13 mo old tantrums - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I am feeling like these are intentional and attention demanding tantrums not attempts to have immediate needs met... If that makes sense. Is 13 mo to early for tantrums?

She crys all the time, over everything. She's a little sister to a 3 yr old so I am sure she could use more undivided mommy attention, so could her 3 yr old sister. So i am wondering if anyone has advice? I dont like to ignore her but if i held her and sat with her each time she fussed I'd never eat, pee or have the ability to care for my 3 yr old... There has to be an alternative to this crying all day. Shouldnt she be more independent now?
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#2 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 01:59 PM
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Is she walking yet? 13 months was the worst for us so far because DD was just about to start walking and she was soooo frustrated by not being able to do things she wanted. Once she was steady on her feet and walking lots she mellowed out a lot. It's an intense age and I don't think she's trying to get attention but that something is really bothering her - even if to everyone else it is no big deal. Could she be getting more teeth? We also had that going around the same time which didn't help. My DD also had zero concept of time at that age. She couldn't wait two seconds; everything had to be immediate or she would melt down. I don't have much advice except hang in there and try to get through it with your sanity. It will get better.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 03:43 PM
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DD is 10mos and we've had some pretty uber dramatic meltdowns already.  Sometimes it's being put down, sometimes it's taking something away she can't have.  We're also dealing with top teeth coming in AND getting ready to walk, so it's definitely a frustrating age for them!  She was a needy baby with tummy issues that we learned were dairy related so she spent a lot of time worn in the early days (not to mention it was winter and there's nothing better than a baby heater!) and as she got bigger/heavier I made sure to get her down more for independent play.  She still has an issue with me putting her down too soon after I get home from work some days (I'm only part time mid day but some days she just misses me more than others).  Now that she's fairly mobile she gets into everything and we're teaching her what she can and cannot touch and/or climb on.


I've been trying lately to work on patience.  Obviously it won't happen overnight, but being a dog trainer I've got plenty of it and understand the mechanics of slow progression - ie if I can put her down for 5seconds and she doesn't throw a fit, I can reward her with tickles, kisses, toys, or even pick her up again.  I'll slowly increase that threshold to 6, 8, 10, 15 seconds, etc and it's always random.  Sometimes I drop her to immediately pick her up, sometimes I'll leave her for a few minutes.  If she doesn't know what I'm going to do, she always anticipates the 'what if'.  For her, the big fun is being tossed in the air or hung upside down.  I like to be sporadic in my rewarding so if she doess throw a tantrum, I can quickly distract her and get her to forget why she was wigging out and then reward with something fun for a few seconds of calm afterwards.

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#4 of 8 Old 09-25-2012, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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She's not walking yet and only has her 1st 4 teeth... plus she's got some gluten/ wheat sensitivities i believe...
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#5 of 8 Old 09-26-2012, 08:07 AM
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My babe is about to be 11 months old, and we are dealing with the same issue.  Just dramatic meltdowns... if I pick him up when he has a meltdown he bangs his head into my chest really hard.  He is wanting to walk, and does get frustrated.  And he just cut the 2 top teeth, which means he now has 4, but the top ones have been terrible for him.  That and sleep has been terrible with his teeth coming in too.  Its been frustrating, and just patience draining.  We are working on it though.  He is a very attached babe, loves being carried and loves having us play with him.  But sometimes it is just impossible, for instance when I cook and hubby is at work.  He feels left out I think, so I have taken to have him in the high chair while I cook (I give him some things to play with, or food to eat that is done cooking).  All I can say:  I feel your pain ... I am right there too.  I am hoping he will outgrow sometime soon. :)



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#6 of 8 Old 09-26-2012, 09:08 AM
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One of my daycare boys (13 months) started having little tantrums....not full blown yet, he's just trying them out.  


He was in the kitchen having a meltdown, when he realized nobody was in there, then he heard us having circle time in the other room, so he stopped crying, walked in there, quietly cleared a spot for himself, then finished his tantrum.  


Funniest thing ever.


He's working on it...it's going to take more practice, but within the next few months, he should perfect the skill.  He's an intense and sensitive kid, so I see a lot of tantrums in his future.

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#7 of 8 Old 09-26-2012, 11:17 AM
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I hesitate to respond to this, but now I figure that others have already posted wise words concerning an exceptionally beautiful philosophy of childrearing, so you'll be able to take my thoughts with a grain of salt. Everyone's situation is different, but there are things that I wish I'd known about eight years ago...

I was raised by a couple of not-quite-ex-hippies, the oldest in a family of five kids. We were all unschooled a la John Holt: we had exceptional freedom to follow our interests and passions, and we had a lot more chores and responsibilities than any of the other kids we knew. We were out in the world, meeting people of all ages and walks of life, creating adventure and our own "education"--and when I grew up, I vowed that I would give my own child(ren) the same gift of freedom that my parents gave to us.

Fast forward several years, to when my husband and I had our first child. We were planning on homebirthing and co-sleeping and homeschooling and Accepting Children For Who They Are. And for the next six years, we did our absolute darndest to love and appreciate and nurture our eldest son, who was always just a "little" bit MORE than all the other kids. He was more whiny, more wakeful, more "colicky," more delayed in reaching his "milestones," more needy of constant adult attention, more picky, more focused, more prone to stomach aches, more clingy...and later, more anxious, more depressed, more obsessive, and increasingly prone to more and more explosive tantrums.

He was our first child. People kept saying, "It's a stage!" "All kids have tantrums every so often!" "Kids don't like it when their parents leave." "Is ANYONE truly 'normal'?"

