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12 month old - highly strung, very unsettled, upset for no apparent reason every day, please help!!!(6 Posts)
My son turned 1 last month. He has always been a difficult baby. I think the best way to describe him would be highly strung and unsettled.
Everyday when he wakes, he will start shouting and getting upset quickly. As soon as I hear him I go through to his room and I have never once in his life gone through to see a smile on his face.
He will eat his porridge at breakfast fairly easily but lunch and dinner are a struggle. He refuses savoury food whether it's finger food or spoon fed.
In the pushchair he faces me and can usually last about 10 mins before he starts getting upset. When he's upset it's not usually a wail, it's more of a mid point between crying and shouting.
He sometimes struggles around other people (his age or adult), he just seems very anxious.
He is upset a few times everyday ranging from 1 hour to 3 hours in total. During this time his is very shouty and just doesn't know what he wants. He will be upset if I'm holding him as upset if I put him down. Recently he has started throwing his head back if he is upset.
I spoke to my HV about this and she said he is struggling to regulate his emotions which makes perfect sense to me but didn't really offer any help or advice.
I meet my NCT group and other baby group friends once or twice a week and it is so painfully obvious to me that he is different from a 'normal' baby. We can't get through a single meeting without him getting upset.
I'm worried about his mental health and I don't know what to do. He is unhappy so often and I can't soothe him at all. He's fine when he is distracted by play but I struggle to keep up the high energy it would take to keep him distracted and entertained for his whole day.
Has anyone else had this or can offer any advice?
He seems so frustrated and anxious, I feel awful that a child this young is dealing with this! My husband and I are both paid back so I don't think it is environmental in that respect but I do believe there is something I could be doing which I'm not that would help him.
He also won't sit on my knee or anyone else's. If e.g. I am at a friends house for coffee and I've got him on my knee, he will shout and shout until I put him down and then he will start crying. If I pick him up he will push me away. He is very physical and loud.
Our little girl was very similar at that age she's currently 17 months old and things have gotten a lot better. Once she learnt to walk she was able to get about without our assistance (which seemed to annoy her!) But the big change has come from communication. She's only got 3 words (cat, dog, hiya) which she still doesn't use very much but we constantly ask her questions (do you want to go here, have that ect) and she grunts for yes or shakes her head for no. Since this she seems much happier. Fingers crossed it gets better for you OP
My little boy is the same age and sounds quite similar. He has also always been very highly strung. I recently posted on here because I was concerned that he already has tantrums. He is a confident walker, but it hasn't really calmed him because he's so insistent on getting where he wants with no help, for example running straight into ponds etc, that he gets really upset if you try to hold his hand or stop him going where he wants. And he does not stay still or sit on my lap pretty much ever. I'm hoping that as he starts getting more words it might help? Although he already points lots and shakes his head when he doesn't want something. But anyway, you're not alone in finding it hard.
Things that help us:
- making sure he's not too tired. He will fight naps no matter how tired he is. I have to walk around singing to him until he's sleepy enough to put down and he still needs 2 naps a day. He gets really manic and all over the place with his emotions when he's tired. If he doesn't nap well it also tends to make him wake up super early.
- With food, he is generally quite a good eater, but he is sooo grumpy when he's hungry. But also, I keep it in mind that I can't force him to eat. He won't eat from a spoon anymore, but I make sure I'm offering him something nutritious that he should like, and it's then up to him to eat it or not. I also make sure to offer snacks between meals.
- get out the house. Baby groups etc he might still have the odd strop, but they keep him busy and entertained.
I think that it would be wise to see a GP (not a HV). Most toddlers will be busy, fussy, defiant, stubborn and self centered but your description of him sounds a bit extreme. Like previous posters I too thought that his frustration could come from being unable to communicate but it sounds relentless. Could he be in physical pain? something like reflux? headaches? etc - a GP could investigate this.
You said that he never smiled at you in the morning when he sees you? does he smile at anyone? does he reciprocate a smile if someone familiar smiles at him? a social smile develops at around four months old and is an important milestone. Food sensitivities to savory foods, potential physical sensitivities of being touched (not liking to be held) and long periods of being upset for no apparent reason could also be concerning.
How is he developing otherwise? has he had will 12 month wellness examination, and how did he do in his ASQ 12M? the results could really shed some light on what could be going on (as it measures his communication, motor, problem solving and social skills against his peers).
@AladdinMum I wonder about him being in pain but can't pinpoint anything. He does have a milk allergy and is completely dairy free. I do wonder if there is another allergy.
His development is good and he scored highly on his 12 month HV check.
He will social smile but always wakes up in a mood so I never go through to a smiley face.
I have considered going to a GP. I just feel silly going in for a crying baby ☹️
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