We just don't know what to do anymore. It seems there is no way of keeping him happy.
Of course I read about toddler tantrums, but what he is doing seems so untypical. I will try to describe it the best I can and HOPE someone can tell me what is going on and what we can do.
From birth we have been doing what is referred to as "attachment parenting". We just naturally started parenting that way. My son has been sleeping in our bed since birth, and he was worn or held all day before he started crawling.
Up to 5 months, he was very fussy, even though he did not have any problems like gas, reflux etc. The only thing that calmed him was to constantly walk around with him and show him new things, leave the house very often and rock him constantly. Placing him down even for a minute or even sitting down while holding him, would have resulted in a disaster.
When he got older we felt he grew out of it and believed we made the right choice by catering to his demands no matter what he wanted. We have never done any sort of "training". He was not very interested in eating solids before 11 months, so that was when he slowly started to actually eat and try to swallow foods...
We offer plain, not seasoned meats, veggies or fruits (no grains, rice or dairy), and he was not picky about trying different things.
He was fussy at all anymore and gaining independence while still maintaining a lot of closeness. We were very happy.
But, for the past months...things have progressively gotten more difficult. I understand it is his age, but I was not prepared for this much drama.
It starts with him wanting everything he can't have. There is no way to trick him or bribe him anymore. If I drink from a glas, he wants exactly THAT glas. His cups and spoons are not wanted anymore.
Same goes for food. he wants exactly what I have, from my plate, with my fork. I can't let him have those things because he will make a huge mess, throw things, break glas.
But if I don't let him, the next 4 hours will be hell, and he will be screaming his lungs out to the point where he gasps for air, gets choked up or loses his voice.
We try to distract him from things he can't have, we try to redirect, play....this used to work, but not anymore. He gets so worked up, there is no way of calming him down for a long time (longest he actually screamed in one piece was 20 minutes but he will be fussy, crying on a off for 4 hours).
It has been getting hard to take him places, we are used to him not wanting his stroller, but now he wants to walk all the time, and when we pick him up he will scream and twist and fight so bad that pedestrians stopped us because they thought we are harming him.
He won't let us change his diapers anymore, and he does not want any other foods than sweet fruits (grapes, apple, banana), he was not eating a lot of solids, but when I gave him something he ate a small amount a few times a day. Now he just plays with his food and throws it. He gets 90% of nutrition from breast milk.
He also wants to be held all day again. Holding 24 lbs all day and standing up while doing this is hurting my back and wrists. he will play on the floor a little if I play with him, but as soon as I need to do something for me he wants me to hold him. I can't eat, clean, wash myself, even use the bathroom without him throwing a fit, I also work from home and I can't even do work when daddy gets home, because he does not want daddy, ever. He just wants ME all day and all night. No matter how fun daddy tries to be. He will push daddy and cry if he gets close to me. It also hurts my husbands feelings.
We don't yell, discipline or actually "forbid" things, we try to teach him by explaining calmly, over and over again why he can't have something by gently moving him away from the object, often in a playful manner. I don't react mad towards him, I am neutral when he throws a fit and nice as soon as he calms down. I wonder if what we are doing is wrong...
When I was bad as a kid I got beat and I was too scared to ever act up or even say anything bad. I don't want to raise my son like that though, because it caused me a lot of emotional damage.
The only thing that is always good and problem free is nursing. He has been nursing more often (also at night) and really developed some affection for my boobs. I let him nurse on demand since it seems to give him comfort.
Does anyone have advice for us? It would be so appreciated :(