge us, but I think there is also something to be said for giving your child the space & respect that they need/deserve. Hope this phase passes soon for you.
Mine is 18 months and letting her do everything herself helps a lot but takes forever as obviously she can't do anything fully herself yet. Nappy changes for eg she likes to get the wipe from the packet herself and has a go at 'wiping' herself. Getting dressed she wants to put her own arms in and tries to do her socks etc and I give loads of praise for putting her trousers on her head while I quickly do it properly!
I think it's a really frustrating stage, wanting to be very independent but unable to.
Nappy changes... might be worth switching to pull up type ones - not for any "pants" type reasons - but I find them much easier to put on a scarpering toddler - legs in holes, release toddler and yank 'em up as they go to run away.
Restraint - we get the toddler ironing board of doom thing from DD2... DD1 wasn't as bad with it - I find having my car keys or phone hanging out of my mouth distracts them long enough for them to bend in the middle so I can get the straps done up!
Thanks all for your support and ideas.
PartPixie - that's comforting to hear!
AStudentAgain - Them's kind words. Thanks very much.
Hoppus & MiaowTheCat - Thanks for the excellent suggestions. A friend suggested the pull-ups for her and I will give them a whirl. She's one of those frequent poo-ers though (tmi!), so I had thought it all might get a bit messy. I like the idea of her wiping herself and generally letting her try and do things for herself. I will try. I like the dangly keys distraction idea very much and I'll defo give that a go and perhaps some sultana bribery!
Does she use a dummy? We keep one clipped onto the buggy and DD is sometimes less reluctant to get in as she is happy to get her special "buggy dummy" and is also more pliable while distracted by it, similar to the jangling keys idea. A little toy just for buggy/carseat use might work the same.
I am having the same issues with my 19month old, I'm hoping it is just a phase!
We have been using pull ups since about 10 months, I love them they are so much easier. I have been trying to explain what I am doing and getting him to help, also biscuit bribery for car seat/buggy if need be.
Mine is exactly the same
For nappy changes I've started using pull-ups as it means I can change her standing up, and she seems to get far less outraged by that! My feeling is that she wants to be a big girl and associates nappies with being a baby.
As to the tantrums about other things, sadly I have no idea.
But helps at the end of the day.
Ds was exactly the same at this age. It passes. For nappy change l switched to pull ups for some time and also let him be nappy free. If he peed or pooped on the floor l just cleaned it. One advice l can give you is don't use force, it makes things much, much worse. Pick your battles, if you don't need to go out and she is refusing to get in the pram, stay indoors, don't want face wiped, let her be dirty for a bit. Like everything it is part of development. Ds now lies down on the changing mat and asks to be changed. He jumps in the pram, wipes his face and hands when asked. He is 23 months old. It is yet another faze
I think you'll find it is just a case of wanting independence. With my dd who is exactly the same with regards to being independent I try and make situations look like she is the one who is in control although it will actually be me. Let her try and do things herself but you do it at the same time whilst praising her for having done it.
Mine is exactly the same too. Nappy changes are such a nightmare!
Pull up nappy, changed with them standing at the (leather thank god) sofa. Something entertaining to look at/ read. Pre prepare all wipes, new nappy & bag.
You do need to hold up a leg clean right in there but soooo much easier.
Getting dressed- my current trick is to say we are putting her pjs on teddy. Then get them off her and wrestle her into the pre prepared outfit.
Songs! A great tip from my speech & language friend. Have a song for each activity. We sing the hoky coky (sp?) for putting new nappy on/ tights/ trousers/ socks.
Putting shoes & coat on pre leaving the house- only way possible is to sit her on my knee, sing said song for shoes application. Then hope for the best & be breezily cheerful for coat application. I always say wiggle wiggle fingers so she wiggles her hands through the arms and feels a bit more empowered as to what's going on.
My dd is 20mo and officially high needs/ fussy baby. It's tiring but she's fab. Just battle though, don't shout as I think they match your volume. Even try whispering. Just mix it up with happy songs.
Do you explain what's about to happen and what's happening? Coz they understand so much before they can tell us stuff. I give mine 'briefings' like we are going to put our shoes and coats on, mummy will pack that bag then we get in that car and mummy will drive to x class. So she may whinge but she does know what's happening.
I remember being mystified as a child at stuff just happening to me. So I always give briefings and I think it helps set the scene.
And think of the battles as her just learning how the world works. She's realising it can't all go her way and that makes her cross. Have you read toddler calm? I found it a very helpful book.
