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How to deal with baby's temper tantrum

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My DD, who just turned 1 year today is a pretty happy and content baby most of the time. We're still nursing, we co-sleep (with a growing tendency to longer sleep stretches), she's playful, curious...loves outdoor play and meeting people. This said IF she's unhappy, she turns into 'someone else' (this is the best way that I can describe it). She starts screaming and rolls around on the floor wanting to be picked up. As soon as I do this, she'll let herself fall backwards, head down and tries to get away from me...just to repeat the same thing all over. When I put her on the floor she'll scream even louder, goes on all fours to then make a flip on her back, rolling an flipping around the room. Usually I try to be right next to her, so she doesn't bump her head, but today she bumped it (twice on the floor, once against the closet), while screaming at the top of her lungs. I have no idea how to deal with it. These episodes seem to follow no pattern and often come out of the blue (at least for me). Distraction only works half of the time, sometimes she'll take her pacifier I just don't want her to hurt herself, so I try to hold her or prevent the head bumping. On the other hand I don't want to reinforce that throwing herself on the floor backwards is acceptable. Any ideas on what to do here? Does her behavior seem strange? Sometimes I'm almost afraid that something's not right...

TIA for listening,
post #2 of 7

don't have any advice

but i know how you feel..ds is 10 months old and you practically described him...ok, almost, but they sound pretty similar. ds will "throw tantrums" too, but not as active as your dd, and the only thing that helps is pickinh him up and removing him from the situation that started it ( with him it is taking away the "no no" that he picked up or wants to touch) and immedialty get interested in something he can have, but i think you menttoined that you try the distactions and they don't allways work. how come she has the tantrums? with ds it is is usually cause he is tired or hungry or both...
post #3 of 7
maybe you'd get more responses if you posted this in the gentle discipline forum?
post #4 of 7
Maybe if you're available to pick her up you could just do that? Would that stop it?

Older than one, I'd suggest other things. But at 1yo ... I'd just pick the baby up and soothe any way possible.
post #5 of 7
when my kids have tantrums they seem to be shorter in duration when there is no audience. I will leave the room (my kids are older than 1 year), or retreat a distance to another side of the room and act as disinterested as possible. As soon as the noise level comes down I let the kids know (is as few words as possible) that I am happy to help them as soon as they can calm down and talk to me. As soon as we can talk I tell them that I understand that they are mad and care about what they think - but that I can't help them when they are screaming, kicking, etc.

Sometimes they just need to blow off some steam before they are able to calm down, so the tantrum may still last a few minutes. But when they realize that I am not paying attention the whole enterprise seems a lot less fun.

Believe me, a one year old CAN understand you when you explain that mommy will wait until you have calmed down. Just because she doesn't have the words yet doesn't mean that she doesn't understand yours.

I wouldn't worry too much about her hitting her head - unless you have marble floor or something. If she really does hurt herself then maybe she will begin to get the message that flipping around is really not a good idea. If you are still worried, maybe there is one safe room in the house with carpet or rug, not too much furniture to run into? When she starts to get out of control then you can take her to that room, explain that this is a safer place for her, and then retreat disinterested.

It will take a few tantrums for her to see the new routine. And this is just me 2 cents, but in *my* experience being right there during a tantrum, immediately available to a child who does not know what they want, only reinforces that this is somehow desireable behaviour - my opinion of course.

Good luck!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice...I think I will try out Corriander's tip (acting disinterested) next time around. I knew I'd get some good insights on this board

post #7 of 7
Moving this to Gentle Discipline to see if you can get more wonderful advice.
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