2 yr old wants to be held 24/7, doesn't sleep, hates dad - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-08-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 year old has been going through very weird behaviour for the past month.
It is very "extreme" and really wearing me out.

I'm a SAHM and my son has always been a mama's boy. But once in a while he was okay to spend time with daddy.
The older he got, the more he was disliking daddy's company.
Now we are at the point where he never wants to be held by his dad. Lately he has even been yelling at him and kicking him when he tried to hold him. Occasionally he will pet daddy's head, but other than that he wants nothing to do with him.
My husband is not as silly and playful as me. He is rather "quiet company", but I don't see him doing anything horribly wrong.
My son also always wanted to be held a lot. As a newborn he required someone to walk him around the whole day, he hated standing still or sitting down.
I held him all the time throughout the first year (or sometimes daddy then). He would hardly ever play by himself really. But when he started walking at 12 months old, he got more and more independent. I still held him a lot, but I was able to do a few things around the house while he explored. Until a little over a month ago, he was pretty independent and balanced. Rarely threw tantrums.
Then he started waking ever 1-2 hours at night (and nursing) and staying up after waking. It takes lots of rocking to get him back to sleep (in our bed).
He now also wants to be held ALL THE TIME. I am not even kidding. He won't let me make food, eat, take a shower, he is attached 24/7. A couple of times I had to let him scream so I could eat or get dressed, and he got so worked up I fear he will scream until he passes out.

He never liked the stroller so to other moms surprise, I don't even take it a anywhere, and instead carry him all day.
My back is hurting from holding him all day, my arms hurt...I hardly get any sleep..one day I almost passed out in the hallway while holding him.

We tried having him in a room with daddy, but he will cry hysterically and not stop.
Plus whenever I don't answer his request to be held all day, he will be fussy non stop, aggressive, not affectionate...I am at wits end.

I used to get told what a "great child" he is, now everyone criticizes my parenting, breastfeeding and co-sleeping greensad.gif.

What is going on and what can we do? We could really use some advice.

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#2 of 15 Old 07-08-2013, 10:38 PM
 
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AWW,that sounds really hard and I  was just complaining my back hurt from my son wanting to be picked up all the time( he's 2) but his behavior isn't so drastic as your ds. Sorry and hugs to you and I am a first time mom And have no advice but there are lots of mamas out there(here) who do so I am bumping your question!!

 

 

Advice please to this mama!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#3 of 15 Old 07-09-2013, 04:52 AM
 
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Mine is a fair bit younger at 17 months, but I would guess that a change in demeanor like that is related to a milestone of some kind. He's learning to do something new which is making him more independent from you and it's a little scary to him. Do you have a carrier? If not get one and save your back, lol!
My dd is like this right now, wanting to be carried all the time. I wouldn't mind, except she's sleeping terribly and I think she needs more activity but when I take her outside she whines for me to pick her up. Sigh. I'm tired, and my back hurts..

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#4 of 15 Old 07-09-2013, 05:06 AM
 
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Is he cutting his 2 year molars? Crappy sleep around here usually points to teeth. I also agree that he's probably about to bust out some big new development which will mess with behaviour until he has mastered it. How well does he talk? My 27 month old recently came off a clingy stage (although much less intense) and started really talking my ear off right after. Are there any changes to life that could be upsetting him? New routine/travel/visiting relatives, etc? I'm expecting my second child soon and I think DD feels insecure and a little scared which also make her stick to me like glue.

I think something is bothering him and I would just do my best to ride it out, showing as much love and patience as possible until the worst passes. I would not make any changes regarding sleeping or nursing since that would likely only make things worse. I think looking into a good carrier is a great idea; whatever it takes to help you get through it. Does he do better outside the house? Unless sick, my DD will be her usual bouncy self at the playground even when she's stuck on me at home so we spend a lot of time outdoors.

I hope he snaps out of it soon hug.gif
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#5 of 15 Old 07-09-2013, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies!
I do have 6 different carriers, but he stopped liking them around 19 months old. I even made a toddler sling that is non restricting, he basically just sits on it with his weight but he dislikes it too.

He got his two year molars over a month ago, so I think that is probably not the reason right now. But it might be his language. For the past two months he really has been talking more. Before he would only mumble a few words, now we are hearing sentences that even have up to 5 words. He also repeats many more words and is beginning to speak clearly. So I guess that must be it...
My worry is just that during this time the bond between him and daddy will suffer. Like I said, he never was a daddy's boy and we are working hard on strenghtening the relationship.
As far as nursing goes - he increased nursing and sometimes nurses every 30 mins to at least every two hours. So I am full with milk now and he gained weight (somehow more bm = more weight for him). I just figured he must need it right now. He does eat solids but less often and only when sitting on my lap.

