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22 month old suddenly become really grumpy and crying/gurning most of the day!

(22 Posts)
GlummyMummy Sun 27-Mar-16 20:04:14

My 22 month old has always been a happy wee thing but just in the last week she has been very grumpy and has spent most of the day gurning at me!! I don't know if it's a phase or the start of the terrible twos, or whether this is her true personality coming through now, but it's very tiring and hard to deal with.

She is very strong-willed, so when she gets something in her head she will shout at me, repeating the word constantly until she gets her own way. The rest of the time she seems to be very over-sensitive, looking for her dummy a lot, and crying at the slightest thing! It's very hard to distract her as she doesn't really settle to play with toys. The only time she is quiet is if I let her watch tv but then I worry about the amount of screen time she is having. She's also become picky with food, so spends most of meal times crying because she doesn't like what we give her (meals that she would normally eat happily!)

Wondered if others have experience of this and how best to deal with it. Just hoping she's not going to be like this permanently. We certainly don't see many smiles from her these days! :-(

Misty9 Sun 27-Mar-16 23:36:28

I could have written most of that myself for my 23 month old dd! She's definitely exerting her will more lately and wants 100% of my attention constantly. It's exhausting. I did a bit of power play with her yesterday and that seems to help (basically any game where they get to overpower you, like pushing you over). They're starting to notice a lot more around them at this age and realise the impact they can have. They do thrive on boundaries to make them feel safe - however much they may protest! Mine is also teething her final molars so is grumpy and chewy - could be that for yours too?

GlummyMummy Tue 29-Mar-16 19:56:50

Hi Misty9, thanks for your post. It's comforting to hear it's not just us going through it!!! I know what you mean about the power play, her favourite game is wrestling with her Daddy on the floor after tea. I am always paranoid she's going to go out and start wrestling other kids and squashing them though!

Don't think she is teething, certainly no drooling which is usually the tell-tale sign. She has also started waking up through the night though again (having slept through from 18 months) and has been very fussy with food (all she wants is toast and yoghurt....oh or cake!)

It is exhausting as you say. She is just very wingey and nothing seems to please her. We had family over for a meal on Easter Sunday and she basically cried through it. The joys! Just hoping it passes soon.

winchester1 Tue 29-Mar-16 20:04:26

Does she still nap, be change that / shorten or drop so she sleeps through the night again.
With food we just have family service and let the toddlers choose, and do things like veg and fruits as snacks.

Ours also like to wrestle, I.think its normal as they learn their strengths and what they can do. Like puppies play fighting. They don't do it with other kids though so.i guess they know somehow its not the done thing.

ipswichwitch Tue 29-Mar-16 20:09:34

Sounds like teething to me. DS2 had never had any bother teething - no nappy rash/drooling/issues eating (not like his brother!) but since he turned 2 his last 4 molars are coming through and he is gurning, refusing most food, apart from very soft stuff, and waking through the night when he's slept through from about 6 months. I know it's definitely teething because his gums are red and he's got bulging lumps at the back. The last molars can be a nightmare coming through - as I remember well from DS1!

GlummyMummy Tue 29-Mar-16 20:23:39

winchester1 - yes, she does still have a nap in the afternoon but we usually waken her if she sleeps more than 1 hour 30 mins. She has no problem going to sleep at bedtime - I always thought that if they were needing to drop their nap they would refuse to go down. She does go down fine but had been wakening at 4/5am. Last night it was 2am though! She still uses a dummy and when she wakens now she is shouting "dummy" cause it's fallen out the cot. It used to always fall out and not bother though so that is strange.

ipswichwitch - I am itching to look in her mouth but she won't let us!! Just assumed she would have red cheeks, very dribbly mouth and bad nappies as this is her usual signs of teething. You could be right though.

winchester1 Wed 30-Mar-16 09:17:39

With ours it was night waking that ment time to drop a nap. They always went down fine.
Could you put the dummy on a clip to her pjs to avoid the dropping?

GlummyMummy Wed 30-Mar-16 18:35:34

that's interesting then, sounds like it could be time to drop the nap. She hasn't had a nap today as we were out all day so will see what happens tonight! We've never done the clip thing overnight, just usually put a couple of dummies in her cot. It says on the clip packets not to use overnight.....not sure why?

Misty9 Wed 30-Mar-16 18:50:36

If it's any consolation mine is much better tempered this week - she's 2 in 3 weeks so possibly an age thing? Definitely saw some molars poking through and her nappies have been horrible. She naps every other day now generally and I just go with it as much as possible. We've got a bumper from ikea all round her cot - Might help with keeping dummies contained? smile

GlummyMummy Wed 30-Mar-16 19:00:49

Misty9 - that is good to hear. Do you still try to put your daughter down for a nap every day then? And yes, I can definitely see the benefit of cot bumpers! Has your daughter been fussy about food?

