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14.5 months - concerns on behaviour - head tilt - tantrums - slapping

(11 Posts)
Bluebella Tue 14-Jul-09 12:33:36

I am a little concerned about my 15 month old.

For a start I noticed that he has a squint – I noticed this from 12 months, I have been waiting for an appointment at eye hospital, and have the appointment for next week. It is not all the time, but when he is in his car seat I always notice it, that one eye looks ahead, and the other drifts upwards. I am extremely worried about this.

He has also been observed that he has a ‘head tilt’ just slightly, but you can tell by the creases in his neck that he carries his head to one side. I think maybe the squint and head tilt are related if he is having problems with his eye sight. He appears to ‘see’ fine though, and picks up small things etc…

He seems to have very skinny arms and legs but big round pot belly – this concerns me a little too.

So above are the physical things causing me concern.

The other things are the way he behaves. He is a very smiley little thing. He is quite a lot of the time full of joy. He likes pointing at things, and although not actually saying ‘What’s that?’, he says some babble. He seems to be curious at things, especially loves animals.

He just seems to be very ‘full on’. He sits down to watch TV, and will be nice and still, but a lot of the time he is on the go all the time. He hates to be in the pushchair, say if I went shopping he tends to cry and winge and not want to sit in his chair nice like his cousin of a similar age. He wants to get down, and if I let him, then he’s happy, but he won’t walk along side me, he wants to run off, or just will not follow me. He doesn’t like walking and holding my hands.

He seems to still cry/moan quite a lot, and temper tantrums are becoming a daily occurrence. All of my other friends babies around this age, are lovely, happy, content little toddlers, and I have met no kids that are as demanding as my little boy. He gets really upset if you have to take something off him, like in nursery, he had a pen, and I had to get him to give it back, and he just held onto it REALLY tight, screaming, really over the top iykwim.

My sister has a perfect baby, she is such a good little girl. My sister enjoys motherhood so much – but for me, it’s still a struggle.

The other thing is that he is going through a phase of grabbing other kids (and adults) faces and slapping faces and heads… he is on a behavioural plan at nursery about this, and tomorrow I have an appointment to see the head teacher. This is causing me stress as I worry about taking him to baby groups etc.. in case he hurts another child. He is always laughing and playful when he hits other kids, he sees it as a game I think… I have been telling him ‘No’ and taking him away from situation, into a time out situation, and giving the victim lots of attention however its been going on months and no improvement.

I’m so worried he has some kind of social problem.

Can any one offer any advice?

kalo12 Tue 14-Jul-09 12:45:21

firstly i would say that this is entirely normal, my 16 month ds is exactly like this, won't keep still, screams, grabs, just started biting and hitting me.

but its normal , its all play, and babies of course want their own way and this is how they learn social skills by first making their own demands.

secondly, seems to me that boys do more running around and in your face things than the girls we know.

thirdly I am sooo Shocked that a 15 month baby would be on a behaviour plan at a nursery. This would be enough for me to remove the child from nursery . don't know what to advise but I am very shocked.

we go to baby groups and i see lots of babies grabbing and hitting each other and parents intervening to tell them ' we don't hit etc, to see that it is very normal, I certainly don't think there is a social problem, quite the opposite he is doing this to develop social skills.

I always think that babies who behave perfectly are because their parents have been rigid and left them to CIO etc so the babies are a bit more repressed about asserting their demands, but I guess in reality it may be that babies all have different personalities and develop different skills at different times.

I wouldn't worry and as I say my 16 month ds is exactly the same

angel1976 Tue 14-Jul-09 13:48:40

Bluebella, on reading your post, my first instinct is that you are describing my DS! My DS is now 17 months old and I think his first 'tantrums' started a few months ago. He also doesn't sit still (unless it's at the end of the day and I put ITNG on for him), hates his pushchair and on Sunday, our shopping trip lasted a mere 1.5 hours as he refused to sit in pushchair, struggled to get down if we carried him and runs off (usually in the direction of something dangerous like the escalators!) if we put him down.

My DS bites too (and hard! Enough to leave a nasty bruise on me with two distinct red marks!) but fortunately, he has learned (he started biting very early on) not to bite others. He now only bites DH and I hmm, he still gets told off for biting us but we are not too worried about that.

You also never know what side of the bed DS is going to get out off in the morning. Some mornings he is happy as larry. Some mornings he will trash about in his cot and refused to be picked up! Or sometimes he will throw these mystifying tantrums over nothing.

My friend has a similarly aged DD and DS and her play a lot together. A few months ago, all we seemed to do was to 'mediate' between them as they were snatching toys off each other like no tomorrow. We have noticed that the snatching behaviour has got better though.

I think the key to handling your DS is to be CONSISTENT. If he does something 'naughty' with his toy, take it away no matter how much he screams for it. My DS was hitting me with a spade in his bath yesterday, he got a warning, he kept doing it and I took it away. He screamed and cried. I just calmly removed him from the bath and he stopped very quickly. And you are doing the right thing by removing him from situations where he has hurt other children. Just keep doing it. It's hard and you think they don't understand you but they do! My DS used to love running after other kids, launching himself at them and then try and bite them. I always prise him apart from the other kids and told him 'No biting!' before he takes a bite and it will work. He still runs after them excitedly and grabs them but hasn't bitten for a long time.

