My son will be one year old next week. Up until the last two weeks, he has been the easiest, happy-go lucky child imaginable. He sleeps well, he eats everything, he is always giggling and smiling, he loves people and is social. The last two weeks this has changed, especially the last two days when he has cried and gotten angry all throughout the day. I can't figure it out. He has never had a temper before, and now he deliberately throws things, hits things, hits my husband and myself when he is not getting his way. What gives? I don't know what to do. If he (intentionally) bites or hits me while nursing, I say "Ouch" and disconnect but this makes him so angry he scrunches up his face and hits me hard. If he is going for something that is dangerous (like trying to stick his hand in the VCR) and I gently say No and move him away he pounds on the floor and screams, and then hits me. If he wants my computer or the book I am reading and I move it away from him, he hits at it or tries to rip the pages out.
Seriously it is like my angel baby has been replaced by someone with a temperament completely contrary to the way he was previously. I don't know how to get him to stop since everything just makes him more angry.
It could be a lot of things. Since this is short term, he might not be feeling well, and he might be teething (particularly since he's biting while nursing - that's common when they're teething.)
OTOH as they get older they get more of an idea of what they want and how to get it, and at some point most get tantrums. My older child had tantrums before 1 so I know it can happen that early. IMO the best thing to do with tantrums is to relax about them and wait them out. It's a learning opportunity for them, and they do outgrow them once they've learned that everything won't always go how they want it to go and that it's really ok when everything doesn't go how they want it to go.
But I'd put my money on teething in this case. That's what it sounds like to me. You could try giving him a frozen wet washcloth to chew on, and if he's really fussy you can try some baby ibuprofin or something. If he is happier after that, then it's a safe bet that he's fussy because he's in pain.
I have to agree with the above poster, it sounds like teething to me, or he's coming down with something and is a little extra fussy, tired, grumpy, agitated. Remember when he was a tiny baby and he would go into meltdown mode if he was overtire/ stimulated? That's what Dr. Sears says causes most tantrums in young toddlers, they are in overstimulation/over tired/too much going on/my mouth hurts meltdown. He suggests taking baby away from the situation (quiet, darkened room) and sitting with them while they figure it out. Don't cave in and give them what they want, but Don't get angry, and don't ignore them. Basically you are telling them that it is OK to feel stressed out, and when you feel stressed out it is OK to remove yourself from the situation and calm down. You are telling him that you are there for him for comfort and to listen to him. Mature adults deal with stress this way. Time outs are not a punishment, they are what healthy people do to relieve stress. They may not want to be held, cuddled, and they may need to have a little cry, but they get it out of their system and will usually go back to their normal happy selves.
Do we have the same child? My angel-baby had some periods like that recently. I think that one week it was tied to teething. Another week (last week), I just had this sense that he was about to start walking--he wasn't showing any new physical signs of walking, but I just had this gut feeling that his behavior was tied to that. Their little bodies just want to try out new skills and so their minds just go, go, go but their emotional capacity has not caught up. Sure enough, after a couple of nights of barely sleeping and a few days of seperation anxiety (new for him) LO did 3-4 steps!
Another example, for about two weeks LO would do this new pouty face and hysterical scream. It was all drama! We just comforted him through it and it passed (I would stay where I was, but say, "Baby, do you want a hug? Come to me, and I will hug you." That way, if he wanted to self-sooth he could, but he also knew he could get affirmation from me.) I think it was expirementation with new ways of moving his body, face, voice, seeing how we react, etc.
He's also been throwing things--toys, food, etc. With food, we picked an "all done" spot that he could reach and if the unwanted food goes there, we clap and cheer. He actually learned to clap from that. If he throws the food, we just ignore it. As for toys, I offer to help him find a soft toy that is safe to throw or we go outside and throw things out there. Again, I think it is just mastery of a new skill.
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Success after loss and infertility! Joyful mom to two boys (1/11 and 8/12)
I remember those days! As they grow, they begin to test boundaries, pushing the extremes to see what they can and can not get away with. Be firm in your consequences, and they will learn where the boundary is.
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