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Is this normal for an 11 month old??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

DD is 11 months.  She can be SO happy and such a joyful babe.  Lately though, I feel like all she does is scream.  She is cutting one tooth - and she is a difficult teether  - but her current behavior goes way beyond her "normal" teething fussiness.  She screams anytime she isn't happy.  And I mean SCREAMS. Getting her into the carseat can take ten minutes of arching and kicking and screaming.  If she is walking and I pick her up when she doesn't want up - SCREAMING.  If I take away something she shouldn't have - SCREAMING.  Trying to get her to sleep when she doesn't want to go to sleep - SCREAMING. Changing her diaper - SCREAMING. 

It's so extreme it almost makes me wonder if it's medical.  She had some reflux issues as a newborn, but that seemed to go away around 4/5 months.  Could it be back? 

 I mostly think she is just screaming in frustration.  It just came on so quickly - like one day she was her normal self with her normal cry and the next day she was an air raid siren.  She doesn't have a "middle" cry anymore.  She escalates straight to major freak outs.  It's just wearing me out so badly.  I feel like I spend all day just trying not to tick her off cause I can't bear the screams...  Is this normal? greensad.gif

post #2 of 7

It sounds to me like she just found her "mad".  Tantrums can start this early.  She's newly mobile..she's busy... and she doesn't want to do what she doesn't want to do.  She's doing her own thing, and then you (you are her favorite person in the world, but really, you have been there her whole life, she's got other things to do now) pick her up, or stop her from her goal.  It took her a long time to get over there, and now you pick her up?  It's just cruel.  


She's maaaybe doing this early, but I don't think it's too early.  She has a mind of her own, and she's letting everyone within earshot know it.  


If you are willing to, maybe you could give her more space to try things.  Don't pander to it, but allow her the chance to learn from her environment.  Keep the dangerous things away from her (or the expensive things) and let her tear up the magazines and catalogs.   Let her have the remote for a while unless she's slobbering into it.  Let her have the non toys.  You can even set her up to think she can't have something, by making special things that are baby safe, but aren't really baby toys.  Oatmeal boxes, water bottles with beads inside, spoons, whatever seems to catch her eye.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply nextcommercial.  Yes, so true that it took her a long time to get to where she's at and now I'm stopping her from exploring her world as much as she would like.  She is a busy little thing, and definitely has a mind of her own.  We've definitely got the non-toys down pat, she is much more a fan of them than of baby toys.  I try to let her explore quite a bit - really don't put too many limits on her, but she can still get so mad when I do limit her.  She has her own little cupboard of non-toys she takes out and strews all over the house, etc.  I don't mind her ripping up things like magazines, but I draw the limit when she starts to eat the magazine.  But apparently magazines are very tasty and worth a tantrum. greensad.gif  If she has just found her  "mad", I wish she would lose it again.....


I wanted to add some more info - the reason I wonder if it's medical is because this screaming thing came on about 2 weeks ago right after she was sick.  She had a virus - high fever, very sore throat and we gave her ibuprofen to help with the fever.  We didn't know this at the time, but apparently ibuprofen can relax the sphincter muscle on the stomach and aggravate reflux.  She started spitting up (hadn't done that in forever) and SCREAMING.  We think the sore throat + ibuprofen induced reflux must have been pretty painful for her.  At any rate, she has since gotten over the virus and doesn't seem to have a sore throat, but is still screaming like she did when it bothered her.  She is arching a lot too, but again, I've read that's a normal way to express frustration.  The screaming can go away fairly quickly, if I distract her with something, so that partially makes me think it is just her frustration being expressed.  But again, it came on right after the sickness and is just SO extreme it makes me wonder if there is a constant underlying discomfort that is amping up her normal reactions to frustration.

post #4 of 7

As a baby, my daughter had several medical issues/virus which greatly increased her sensitivities so I am a big proponent of ruling out underlying medical issues.  For example, once she would scream with food and we couldn't see anything wrong.  We took her to the doctor and she had hand, foot and mouth disease.  The doctor found a couple small blisters in her month but it was so painful she didn't want anything in her mouth. It's only one example, but I am amazed how reflux, an allergy, an ear infection etc affect life. 

post #5 of 7
I'm not sure about the reflux, it may be worth looking into. FWIW, our go to medicine is infant Tylenol. It's safest on the tummy just like the adult version is by far the safest. Tylenol (or off brand acetaminophen) is the only painkiller we keep on hand since I can't take ibuprofen or asa due to drug interaction and don't want any oopsies at 3 am.

As for your DD and the screaming, she sounds a little early but right on schedule in a way. My DD started walking at 13 months and about 12 to 14 months was one continuous meltdown eyesroll.gif. I essentially made our days as low stress as possible without set plans and basically rode it out. I started offering choices a lot which helped, and really pushed diapers to their limit before biting the bullet and changing her. I was lucky since the weather was fairly nice and on days I took her out there was a marked improvement. I had to put up blackout drapes and use white noise to get her to nap. I was changing diapers while she was standing against something, playing happily. I gave her water to help get her to cooperate in the car.... The list goes on. I made a lot of compromises and had some not-so-proud parenting moments. By the time she reached 15 months, she mellowed out considerably. Now at 19 months she is very cooperative IF she can control some little things. She's back to being that happy, joyous girl but boy, we went through a LOT of struggles in the last eight months. I learned never to interrupt her when she was in her powderkeg moods (outside of obvious safety issues) but wait the two minutes until she dropped X and was moving on to diaper/dress/pick up/go out/etc and that helped a lot. I was seriously thinking "what am I doing wrong? Am I making her act like this?" but it was a matter of immaturity, impotence, and lack of skills on her part that were sooooo frustrating for her. Really she just needed my love and support while she went through this phase. Your DD sounds the same except she walked earlier so all this came out earlier too.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

skycheattraffic, THANK YOU for your experience.  Seriously, thank you!  If it is just frustration, my (very depressing) thought was "Ohmygosh, it just gets worse until she hits 4".  You hear so much about terrible twos, threes, etc.  With her strong opinions starting this early, it made me feel like I was in for years of temper tantrums.  Thanks for sharing that it can get better sooner than when she turns four. redface.gif

Still not sure if it's medical or just behavioral.  I'm watching her closely today to see if I can notice any other reflux symptoms.  I haven't noticed anything, but she's actually having a better day.  No serious screaming meltdowns yet, though a few unhappy moments.  I'm learning she can be distracted if I have the appropriate toy (read: cell phone, keys, watches, sunglasses - things I usually don't let her play with).  If I give her a "toy" before I put her in her carseat it goes more smoothly than after I set her in it and she's already mad.  We're practicing "Can you give it to mama? THANK YOU!" and she is responding better to that than me trying to pry something out of her little hands.  All this makes me think it is more frustration based.  I'll keep watching her for reflux stuff just in case though.

post #7 of 7
I'm glad it helped :-). Asking for keys/glasses/etc rather than just taking them was huge for us too. Basically around that time I started treating her like a little person and explaining things and that helped too. I got a lot of weird looks but I didn't care; I picked up my tantrumming 13 month old and said things like "I know you're upset but you can't have that battery. It's very dangerous and you could get hurt. Yes, you're angry but mommy has to keep you safe" etc. they understand a whole lot more than we realize and are usually excellent judges of tone. Speaking respectfully and calmly to a tantrumming toddler isn't always easy but it really helped DD relax. She would still cry but she wouldn't scream and it was easier to be even more empathetic to her. Being firm can be very warm and loving. I think you're doing a great job helping your LO through a challenging and frustrating time in her development.
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