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Tantrums in a 12 month old- is this normal? What can I do?

(11 Posts)
liv01 Mon 06-Oct-08 09:59:48

My dd has just turned one. She has always been a 'high needs' baby since birth- she is unhappy much of the time and screams and whinges if she doesn't get exactly what she wants. This has now progressed to full on temper tantrums- throwing herself on the floor and screaming uncontrollably. Sometimes the only way to stop her is to take her out of the house in the buggy.

She will not let anyone else hold her apart from me and, again, screams and throws herself on the floor if I leave the room for even a few seconds. This has extended to mealtimes and she now eats nothing apart from fruit- throwing her food on the floor and screaming until she gets some.

How do I respond to this? I know the theories of what to do with this in toddlers but a one year old is very different and I am not quite sure what to do! Thank you for your help.

meandmyjoe Mon 06-Oct-08 16:06:31

Hi liv, think I spoke to you when my ds was around 6 months old, he was very high needs too and spent most of the day crying whilst I carried him round as I couldn't ever sit down with him or he screamed. Just want you to know that my ds is exactly the same as your dd is now! He is 14 months old and is VERY strong willed and cries if I try and move him from something or take something off him. He screams if he doesn't get his own way and throws himself down and thrashes about when I say no to him. No advice other than to ignore it as much a possible but I'm sending lots of sympathy!

meandmyjoe Mon 06-Oct-08 16:08:02

Oh and meal times are a nightmare too at the minute. He hates being spoonfed and throws finger foods everywhere. The only thing he seems to really enjoy at the moment is grapes. Very had work.

loisandluce Mon 06-Oct-08 16:23:13

Here it comes - wait for it.... IT'S A STAGE!

My daughter was exactly the same - she had her first tantrum about a week after her first birthday. It's early, (but surely a sign of great intelligence wink). How's your daughter doing with language? I think you'll find that the tantrums stop as soon as she can express herself... it's often just sheer frustration of not being able to make themselves understood.

Don't worry about the eating thing too much - it's normal too. I got round it by trying to eat when my daughter did, so that she saw me eating different things, and giving her bits to try. If you're worried about the balance in her diet, try slipping her things (other than fruit) when she's not expecting it. When you walk out of the room, tell her where you're going and why - I'm just popping upstairs to go to the loo, I'll be back in a minute. Then she'll get used to the idea that you go, but and as good as your word, you come back in a minute.

From my experience, the calmer you are about it and the less of a deal you make it, the quicker she'll grow out of this phase. Just keep telling yourself that it IS a phase and she will grow out of it.
Good luck - it's a tough one, but it does end.

liv01 Mon 06-Oct-08 21:16:43

Thanks meandmyjoe- I often read your posts and sigh in recognition! There is an interesting post at the moment about managing a 'spirited' 2 year old- I read it and realised that this is what we are in for later!!

And yes- I have tried to convince myself that it is a sign of great intelligence. Interestingly- she was very late to babble and never crawled- all within normal limits but incredibly frustrating for her as she can still not move independently or make herself understood. I am sure that that is part of it but am also aware that much of it is just her personality. I just feel so sorry for her as she finds life so difficult and there is so little I can do about it.

Shylily Tue 07-Oct-08 14:49:31

Have you tried baby signing? I should have tried this when my DS was 12 months. A friend uses it with her DD 12 months and the only time she screams or tantrums is if they don't understand her signing immediately. Have heard similar reports from other people.

meandmyjoe Tue 07-Oct-08 19:28:48

My ds was quite late to crawl which only added to his frustration. Strangely he was a fairly early walker and was walking in time for his birthday, she may suprise you and just get up and do it sooner than you think. I'm sure it'll get easier when she's mobile as she'll be less frustrated (hopefully!).

I often worry what he'll be like as a 2 year old! You never know though, they may mellow and actually have got it out their system by then, possibly wishful thinking but we're allowed to dream! Good luck, it will end at some point xxxxxxx

loler Tue 07-Oct-08 19:39:54

My ds2 is 13 mnths and incredibly laid back however he is also a scraming demon if something is taken off him. They have just worked out that they can take control - it's completely normal. The best way to deal with them is laugh - it stops me from getting cross.

The good news is that it does get better. My dd (5) now only throws tantrums rarely - they get less frequent but more (if you can believe it) intense - I just stand clear and let her get on with it!

While you are worrying about 2 year old tantrums, I'm very worried about the teenage ones hmm.

Habbibu Tue 07-Oct-08 19:49:49

My mum's tip which we've found really helpful is to "brief" little ones as much as you can - so tell her what the plan for the day is, then what's going to happen in the morning, then what's going to happen next - lots of children don't seem to like not having any knowledge of what's happening next as they become more aware of themselves and their surroundings. It may be that sometimes she's not screaming because she's not getting what she wants, but rather than something's happened that she didn't expect, or something stopped unexpectedly. Might be worth a try, anyway - esp. with stopping playing, or taking a toy away - a couple of minutes warning can go a long way.

mamadoc Tue 07-Oct-08 20:03:03

It may pass sooner than you think....

My DD went through a horrible tantrum phase about 12-15 months. Throwing herself on the floor so hard she got bruises on her forehead and throwing food or toys if she didn't want it/ couldn't make them do what she wanted.

The good news is that now at 17mo she can run around and has a lot of words and can tell me what she wants and it has almost completely stopped. She understands a lot more too so things like warning her and making a joke of it work a lot better.

In the meantime you just have to let them get on with it I think. I was always used to DD liking being held a lot and I actually felt a bit rejected that she would push me away when having a strop but the best strategy seemed to be to ignore completely and then start doing something you know they won't be able to resist (for DD reading a book). I was amazed that after a while of horrendous screaming she would just pick herself up and creep over to see what I was up to.

tiggyfours Fri 26-Aug-11 12:03:36

Glad there are others who have had tantrums in a 12 month old, she is number four, and was not expecting it for a while!

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