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Explanations for sudden change in behavior

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My previously lovely, funny, joyful toddler has been cranky for going on about 2 weeks. I realize that kids this age flow in and out of phases where they're not so flexible but I wonder if maybe more is going on for my LO.  Maybe I can share some of the possible connections and members can share their opinions about potential contributing factors?  


First, I am a student and last semester my DC was awesome about going to her father and other family for care while I was at school. At the end of the semester I even slow-started her at a pre-K and she adjusted like a champ.  Then the winter break came and we were major home-bodies. I wanted to give my family a break from helping with child care so DC and I spent A LOT of time together. 


When she started back to pre-K she was super clingy and was not comfortable with me even leaving the room. Now, she's become fearful of being with her dad even. I used to be able to leave her with absolutely NO problems (I've even done two long weekends away with absolutely NO problems).  Now she's freaked out when I go downstairs. 


Do you think it's just the extra time together/lack of care from others that is making her so clingy?  Do you think that after a short adjustment period when I start back at school will "fix" her?  


The other possible connection is that she got sick about 10 days ago. She started getting super cranky about 10 days ago, then a couple days after that she got a fever for a couple of days. During that time she had enough energy to be pretty cranky during those days. Then, about 2 days after the fever she started vomiting. That lasted one day and I figured she was on the mend. Except that it's been a few days since that and her mood hasn't really improved. 


If she weren't sleeping fairly well, I'd suspect an ear infection. Also, she isn't complaining about any pain so I hadn't considered that as a cause.  But, maybe I'm making some assumptions about my toddler based on how her sister dealt with illness.  


I'm thinking of taking her in to check for possible strep (we've never had that -- would strep cause this cranky mood?) or an ear infection. Has anyone had a child with an ear infection that wasn't in more obvious pain when reclining? 


Other thoughts?  


I'm normally pretty relaxed about cranky phases for this age but the timing is pretty crappy -- back to school tomorrow. Sigh. 

post #2 of 9

I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom, but I got on here looking for help with the same thing. My son is insanely clingy with me all of a sudden and even resistant to his dad. I'm betting with both your kid and mine, it's a phase because of changes in schedule and wanting more mommy time. We just had holidays, birthday, long visit from an aunt...and that has meant a lot less one-on-one time with mommy than he is used to, so I'm just gritting my teeth and trying to deal with his clinginess by keeping perspective that it will pass (and I'll probably miss some of the extra snuggles).

post #3 of 9
I would take her in to check for other issues. My sons only indicated for an ear infection is behavior.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

@LLQ1011  - that's what I wanted to hear... So with your DC, he didn't show any other signs (no worsening paint at night?) with an ear infection?  

post #5 of 9

Yep. No fever and it doens't really get worse. I just realize after a week of crankiness I should take him in and sure enough every time its an ear infection (only three times but still) also she was sick, its that time of year. Her behavior to me sounds like she is uncomfortable.


Also sometimes for my son its a stimulation thing too. I know this sounds weird but if he doesnt get to get really dirty for a long time he sometimes has a hard time. Yesterday he dumped a bag of flour on the ground. When i tried to take him away from it he screamed like I have never heard before. (He broke his elbow last week and has been confined to our small condo since) i let him play in it messy crazy baby for about an hour. he uit in his hair. All over himself. Rolled in it. And when it was over he slept 8 hours straight. And has been a happy baby today (he is 26 months)

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yea, I'm taking her in for sure. I'm realizing for all the wisdom that comes from being a mom a second child -- also comes some false confidence. After speaking with a nurse neighbor I'm going in to rule out both an ear infection and pneumonia. :(  But, she's been so cranky that I'd be happy to know that there is something wrong that can be fixed! 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I took her to the doctor today -- ear infection in one ear. Dr. said it was pretty red. She was sweet to me though in saying that had I come in earlier she would have recommended I go home and see if it clears on its own. We're doing abx. 

post #8 of 9
I glad you found the problem! This happened with my DD After Christmas break. Their break was long bc they had a bunch of snow days and ended up being off for 21 days! She was sick and missed a day the week after they went back too and also we had a mini vacation where and she missed the Another day. So she cried the day after she had a sick day and was going back to school. I thought bc she had missed so many days and that her routine was shaken up but after the weekend and she got all the way well, she had no problem going back the next Monday! Poor babies, they just want their mommy's when they are sick.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

That was the best news I've heard, A!!  Thank you!  And it may be for my DC too. She has even been afraid/nervous around her dad (unusual for her) and tonight was my first class. We were all geared up for a fit but she was fine (I numbed her ears before I left).  In a way I'm sorry to have not taken her earlier but given that my DC's doctor likes to give it a few days, perhaps we would have had the same outcome. Or...maybe the doctor is just trying to make me feel better. ;-)  

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