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My 11 month old throws temper tantrums...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have no idea how to react to this. So far I just ignore that she is throwing a tantrum and just continue on with what I am doing even though she is protesting.
Here is an example of one of her tantrums...

The other day we went to the store for about 30 minuets. After leaving the store I put her car seat in the van (she is still in an infant seat) and closed the door. I went around to my side, started the van, and climed in back to change her diaper and nurse her. Her diaper was pretty wet so I decided to change her first. I took her out of the car seat and layed her down on the seat to change her diaper. She then proceed to scream and cry and throw her head back and kick her feet and swat her hands at me. I continued to change her diaper (which she made very difficult) but I got her changed and then I nursed her and she calmed down.

This is not the first time she has done something like this and it is starting to happen with greater frequency. I really don't know how I should respond to this behavior. She is only 11 months old so I know that I can't actually "discipline" her since she is to little to understand, but I want to make sure that this problem does not get worse KWIM? Does anyone have any advice for me?
post #2 of 7
First, I recall going through a phase where DD would make diaper changes very difficult. Turned out many mamas experienced this also. So hang in there, and try to get through it as best you can.

With respect to the tantrums in general, try to keep in mind that your child isn't "doing" this to you. She is simply experiencing emotions, some of them for the first time, and she is expressing them in their raw, unbridled form. She has no concept of why she feels the need to scream and thrash, she doesn't understand why this isn't acceptable, nor is she capable at this age of controlling herself that way.

The best thing you can do is empathize with her. Validate those feelings and name them. "You don't want your diaper changed? That makes you angry, doesn't it?" or "I think you're feeling angry that I'm changing you". This will help her as she gets older, she will be able to distinguish and identify different emotions, and then you can help her learn how to express them in ways that don't violate your family's guidelines.

When she is upset - give her sympathy, even when her upsetedness results in behaviours that make you wanna scream. It's very important that we parents see behind the "tantrum" to the emotions that the child is experiencing. And that we don't inadvertantly make the child feel as though to feel those things - in essence, to "be herself" - is wrong.
post #3 of 7
my ds is 11 months and has just started to calm down about diaper changing. I don't think it's a tantrum with him - he just hates having his dipes changed and has no other way to express that. But as soon as the dipe is changed, he stops crying. He has also reacted strongly (screaming/wriggling) when i take something away from him he shouldn't have or lead him away from the oven etc, but again, it's a reaction to a specific thing that he's unhappy about and has no other way to express his frustration (he's not talking much yet). Distraction, redirection help calm him. So, if i take one thing away from him, i give him another, appropriate thing for him to play with. If that doesn't help, i pick him up and kiss and tickle him.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mama's!! The things you've both said make me feel much better!! My dh keeps insisting that I have "spoiled" her and that is why she has her little tantrums. I have insisted to him that I have not "spoiled" but he has already formed his opinion : Anyway, I'm glad that this is a normal phase and now I know how I will approch her next little expolsion of emotion
post #5 of 7
It's hard, so hang in there. And it's not like i handle it great everytime...sigh. As my ds is currently screaming right now, and so it looks like i'm logging out!....
post #6 of 7
My dh keeps insisting that I have "spoiled" her and that is why she has her little tantrums. I have insisted to him that I have not "spoiled" but he has already formed his opinion
Remind him that she has no other way to express her emotions right now. We thought of our DS as being all "animal brain" at this point - they can't reason or express themselves verbally, they get frustrated early and can't understand delayed gratification, etc. It's just where they are developmentally and as PP pointed out, the best thing you can do is equip them with the information that they can draw on as they develop (ie naming emotions, empathizing, etc)

OT re diaper changes...stickers have worked VERY well for us. DS is 18 months now and we've been doing it for a while (breaking it up with little books we hand him only for diaper changes, a cordless phone that has no batteries, etc) I have these shiny stickers I put on the back of his hand, on his knee, on my nose, etc. He *loves* to see where I move it to next, he likes to take it and put it on his belly, etc. It's a great little game that's a good distractor..HTH!!
post #7 of 7
When dd was just about your childs age, we had the exact same experience. She was tired, so I wanted to change her before we headed home in case she fell asleep on the way. She arched & screamed & twisted with all her might. I wound up standing in the parking lot holding & soothing her with her naked from the waste down. I spoke to her as lovingly as I could. Eventually, I got the diaper on & nursed her & all was well. We have had a couple of other simalar experiences, but at 13 mo, dd seems to be past whatever was troubling her then.

I guess the only help I can offer you is the knowledge that you are not alone.
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