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Why is my 14 mo so unhappy? All the time?

(11 Posts)
MissLiss Mon 29-Dec-08 19:22:18

I'm having an impossible time with ds2 who is 14 months, and I feel really blue about it sad. He is highly spirited - always has been - and I know he's frustrated by not being able to communicate as well as he wants to, but he's incredibly difficult at the moment. And really sad. He whinges and whines most of the time, goes bonkers if I leave his sight, won't go to anybody else (including DH) and doesn't really seem to enjoy anything. It's getting increasingly difficult to distract him.

I don't know why he's so unhappy. I appreciate that there may be factors like illness (he's had a horrid cold recently), teeth (although I think that's easing off) and quite severe separation anxiety, but I feel like he's miserable and I really don't want him to be. I want him to feel happy, secure and very well loved, and I don't feel like he thinks that he is. Is that really silly? It makes me feel like a rotten mother though and I'm running out of ideas.

What can I do to make him feel more secure, and less unhappy? I'm with him most of the time, holding him when he wants to be held (which is pretty much constantly) and trying to engage him in things, but I just get tears and tantrums. Changing him is simply impossible.

What can I do to make him feel better? Will he always feel sad? I did think that I might take him to see a cranial osteopath - anyone think that's a good idea?

Any help/kind words/encouragement very gratefully received. Thank you x

katedan Mon 29-Dec-08 19:30:05

Hi Missliss,

Did not want to read and run as you sounded like you were havig a tough time. It is horrid before they can comunicate and all they seem to do is cry. You have my symaphys as one of my 2 yr old twins is still like this (Althoug is very attached to DH not me so that bodes well for when he returns to work on friday!) Cranial Ostopathy (Sp) might work if he was always an unhappy baby and it is not something that has happend in the last couple of months. Can he walk? if not maybe he is frusrated with not being able to do that. Sorry to not have much help but hope you get it sorted soon.

Katedan

Cathpot Mon 29-Dec-08 19:37:51

Its a horrible time of year for industrial grade grumpiness and couple that with a classic age for clinginess, but it is hard. Have him checked over, maybe he has low grade earache etc? I have lost count of the times I thought my DD1 was having a personality meltdown as it turned out she was ill.If he is fine, hang in there and while you are; have you thought about baby signing? I did signing with both of mine and it was really good for just this bit 13 to 18months where they want to tell you things but cant. I went to classes with the first and then just did it at home with the DVDs with the second, cant recommend it enough.

MissLiss Mon 29-Dec-08 19:45:48

Hey that's a really good idea Cathpot, thank you. I'll give that a go. I know he's frustrated by that, and his communication is improving but signing's a good idea.

Katedan - he's been walking for four or five months and is a real little runaround, so it's not that, but I think it is the communication - he probably watches DS1 get by with his constant chatting and feels a bit upset when I have to go through a million options to find out what he's asking for.

I'm just struggling at the moment with the feeling that I've done (or not done) something to make him feel insecure and miserable, which is probably silly but feels very real nevertheless. DH not at all sympathetic - and never here which doesn't help. But thanks for your ideas - I'll get on to the signing!

meandjoe Mon 29-Dec-08 21:05:33

you haven't done anything wrong, i promise you. you sound like you are doing everyhthing right and giving him lots of love, the fact that you are so worried about him shows what a good mummy he has. my ds was a bloomin miserable baby and is still a total whinge bag/ tantrum throwing cry-y little boy now (nearly 17 months). my theory is (i stress this is just a theory!) that babies who are hard work are just more aware and more sensitive than others. it deffinitely doesn't mean he's unhappy or insecure! some babies are just hard work and are frustrated by being babies. my ds always wants to touch/ taste/ experience everything, really hates being restricted or not being able to have or do whatever he sees adults doing. i'm sure it'll get better as the language and understanding improves a little. it is a very tough time for them. they aren't really babies but don't have any independance or communication to tell you what they want. they are kind of in limbo between babyhood and toddlerhood which totally annoys my ds! he is gorgeous and well loved but my god he can whinge/ cry/ strop for britain! most of what you describe is normal too. separation anxiety is awful til at least 18 months, tantrumming as they have no other way to communicate, whinging, fighting nappy changes/ getting dressed is all normal and him asserting his independance. some babies are just more independant and 'tuned in' to their surroundings and what bothers them than others. xxx

MissLiss Wed 31-Dec-08 12:42:58

Thank you so much meandjoe, what a lovely message. I feel better already!! I think your theory is a great one.

bloss Wed 31-Dec-08 13:16:24

Message withdrawn

loulou33 Wed 31-Dec-08 13:25:54

meanjoe is so right - separation anxiety and being totally bereft when you are gone is perfectly normal and is actually a sign that he is secure and happy with you, in an odd way!! Securely attached babies are distraught when you leave the room at this age. my ds1 did this from about 7 months til 18mths (and still does it now sometimes at 3 years - he tells me 'i just want you'!). Its also an important developmental stage to practise exerting his will so the tanrums/resisting nappy changes etc are all him practising a skill with you first. He was chosen to practise these with you cos he trusts you and feels safe enough with you to do it. its frustrating and disheartening but this stage will pass. my ds1 is now a sunny little boy who chatters non stop - i think once your ds has more language he'll be less frustrated and appear happier.

3littlefrogs Wed 31-Dec-08 13:31:42

If he has had a bad cold it is worth getting his ears checked. I know I bang on about this, but ear infections are so common at this age, and so painful and miserable for the child.

Is he getting at least 12 - 14 hours sleep in every 24? If not he is probably overtired.

Agree, the baby signing idea is a good one. They get so frustrated at this age - their understanding is so much better than their speech.

Cranial osteopathy is also a good idea.

Routine, fresh air, exercise and sleep are the most important things at this age. It will get better.

Kitsilano Wed 31-Dec-08 14:39:08

If it is any comfort I could have written exactly your message about my DD2 who is 13 months - the clinginess, whining, impossible to change/dress - yup! These posts are making me feel slightly better about it though!

Hang in there.

Starshinetiger Wed 31-Dec-08 14:52:04

MissLiss, didn't want to read and run - sorry you're having a time of it with DS2. I can't offer much at all on top of the excellent posts above, but the one thing, which helped us when DS was at this age was asking him to show me - if your DS is already walking, can you ask that. I was gobsmacked when one day I couldn't understand DS and he was sat on floor - he put his hand out and did back and forward movement and I realised he wanted crayons - after that we used the show me a lot and even now (although at 2.3, DS' speech is really good), if I can't understand him, he'll just grab my hand and take me with him to whatever it is he wants (usually a treat when he knows he can't have one grin).
HTH

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