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My 19 month toddler has been so unhappy for months now. Is this a known-to-be-angsty age...?

(11 Posts)
OlderNotWiser Tue 16-Jun-09 14:05:47

My DS 2 has been extremely clingy since he was 9 months old, but for the last 3/4 months he also seems to be really unhappy. He spends the day trailing around after me crying or cry/moaning like some kind of lost soul. He asks to be picked up all the time but when I do, half the time he then pushes me away and leans his head against the wall looking bereft. I do try to spend proper time with him, tho I have a very demanding older DS who is expert at dominating my time and energy. He can be better out, but equally may just moan and cry on me then too.

It can't be any fun for him I know, but I have to be honest and say it is wearing me down now too. I can't get anything done during the day without a wailing child attached to my leg and an older one in my face shouting over him.

I know there are no answers really, its all part of parenting. But who knows, perhaps some one will come along and say 'Yes, its a known phase, and it won't last much longer now!' Please...??!

OlderNotWiser Tue 16-Jun-09 19:47:18

Bumpitty...any thoughts evening crowd?

twinmam Tue 16-Jun-09 19:55:25

It is a known phase and won't last much longer now... grin OK, OK I don't know that but I am sure as he gets older he will get more independent. Perhaps it is his way of getting your attention back from older DS? I think it must be a really frustrating time for toddlers as they can't quite communicate fully yet. As he gets older it will become increasingly easy to explain to him that mummy is busy right now but in a minute we can play together. I try and explain everything I'm doing to my DCs (at suggestion of someone on here) and I think that helps a bit in terms of helping them accept I'm going to leave the room for 5 seconds to get them a drink, for example. How old is older DS? Any chance you could encourage some joint play? If it helps, I know how you feel: my DTs are clingly and I often can't leave the room without a chorus of sobbing and wailing like something from a Greek tragedy. There are times when I am crossing the room with one attached to each leg that I want to scream. They're 16 months old and I am, like you, hoping it is a phase they will grow out of - soon! Good luck.

Pennies Tue 16-Jun-09 19:57:09

Oh this sounds so draining. Poor little man and poor you too - it must be very hard not to see your DS being happy.

Have you spoken to your GP or health visitor about it? I'm not sure what they could offer but it might be a good starting point.

Another thing maybe trying cranial osteopathy - it's a bit off the wall but he might have some kind of discomfort that is causing this unhappiness that he may have had since birth so he may not know that it isn't normal IYSWIM.

It could also be just that he's not cut out for babyhood. DD2 is now 3. She screamed throughout her babyhood and as her communication skills have improved she's been able to keep up with her elder sibling and is MUCH happier. I have realised that her screaming and her anger was in fact just sheer frustration at being so held back by the physical limitation of being a baby. So he may just grow out of it.

What makes him happy?

OlderNotWiser Tue 16-Jun-09 20:06:47

Thanks for replying !! Twinmam, older DS is 3.6 and very FULL ON! Joint play, bizarrely, usually ends in DS1 crying since he is such a control freak that poor DS 2 just can't get it right. Tho, to be fair, DS2's idea of fun with his brother is jumping on him and squashing him...DS2 is quite large for his age! But hopefully, they will get that sorted as time passes. But oh yes, we have plenty of greek tradgedies too!! Keep on saying, ITS A PHASE!

Pennies, yes, it is draining...and I have to say, I have wondered if he is in pain somehow. Its so relentless that surely something is wrong. I think I will have a word with HV and see what she suggests. I did try cranial osteopathy before so will have another think about that too, thanks. I did wonder if maybe it was a frustration thing, wanting to communicate but not yet able. Hopefully if thats the case it should settle soon!

OlderNotWiser Tue 16-Jun-09 20:08:32

Ah, forgot to say what makes him happy! Well, really, sitting cuddling me is about all I can think of. Well, and playing with his brother too perhaps, when they are in harmony that is!

peggotty Tue 16-Jun-09 20:15:02

This may seem like an odd question, but has he got all his teeth? Could his misery be pain from teething (never underestimate teething pain!). My ds has had weeks and weeks recently of whinging, clinging behaviour and it's been a load of bloody teeth, including molars, coming in all at once. It can really make them miserable.

OlderNotWiser Tue 16-Jun-09 20:19:53

Ah yes, the question of teeth, peggotty...well, the poor blighter has all of 6 and the others just refuse to show so something is (not) happening. But can I keep using that as an excuse after 3-4 months...? That was what I thought to begin with tho.

peggotty Tue 16-Jun-09 20:25:35

But it can go on for months before they even start to peep through the ruddy gums! I am totally convinced that teething can cause a personality change that goes on so long you convince yourself that it's just the way they are! My ds was an absolute misery of a baby, and teethed horribly. Is a much happier personality generally as an older baby(now 17months) but reverts to hell-boy when teething. I would say if you feel teething effects him badly, then it could well be a large part of why he's miserable.

PacificDogwood Tue 16-Jun-09 20:32:20

How horrible for your DS2 and you, Older.

Could it be something really basic like sleep?? I am sure you will have thought of this however your description of your DS2 is just like my DS3 aged 15 months. He can be like you are describing but his happiness levels are usually cured by - sleep. He will cry a really unhappy cry, want to be lifted up, then not be happy on my arm, not hungry, not distractable by playing, not consoled by his dummy (usually a magic device) - and if I pop him in his cot he will complain and wail, but really for about 2 min max only.

Yesterday he slept 5 hours shock from 12 to 5pm without lunch and after having slept 12 hrs overnight. He awoke an absolute delight. I have had this situation before to the point were I now almost feel guilty if we have plans that take us out of the house and that interfere with his sleep schedule - like school run!

And BTW he has 16 teeth so really not teething at the mo!

Just ignore me if I am far off the mark, I feel a bit silly going on about sleep (hold the press, young toddler needs lots of sleep) but it just took me by surprise how much DS3 needs compared to what his brothers were like at that age.

Oh, and yes, it is just a phase and will pass very soon wink!


Mumtoone20 Mon 11-Apr-16 18:41:16

I know it's been a couple years since this post originated. Please tell me things got easier as I'm currently going through the same thing with my 17 month old. confused

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