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#6 of 15 Old 07-09-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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In my experience, the best thing you can do for his relationship with daddy is to respect his temporary need for you and help him feel secure. Whenever we tried to push DD towards dad or grandma and she wasn't ready for it, it always backfired. As long as daddy is present and loving and available, kiddo will seek him out more as he is ready to do so. DD basically wanted very little to do with DH between 15-20 months and now at 27 months, they're thick as thieves.
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#7 of 15 Old 07-09-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I 100% hear you, when our DS was that age he was exactly the same!

 

It sounds to me like there is something going on - some major developmental changes most likely, but what you describe sounds rather extreme and I think I would look at the big picture.  That he is waking so much and the issues you describe as an infant make me wonder if there isn't something medical going on.  I say that because never wanting to be put down is a huge, waving red flag for acid reflux.  As is lots of night waking.  I would also perhaps look into sensory processing issues. 

 

As far as the daddy issue goes - our DS was exactly the same.  He is 4.5 now and LOVES his daddy.  We just respected his desire for distance, and we made a serious effort to let daddy do things that were fun and highly desirable.  So our DS loves baths, my DH gave him baths as often as possible.  Over time DS has shifted and actually seems to slightly prefer daddy's company now.  That stage was EXHAUSTING for me, but it did pass.

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#8 of 15 Old 07-10-2013, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We tested for acid reflux but it always came back negative.
I think children with sensory processing issues don't like a lot of things going on because it stimulates them too much right?
He is the exact opposite. He needs to be stimulated 24/7. He is happiest with a group of people and traveling places (on foot).
I often feel he is bored and wants all my attention. So when I focus on something like making food he feels left out with nothing to do and without my attention causing him to be clingy.
It is extreme though and at a La Leche League meet up today I was told that c section babies tend to be like that more? He had a rough start, his heartbeat dropped in the womb because my placenta was too old and I had an emergency c section.

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#9 of 15 Old 07-10-2013, 03:07 PM
 
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I don't have any advice but this sounds pretty similar to our situation.  I nurse 2 year old DS constantly all day, all during his nap, and all night.  If I motion to get up he panics and jumps on me, squeezing me tight.  Even if I go to the next room in our (tiny) house, he has to be carried there with me, or he WILL completely break down (which is hard but also heartbreaking!).  Like your LO, he gets so upset, that sometimes I'm a little frightened for him.

 

He enjoys his Daddy's company, though (who is extremely silly and playful) and will RARELY let me get a 5 minute shower while playing with him, but  usually there are still tons of tears.  However, he USED to go play with Daddy for an hour or more, while I cooked/did chores/took a break.  Now DH has to do all chores and cooking, because he will get so upset.  He cries every time I go to the bathroom, even though he's with me, etc.  Needs LOTS of physical contact.

 

DS was always high needs, but he did have a period where it relaxed - would play with Daddy for a bit, I could run a quick errand with only minor tears, etc.  Those days are long gone!

 

I do think DS has some sensory involvement (he has many markers for it) - and there is a such thing as "sensory seekers" under that umbrella, that need alot of extra sensory input.  You might want to look into that (books like The Out-of-Sync Child or Sensational Kids).

 

eta: oh, and DS' sleep is HIGHLY erratic (3 am - 10 am one night, 7:30 pm - 4 am the next) with frequent wakings.


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#10 of 15 Old 07-10-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E m i c h i e e View Post

We tested for acid reflux but it always came back negative.
I think children with sensory processing issues don't like a lot of things going on because it stimulates them too much right?
He is the exact opposite. He needs to be stimulated 24/7. He is happiest with a group of people and traveling places (on foot).
I often feel he is bored and wants all my attention. So when I focus on something like making food he feels left out with nothing to do and without my attention causing him to be clingy.
It is extreme though and at a La Leche League meet up today I was told that c section babies tend to be like that more? He had a rough start, his heartbeat dropped in the womb because my placenta was too old and I had an emergency c section.

This comment sheds light on your son's behavior more than the other comments you've made. He sounds like he is what some doctors and other experts call "high needs": http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/high-need-baby/12-features-high-need-baby

http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbsepoct96p151.html

http://community.babycenter.com/post/a25250027/spiritedintensehigh_needs_toddler

http://radgirl.hubpages.com/hub/What-Is-A-High-Needs-Baby
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#11 of 15 Old 07-10-2013, 04:11 PM
 
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what pickle said - look up sensory seeking behaviors.  The more you describe, the more is sounds a lot like he is constantly seeking sensory input.  Kids like that are very high energy, have difficulty settling down on their own, want lots of physical action (swings, spins, bear hugs, wrestling) and they generally like crowds, etc.  Basically they are seeking out sensory input (this is the opposite of sensory avoiding kids who want quiet, no stange textures, etc).

