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really fussy 15 month old - normal?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My daughter will be 15 months in two weeks. When we are out and about at parks and museums she is generally pretty happy, has a healthy level of attachment and independence and is a joy to be around. Even in our backyard she is mostly happy. However, in our house she is fussy, extremely fussy. In no exaggerated terms, I can not get anything done without her crying, fussing, grabbing at my legs. This does not just happen at one particular time of the day, but all day long. Most things I have to accomplish one handed because she will not entertain herself long enough for me to finish a task - even if I try to include her such as putting her on learning tower at sink while I clean up kitchen, or bringing toys into the bedroom while I make the bed. I feel like I have to choose to complete task, or tend to her. Which most times I am happy to put her needs first, but some things must get done during the day, such as making meals, cleaning up from meals and getting myself and my children dressed.


My 3 year old son has always been pretty independent and done a pretty good job of entertaining himself when I am busy, so I have no idea how to handle this. I kind of just remember the first part of his second year being a complete joy, I don't remember very many hard times with him until he hit closer to 2. She is physically and mentally exhausting to me and it makes me feel like a horrible mother for feeling so frustrated. I don't know if it is something I am doing wrong, something I am missing or something she needs that I am not giving her. When she is happy, she is so cute and silly and fun to be around, but sometimes her fussiness can overshadow her loveable qualities. I hate myself for even typing that.


Is this typical for a 15 month old? Am I expecting to much from her for her age? I am curious what other people's young toddlers are like throughout the day - are you able to get things done? do your kids play by themselves?

post #2 of 7

My DD is just about 14 months and sometimes has days like that. I find it's usually related to being tired or hungry. If I get her set up doing something I can then get something else done. Our main floor is open concept so if I get her set up in the living room area doing something...like I play with her with her blocks or something for a little while...then she continues on when I go into the kitchen. I can still see her and she can see me though.

post #3 of 7

My daughter is like that right now (not normally) she has a cold though and is tired from coughing at night. Maybe you should look at how much sleep your LO is getting and maybe try to increase?

post #4 of 7

So, I know this is an old post, and I'd love to hear an update!  I googled "fussy 15 month old" and this popped up!  I could have written it myself.  After reading this, I think I'm just going to tell myself that my daughter (and yours) is actually just a really bright little girl, in a VERY exploratory stage and wants to go out into the world to see what there is to see all the time.  SO, when she is fussing around the house needing my attention when I'm trying to do JUST the basic tasks she is sort of telling me, "Come-on, Mom, let's get going!" and doesn't have the words for it yet.  Yes...I think that's what I'll tell myself to make it through!  Please tell me if your little one has grown out of this yet because it is driving me CRAZY!

post #5 of 7

I'm not the OP, but sometimes when my girl is acting this way I have to use the kitchen timer to get stuff done.  On a really bad day I set it for two minutes.  I do as much as I can, and DD knows that it will go off, and then I will play with her.  We play for a few minutes, then I set the timer and do another batch.  It's annoying, but at least I get a little bit done.

post #6 of 7

My 16 month old is a carbon copy.

post #7 of 7

I could have written the original post about my son (16 months.) I think that some kiddos are just naturally more *high needs* than others. Or at least that's how I console myself :)  It makes me sad sometimes because I spend so much time feeling exhausted/frustrated my son lately that I often miss out on just enjoying his company. I'm trying to be more patient with him and to make more time for myself. I find that because my son requires so much energy and patience, I need frequent breaks in order to recharge. When I'm well rested and have had a chance to just *be,* I'm able to give him more of the attention and compassion that he needs. We both benefit!


I'm also trying to avoid labeling my son as a "difficult child", and instead view this as a developmental stage (while also recognizing that each child has a different personality and different needs.) As an early childhood educator, I often see children get labeled as "difficult" and then they get treated as such, which creates a cycle of behavior that's hard to break. 


It would be wonderful to get an update from the OP and see how these past 8 months have changed her daughter and whether the dynamic between them has changed at all. 

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