Misty9 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:36:37

Hi, she'll only sleep at home in the cot so if we're out and about she skips her nap but generally needs it the next day. If I'm at home I'll try and put her down. Saying that, she napped today and I'm currently listening to her yabber on in her cot well after lights out!

She's always been a bit fussy about food... what do you mean specifically? Today she had pizza for tea.

GlummyMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 18:58:29

mine is exactly the same, will only nap in the cot, or occasionally in the car if we are driving a long distance.

My daughter has become incredibly fussy about food this past week (coinciding with the grumpiness) so she will only eat toast or yoghurt or cake!! Flatly refused fish pie last night which she usually likes.

Not sure if it's all related but she seems to have become very sensitive and anxious, keeps asking for cuddles and "calpol" !! I am a bit worried that this is strange behaviour for one so young!

tinymeteor Sat 02-Apr-16 20:00:43

DD is 23 months and going through something very similar. Suddenly prone to HUGE tantrums, nap resisting, massively picky about food, refusing dinner altogether then waking at night out of hunger. I was starting to think she was possessed.

Turned out she got two of her back molars this week. No drooling or exploding nappies which were her usual teething symptoms. Just epic crankiness.

There is clearly a developmental component too, as she's nearly 2 and having a huge leap forward with her speech, but honestly I think a lot of it's the teeth.

GlummyMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 20:47:37

Hi tinymeteor, that's really interesting. I had ruled out it being teething because she's not drooling at all and her nappies are normal. She is certainly very moody and cranky, been like that for a week now. Her sleep has been a bit better, in fact she seems pretty tired. She's also got a really bad cough at night so probably isn't helping. It's just such hard work when she's like this. I feel like every time we step out the house she's crying or gurning. Neighbours must be thinking "oh, there she goes again!"

winchester1 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:51:40

Oh crickey I'd totally missed it had only been a week, my advice was based on a month or so of this behavior. I'd wait it out and see if teeth or a cold appear in the next week before making any drastic changes.

tinymeteor Sat 02-Apr-16 21:06:14

It is so hard isn't it? The sunny kid is still in there though, just developing a bit more emotional range grin

GlummyMummy Sat 02-Apr-16 21:21:50

it's been a couple of weeks now really, though feels like much longer!!! :-)

We do still get glimmers of what she used to be like, though it's like when she smiles, she remembers that she's meant to be moody and then quickly frowns again! None of the other kids her age seem to be going through this so I was worried this was maybe just her personality! Comforting to hear others are experiencing the same.

Misty9 Mon 04-Apr-16 19:19:46

I agree with growth spurt and developmental leap - dd had an almighty growth spurt recently and grew out of most of her clothes almost overnight. It's hard work growing that fast I bet.

The food thing makes me think teething though... mine asks for calpol too as she loves the stuff grin separation anxiety can peak at this age too as they realise we can leave and not come back... keep going with the rough and tumble and she'll come through it. I'm. Listening to dd singing in her cot! She cracks me up smile

GlummyMummy Mon 04-Apr-16 19:39:31

She's certainly started stringing words together so it could be that. Still poking her finger in her mouth, and pretty tired. Maybe just a combination of things. She seems to have become more aware of fear and danger eg at play parks too. Good to hear there is light at the end of the tunnel, we've not had giggles from her in a while

tinymeteor Tue 05-Apr-16 11:28:53

So funny you should say that about the giggles disappearing, I remember thinking a month ago that it was really hard to get a picture of DD smiling these days and laughs were few and far between. I wondered if she just wasn't a smiley kid, and it's true her personality is quite reserved. But since the teeth have come through and she's got all this new language it's like the sun has come out again. She's giving us running commentary on everything and laughing a lot. I think she had just been in an intense phase of almost knowing what was going on but not quite having the words for it. So much happier now!

GlummyMummy Tue 05-Apr-16 14:03:36

tinymeteor, that is so good to hear! I was starting to think my daughter was just going to be quite a serious child. Their commentary can be very funny as you say, and the way they say things is hilarious!

LittleBee23 Sat 03-Dec-16 14:14:15

I've just googled cranky 21month old and found this thread and so relieved. My toddler is horrendous just now. Screaming all day long every day and wanting carried about on my hip like a baby. I can't put her down or make dinner or even go to the toilet. I'm demented.
My gut instinct is that it's teeth but I can't see or feel any yet. I know her back molars are the only ones she's still to get.

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