For getting dressed another song is Alice the camel. But change it to- Alice the camel has two legs, one head etc etc. it's educational, entertains them, introduces counting, and distracts them from the clothes being shoved on. Great
Justgoto, you seem to know what you are doing. Amy suggestions with a nappy with poo that requires 8-10'wipes to clean off? LO doesn't want to put legs up, doesnt want me to clean and wants to put hands on the mess
My LO used to scarper every time he saw the mat but I found letting him choose a toy to bring with him offered an element of control as well as a distraction once he was there!
I bow say "time for a nappy change!" And he stops and says "Oh! I choose a car!" Sometimes he'll happily bring the one he's already got in his hand but other times we have to hunt for 5mins to find a specific one but he will then come and lie down with no further issue.
Like JustGo we also using singing as a distraction for EVERYTHING from brushing teeth to giving medicine. I find he's then concentrating on my voice and the words of the song rather than the unpleasant thing we have to do to him.
Oh! And I second the "briefings". My LO would go into meltdown if I tried to drag him away from anything and force him into a coat/pushchair/highchair/etc. I realised it was because he couldn't see past the current moment. Going in the pushchair meant his game of tractors was ending FOREVER. Once I started saying things like "we're going to have lunch now and afterwards we'll play tractors again" then life got much easier!
I have a very "independent" boy...
My DS refused holding hand at that age - we used reigns instead, which made hkm happy.
For nappy change, I use several distraction techniques - involving him into preparation, distracting by talking about pictures on the nappy, singing "wheels on the bus" and doing actions with his legs (that is, if he cooperates to lie down). Also, what really worked, but probably a bit later, at ~21-22 months, letting him choose whether to change nappy on the changing table or on the floor.
Giving a choice works for us in many situations - so he almost always can choose which of the two tops to wear, which socks, etc. Sometimes he still says "no" to everything, but most of the time it makes him feel as if it his decision, rather than something imposed on him.
It does get better as they grow and get more verbal. E.g. my DS was frequently upset before the meal, because I was giving him a "wrong" spoon (even though it was his favourite yesterday - "no, peter rabbit spoon in unacceptable today, I will not take anything but tractor spoon!")
Good luck, and it does get better!
Hope those are all my coping tricks! I wish I didn't have to do them all, but otherwise it's chaos.
Do you do standing up nappy changes? If not give it a go. I think when they aren't used to lying on the floor anymore it's a bit annoying for them.
Luckily my dd doesn't grab the poo. But I do compliment on her poos! So I say let's change your nappy did you do a poo? Is it a lovely poo? Take nappy off (after prepping everything) and look at it- oh what a lovely poo. Then wipe. It seems to work and I want her to have a positive sense about her body, not disgust. We usually use 4 wipes for poos. But I guess that's brand specific for thickness wetness & poo consistency!
My 19 month ds gets a grape in each hand for a nappy change. Then when I'm starting to wipe he gets a wipe too and cleans his toes/socks which helps with me having to wipe.
Agree with previous posters about plenty of warning of what we are going to do next.
Tv off and any other distractions kept to a minimum when leaving the house. And I also give ds a choice when possible eg which coat would you like to wear or which shoes are you wearing 2day? Sometimes he wears his welly boots for a week but it saved a tantrum and he had footwear on!
And the obvious statement spoken about 15 times daily no coat, no shoes, no going out.
Lots of praise when he does do something he's been asked and when a tantrum starts I leave him to it move to another room and busy myself with something else until he has calmed down.
(And op I had the my little pony lickety split when I was wee! Blast from the past )
Ah we have had welly boot gate here this week. And yes she has gone to sleep in them and yes her first words upon waking are- welly boots on. So changing nappy causes hysterics coz it means the beloved wellies have to be temporarily removed. Oh so much wailing
My little girl was the same at nine months. It used to be difficult to change her nappy. Or get her back in the car. She seems to understand when we were going out somewhere and that was easy to get in the car but coming back was a problem.
For her nappy change I give her the tab of nappy cream or her nappy for her to hold. That distracts her for a bit. She seems used to it now that I give her something to hold while lying down.
With getting in the car just make sure that they don't feel car sick because that could be the problem.
I can't think of other ways I can help you.
Aargh we've got wellygate here too with our 18mo! Wants to wear them 24/7 and has to put them on herself, but gets so frustrated when she can't.
With nappy changes, if she's resistant we do her bunnys nappy first (she wipes and puts a nappy on her fave cuddly bunny) and is then happy to take her turn. Failing that switching cbeebies on and letting her watch that from the mat works wonders!
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