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Major change in my 2yr old.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My son was always a quiet easy going gentle little guy. He didn't sleep real well but we fixed some of that when I nightweaned him a couple weeks before he turned 2.  He has been 2 only since the beginning of November and has become this mad, tired, crabby, thing of a child. He says NO to everything, won't go to bed, cries at the sitter & hits her, started hitting his brother, etc etc.


Honestly I'm worried something is going on with him. Food allergy? Sickness? I don't know. Maybe he's only being 2 - but I don't remember my older son being this bad at this age.  I'm worried about his sitter too.  He cries when I drop him off now (never did before), hits her, screams at her, etc. I'm worried there might be more to it, something going on at her house maybe?


Another thing, I'm 18 weeks pregnant so I don't know if he's sensing something going on or what. But again I"m worried there's an underlying issue I'm missing. Thoughts? How is your 2 yr old now?

post #2 of 10

My guess it is a combo but I think your suspicions about your caregiver need to be addressed. But it is also possible he's expressing himself with someone he feels comfortable with so I wouldn't fire her just yet. There are a lot of changes going on and it is good he's expressing himself. I don't have boys but he needs to understand that hitting is not ok. I think it is ok to hit a pillow or something but shaming and punishing just feed the cycle of guilt and resentment. I'm sure others on the forum are better equipped in this area of hitting.

post #3 of 10
There are so many possibilities here that it's hard to guess.

It is common for a lot (not all) of toddlers to go through an aggressive phase, particularly if their language isn't great. Frustration over an inability to communicate can cause tears, anger, etc.

If you have concerns about the caregiver, you should definitely look into it. It's a "trust your gut" thing. If the concerns are based 100% on his behavior and not on your instincts, I'd think it's probably not the caregiver, but if you were worried about the caregiver and this his behavior has you more worried about that, then it's a bigger concern.

Knowing there is a baby coming can make kids anxious but it seems like that's usually later in a pregnancy. Still, I wouldn't discount that as a possible cause. Even if you haven't specifically talked to him, he might have figured out there's another baby coming, and he might feel like the position of baby is filled at your house. It can make kids act out.

It could just be part of being two and having tantrums. Lots of kids that age have tantrums. They're normal and he'll get through them eventually if that's all it is. Saying "no" a lot makes me feel like it might be related to normal toddler tantrums - there's often a desire for autonomy involved in those. You could help that by giving him more autonomy, maybe by letting him get his own clothes out of his drawers and deciding what to wear each day, even if you don't like it. Or by putting his cups and dishes where he can reach them and letting him set his own place. Or by putting his snacks where he can reach them and letting him decide when and what to eat and get it himself. Also, this desire for autonomy can be helped by giving him jobs to do, like helping to clear the table, sort laundry, anything to make him feel useful.

Good luck and I hope you find out what's causing it!
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

It is common for a lot (not all) of toddlers to go through an aggressive phase, particularly if their language isn't great. Frustration over an inability to communicate can cause tears, anger, etc.


His language is pretty good actually, I can understand him most of the time.


As far as his sitter, its only his behavior that is worrisome to me. Nothing else is giving me that mother instinct to yank him yet. He says he likes her & her helper, has fun there, etc.  His brother goes with him, he's 3.5 yrs, and is doing fine there. But leaves between 12:30 - 3 pm for pre-school and my 2 yr old cries when he leaves. I dunno.


He is also still missing 3 teeth on the bottom & I can see one coming in - so maybe its teeth. Gah - its so hard to figure out, I wish I knew!

post #5 of 10
Since his behavioral change coincided with the night weaning it may be that he was not ready and misses that nurturing and connection to you, as well as the nourishment. If he is away from you during the day, he may have found that attachment to you very reassuring at night. Does he cosleep still (if he did)?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

We still co-sleep PT. He starts off in his bed, then will come to mine whenever he wakes up (in the middle of the night or early morning like 4am).  But I usually lay in his room with him (on the floor) until he goes to sleep. I sing and rub his head too.  I am away from him during the day, as I work. So he does not nurse at all now.  

post #7 of 10

It seems like weaning would be the most obvious source of the behavior, then.  When I read the original post, my first thought was that it sounds like he's reacting to a big change in his environment/routine, and weaning would certainly qualify.  If it were me, I'd make an extra effort to give him one-on-one time, maybe full-time cosleep so he gets the extra cuddles for a while.  He may need that connection at night to fuel his security levels throughout the day without you.  


Does he have any kind of security blanket or special lovie?  I wonder if he'd take to one, if that might make things easier for him as well.

post #8 of 10

Yeah, sounds like weaning is the issue to me too. I would work hard to connect with him in other ways if you don't want to go back to nursing. Connecting with him even just by holding him for a while each night may really help. Set aside some time each day (even if its only 15mins) to do whatever he wants. Try to say no less he's probably missing the nursing and the connection with you. 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well I've started rocking him to sleep again which has helped BIG TIME with our bedtime problems. And I started having him wear his amber teething necklace again, which has helped a ton with his crankiness (so maybe its teeth?)  He's always been a mama's boy so I've never really stopped cuddling, holding, paying attention to him. When he naps at home its in my bed and I lay with him until he falls asleep. And I did start giving him more options (with food, clothes, etc) so that has helped with him yelling NO at me so much.  I've also noticed he gets quite upset when his older brother isn't around, which could explain why he's getting so upset at the sitter's. Because my older son leaves for part of the day for pre-school.


So thanks everyone for your replies! Although reading these posts was making me feel horrible for weaning him when I did. I know he may not have been ready but he started sleeping through the night, which is really what we needed as a family.

post #10 of 10
Glad to hear the update, best wishes to you.
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