As for his physical issues, my DS had torticollis as a baby and had physio for it. I then noticed both eyes didn't open equally (one was bigger than the other and more pronounced when he is tired). He saw an opthamologist and diagnosed with very milk Duane's Syndrome. At 17 months, he has finished his physio and the opthamologist is happy with his progress though they are still going to do sixth-monthly check. When he is looking at something directly, you can see he still holds his head at a tilt and one side of his head is still slightly flat but nothing like when he was a baby.

I just don't think you have much to worry about. DH and I always collapse with exhaustion at the end of the day with DS and thank god DS does sleep like a trooper (you would if you were on the go all day!), otherwise we would both be buggered! Good luck with the appointment.

angel1976 Tue 14-Jul-09 13:50:18

very milk = very mild

scrappydappydoo Tue 14-Jul-09 14:07:53

I can't advise on physical conditions but the behaviour sounds very normal - i've no idea why its called the terrible twos as they seem to start around 18mths. Be consistent with telling him 'no' and remove him from situations when it all gets too much. He will grow out of it. Repeat after me - 'It is a phase'
Please try not to compare with other children (I know its difficult I do it all the time). All children develop at different rates and have different personalities - boys do tend to be far more full on than girls. And when it all gets too much come on mumsnet and have a good rant - you will get sympathy!! grin
Oh and you sound like a fab mum who obviously loves her little boy loads. Motherhood is difficult at times but very rewarding (eventually wink)

PrincessToadstool Tue 14-Jul-09 14:08:11

He sounds completely normal to me, too.

My DS seemed to be so full of energy after learning to walk, would not keep still for a second, always charging around and hitting anything and everything. Please don't compare him to other babies who just happen to be of a quieter nature at this moment.

My DS is 20 months now and calmer - amazingly he will hold my hand while we walk, and has stopped running off (though I hold his hand and reins if we're anywhere that could be dangerous - if I just hold the reins and not his hand he thinks he is free and will go in all directions...) - he is also a bit calmer in general, will sit down and watch a bit of TV or sit on my lap while I read a book - something he'd only tolerate at bedtime just a few weeks ago.

My DS loves to slap and say 'no' - he's just learning, it's not malicious. He also bit me a couple of times but I shouted so loud (in pain, not at him - didn't even know it was his teeth at first!) that thankfully that seems to have been a very brief thing (but you never know)

Actually the one thing that concerns me in your post is a 'behaviour plan' for a 15 month old - what is that exactly?

PrincessToadstool Tue 14-Jul-09 14:10:37

My point is that they change continually. I went back to work when my DS was 10 months, part time, and by the time he was 1 I was so glad to be there for a break from the chaos and the noise and the relentlessness of it all.

8 months on I am going in the opposite direction and want to spend more time at home because he is so lovely. And I'm sure in a few months he'll be a nightmare again! Don't look at his behaviour in isolation.

scrappydappydoo Tue 14-Jul-09 14:13:49

Oh and don't forget at this age - they rarely have the ability to communicate accurately so their way of saying 'no I like holding the pen and don't want to give it back' is by holding on tightly and screaming!! You will find it gets easier as their speech develops as they start to be able to express themselves better..

preggersplayspop Tue 14-Jul-09 14:40:30

My DS is just about 2yo now and is very strong willed, he is extremely strong and (since he was little) will scream and fight back when strapped in the buggy. Getting him into the car seat now is really difficult, made worse as I am pg and he weighs 2 stone! I often have to bribe him with sweets just to get him to sit in the seat while I strap him in <bad mummy!> so I can go anywhere.

I was one of 2 girls and was told that we were 'angels' and my MIL is always going on about how placid my DH was as a baby so it came as a real surprise to me what my DS was like and it has been a struggle at times!

All toddlers fight and snatch toys at some point, its a normal behavioural stage so please don't worry about it. The only advice I can say is to try to focus on the really important things - like aggressive behaviour where other children are being hurt - and don't get too stressed about the snatching of toys and other low level things. You can encourage them not to do it, but toddlers have no concept of sharing really (though nursery should be encouraging this).

I can't comment on your other physical concerns but his behaviour sounds pretty normal to me!

flimflammum Tue 14-Jul-09 15:07:42

The behaviour sounds a lot like my DD (20 months) - so it's not just a boy thing! I had to smile at your description of him refusing to sit in his pushchair like his perfect cousin (sorry)! My DD will only sit in her pushchair for a short time unless bribed with snacks, and has furious tantrums when she doesn't get her own way (unlike her older bro strangely).

I know it's hard work to deal with, but you could see your DS's character as determined and strong-willed - so maybe he'll do better in life than all those passive babies wink.

Here in Singapore, Chinese people watch DD running around and climbing on everything in sight, smile approvingly and say 'very active baby'!

Eeek Tue 14-Jul-09 15:13:06

as an angry 16mo my ds used to choose the most solid thing he could find and bang his head on it. You could actually see him deciding which fence post/wall etc looked hardest. He grew out of it soon enough when we stopped being impressed


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