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Ultra whiny 17-month-old...how to nip it in the bud?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

  My 17-month-old is SOOOO whiny most of the time!! He just whines and whines and drives me absolutely crazy. He can't say much yet, so I know it's his primary form of communication until he figures out words, but I also don't want him to be learning that whining works. I feel stuck. How on earth do I teach him that whining doesn't work when it's his only form of communication right now?

 

   Is it just a stage and I can start to correct the whining when he actually has words to use instead? I know I probably should have taught him sign language for a few simple things, but it seems pretty late in the game for that now.

 

   What can I do about this crazy whininess? I don't want to have one of those really whiny kids!!

post #2 of 8

I've been through this and can say it is not too late for sign language - if your LO is aching to communicate then he will likely pick up the necessities quickly.  

 

Once talking, the best thing that works for getting my DS not to whine was to SHOW him it doesn't work.  I would say, "oooh, it sounds like you are whining, mommy has a really hard time understanding/hearing you when you use that voice".  If he whines again, I might say, "Oh, try a normal/nice voice", and if he whines again I'd just point to my ear and shake my head no, if he continues, I usually go fold laundry or do dishes, or pick up toys and ignore him.  When he does use a normal voice I respond by looking right at him and letting him know I understood.  

 

An alternative is just to drop what you are doing and give your LO five-10 minutes of unconditional focused attention - but be careful not to reinforce the whining by doing this before whining starts, or after you help him not whine.  

 

Good luck - I know how annoying this is!

post #3 of 8

It's a stage, but at 19mos DD isn't getting much better and she's as verbal as some 3yr olds so being able to talk doesn't make them any better at communication.  It's all new to them, new feelings to explore, lots of learning going on.  I mostly ignore DD and only respond to normal tones although lately she responds well to a simple "use your words and talk please".  It will pass eventually but it's really more about how you respond.  If you are calm, ignore, etc, it will pass, but if you make a big deal about it - positive or negative - it will perpetuate the issue.  Headphones help lol.

post #4 of 8

i'm right there with you mama. my 19 month old has become a whine machine over the last couple months. I feel like just this week things are starting to shift a bit. He is learning and using more words and even just pointing at things and saying "this" has been a major help our general communication. He is prone to little outburts of pure frustration too (what toddler isn't right?) and I find THOSE are best to 'ignore'. not ignore completely, but give him 30 seconds totally uninterrupted to let it out (as long as no one is in danger of being hit or nailed by a flying car) and then I respond in very calm, neutral tones, suggesting he can "ask for help, please" or "should we go have a cuddle on the couch?". I find that going AWAY from the situation to sit and cuddle is extremely helpful. I'm not 'reinforcing' his whining by 'giving into' what he was whining about (like, I don't give the knife he was desperately wanting to hold, or I don't immediately do exactly what he was wanting me to do). we go away, remove ourselves from the situation and have a cuddle to calm down and connect. then, we come back to the toy/game/whatever and i guide him in asking in a less violent/whiney way. 

 

there you go. i'm such an expert! dang, i got this allll figured out right? :P

post #5 of 8

It's totally normal.  It's a phase kids go through on the way to becoming better communicators.  Every child I've ever known was a whiny/clingy mess around this age.  Not much you can do really.  The good news is they DO grow out of it.

 

If the talking is coming slowly, try teaching baby signs as a stopgap measure.  It helps so much, and they phase it out when they get better at talking. 

post #6 of 8

Yep add me to the list.  I'm becoming tone deaf to that particular sound at the moment. She's also recently realizing just how LOUD she can cry when she wants to. What's driving me nuts is, why does this kid want to be carried all. the. time??? Girl, you're huge and you can walk!!?! I can't continue to do everything around the house with a toddler on one hip and one free hand.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by element2012 View Post

Yep add me to the list.  I'm becoming tone deaf to that particular sound at the moment. She's also recently realizing just how LOUD she can cry when she wants to. What's driving me nuts is, why does this kid want to be carried all. the. time??? Girl, you're huge and you can walk!!?! I can't continue to do everything around the house with a toddler on one hip and one free hand.

Haha right? I've resorted to tossing her in a sling on my back when I desperately need to vaccum or put dishes away just to keep her quiet, until my back starts to scream...thank god for my chiropractor!

post #8 of 8

Oh thank God I came across this.  I just came to the mothering forums to post this exact same thing.  17 months, too.  We just had one of the most dramatic going-down-for-a-nap moments ever.  Flailing and screaming, the works.  I just tried to hold her with me an offered to nurse until she accepted and conked out.  She's been sooo fussy lately.  I think she does have some molars coming in or something.  But I've noticed she's been throwing temper tantrums at the drop of a hat lately.  I really hope this doesn't become a pattern. 

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