 

Just a thought :)  Hope you get some answers!

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#12 of 15 Old 07-10-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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I just thought of another little something that is saving me now: I pull a chair into the kitchen when I'm cooking, cleaning, doing whatever in the kitchen, whatever it is, she wants to see it.  Then I fill little bowls with a little water and give her a couple of spoons to "stir it for me".  She thinks she's cooking, then she wants to eat it and I can almost make it though cooking without a meltdown. Yay!


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#13 of 15 Old 07-11-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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My 20mo is currently climbing all over me but has similar issues with DH - kicks, bites, cries, says "no daddy" as she pushes him away from her, or she will look away and avoid him.  She's a pretty independent little creeper, but as an infant had major tummy issues (til i cut out dairy at 12wks) and remained pretty clingy for some time.  The only plus side I keep telling myself is that I've gotten killer biceps from lifting her all day!  In our house I attribute some of that cling to the fact that DH works 2 jobs - firefighter (24 on/72 off), and delivers oil on the off days, and I only work 4 hours a day, part of which is her naptime, so I'm the one home with her.  We still do not have consistent sleeping at night.  She's certainly better and has more nights where she does get a nice 10hour stretch, but I can never tell when they will be or when we will have a night like last night - up every 30mins fussing and moaning from 830-12, fully awake looking to BF at 1230/1, back to sleep, then up at 5 looking to BF on/off/on/off.....and so on until I managed to roll out of bed at 8 (I thank god for a late work schedule after nights like that!).  Definitely a rough age overall - from language, to motor skills, to potty....I look at friends who are having #2 at this stage and think to myself "omg, they must be nuts - I couldn't imagine doing this AND a baby!".  LOL. 

 

 

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Originally Posted by element2012 View Post

I just thought of another little something that is saving me now: I pull a chair into the kitchen when I'm cooking, cleaning, doing whatever in the kitchen, whatever it is, she wants to see it.  Then I fill little bowls with a little water and give her a couple of spoons to "stir it for me".  She thinks she's cooking, then she wants to eat it and I can almost make it though cooking without a meltdown. Yay!

We do this - lots of helping!  Makes for slower cleaning and cooking sometimes but I'll do anything to avoid a meltdown that includes drooling, choking, and breath holding :-P

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#14 of 15 Old 07-11-2013, 04:28 PM
 
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He does sound high needs! Just to calm you a bit about not wanting daddy - both of mine went through phases where they were all about me and I was by far their favorite and they seemed to feel like their dad was in competition with me somehow and would reject him, but they both got past that on their own. My high needs one actually wasn't too bad about it but the easy baby was very very much like that. Anyway, I think it's pretty common. Now they go back and forth on which one of us is the favorite. I wouldn't worry about this meaning he'll never get close to daddy.

I agree with others that between the sleep problems and wanting to be held all the time, it makes me wonder if he isn't feeling great in some way. How long has that been going on? Teething would be most obvious but you said he's already gotten his 2-year-old molars. I think I'd keep an eye open for any discomfort/health issues.

Good luck and please keep us posted!
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#15 of 15 Old 07-15-2013, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for not being able to update earlier! The past week has been pretty intense!

He really matches the description for high needs. And it really does seem that he seeks out sensory input! I will try to find more about that! Thanks!

He still seems to be going through the phase but he had some days on which he was a bit more idependent and let me pick up a few things. Past 5PM he usually gets more intense. I think it has to do with him not napping. We tried naps, but he will wake very cranky, go to bed very late and not sleep sound. So we let him go without naps. He still wakes often but only every two hours and goes back to sleep. However he still wants to get up early and it is scary how alert he is when he wakes. He wants to talk!

I really don't think he is going through any physical pain, but we have a very intense, snuggly relationship and he really craves all I can give sometimes. We co-sleep and he is around me all the time.

I feel when we go to playdates he really enjoys some independent time. For the past month we have been going to a weekly LLLI meet up at a cafe and he seems to be learning so much from some of the older kids! All his other friends are about a half year younger. Maybe that makes this growth spurt more intense too,

The teick with the cooking doesn't work anymore because he now wants "the real thing" and only that :/.

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