I was so loathe to box my child into someone else's idea of normal. And even pediatricians and child psychologists didn't have a definite idea or diagnosis. Our son was just...hard.

It wasn't until the spring of 2010 that we realized just how much we had been compensating for our little boy's challenges, and how much energy it took to pretend that he was normal. Gradually, over his first six years, he had gone from an almost-but-not-quite Bouncing, Happy Baby...to a withdrawn, "rude," antisocial, tantrumming six-year-old, whose language was slipping away and who was at the very bottom of the percentile charts for height and weight. He ate three foods, I couldn't leave the house without him having an anxiety attack (forget about taking him anywhere), he had no friends or apparent desire for social contact, and his belly was distended and swollen while rashes were torturing him constantly.

It is now two years later. I still have trouble using the word autism. He didn't have all the symptoms anyway. And for the first year and a half of the GAPS protocol, we had to deal with the most acute case of anorexia that I have ever known, to the point where no doctors or therapists had any further ideas. It became more crisis management than coming-to-terms with a diagnosis. We watched our child battle raging infections, and we're not out of the woods yet. But now, after nearly 36 months of monumental effort, my eight-year-old is turning into the little boy who was hiding inside all along.

This little boy actually loves people, and is finally starting to learn all of the social "niceties" that he failed to pick up over his first eight years. This child still has tics and anxieties and obsessions, but gradually the tantrums are decreasing, and his coping skills are increasing, and we're all having a bit more of a chance to breathe. And all of this, pretty much every bit, is due to the healing power of Foods alone. In fact, the most amazing thing is that my used-to-be-anorexic LOVES food now! He still hates raw liver, but now he eats every ferment, vegetable, meat, and soup that is placed in front of him (including the liver), and occasionally wonders why he used to not want to eat.

Weston Price was so, so right about the degenerative powers of the Foods of Commerce...and so, so right about the power of ancestral diets to build and maintain health, not only in a person's teeth but also in brains and communities and entire cultures.

With any luck, we found GAPS in time to save my kids from becoming members of the Omega Generation.

Anyway. Many people will note correctly that their child is not nearly as bad as my child became. And I, still a die-hard unschooler who is inspired by "non-coercive parenting" and Accepting People for Who They Are...am STILL loathe to put any "spirited" "high-needs" child into someone else's diagnostic box. But it's also true that many years ago, MY child wasn't as sick as my child became. And because I was so determined to "accept him for who he was," I turned a blind eye toward the troubling symptoms that nobody could explain, and I tried the squelch the "complaining" voices in my head that would pipe up and say, "Gosh, I'm exhausted! Parenting is....a LOT harder than I thought it would be! I have...absolutely no time for myself. He is just such a...needy kid..."

When my second child arrived, I began to get an inkling of how "normal" parents might feel--tired, but not incredibly and completely drained of energy and coping mechanisms. These parents of normal kids might be tired of putting most of their energy toward childrearing and homemaking...but they would also be energized and inspired by their child's hugs and enthusiasm and joy for life. In our case, there really wasn't much reciprocity in the parent/child relationship (with our eldest), and instead of recognizing what was going on, I blamed myself for my poor parenting, poor household management, poor organization...ANYTHING, rather than noting the Not Rightness.

So anyway...I have a feeling that much of what I'm describing is NOT your situation at all, and probably is not applicable. But my main point is that I think it's okay to take stock of how things are going, and notice whether things are Not Right enough to be really a problem. And this _doesn't_ necessarily mean that there's a lack of Good Parenting or Household Management Strategies, or that a child is Bad. It might not be anyone's fault...but STILL things might be Not Right, and there may be ways to address these things. What I'm learning is that healthy children and healthy parents are resilient, and don't require perfection in order to enjoy their days. It is the growing resilience in my little boy that is one of the things I treasure most about his healing.

These days, things can be imperfect and he doesn't have to scream about it, or "act out," or whine for three hours non-stop. (Sometimes he does, but often he doesn't.) My husband and I are starting to be able to appreciate the perfection in our imperfect lives, and share it with our children. And this is, I now realize, one of the things that families are all about.

I will never be able to thank Weston Price and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride enough...


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#8 of 8 Old 10-27-2012, 10:50 PM
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My DD (now 21mo) was having tantrums already at that age too. I was sooooo frustrated and couldn't really think of anything to do since it was obvious that she was upset but all she could do was cry and scream and hang on my clothing. We started taking not really time out, I guess it's more of quiet time since I go with her, when that happens. I or DH tell her quietly that she's having a tantrum and upset so let's go sit down for a minute in your room(normally she's at her worst for tantrums at home before nap time) / the hallway/wherever we can get away from the current situation. We sit I ask her to listen to me and explain to her that I know (for the most part eyesroll.gif) why she's upset, and layout what we're going to do. Often times this will actually calm her down now since she's gotten used to the pattern of it. If she's just not ready to stop I'll put her on my lap effectively cutting her off from throwing herself on the ground/throwing toys/etc....and let her know that we're going to have to sit here like this until she can get back under control at which point we're going to go and do X,Y,Z or whatever else I'd talked about earlier. At first there was a lot of getting to that point, but she seems to have caught on to the fact that she's missing out on other better stuff by screaming.


Don't know if it's the break in whatever situation that's upsetting her, the pattern of it, or just that she gets overwhelmed sometimes and needs a minute, but I do know that it doesn't work for us if I'm already at the point where I've lost my calm. If I'm upset sitting with me doesn't do jack to help stop her tantrum. We feed off one anothers emotions.


I felt a little ridiculous at first, since I was sure this would never actually work. ...but it has most definitely helped us.


It doesn't always stop the tantrums but often times now if I can ask her before she has a full meltdown, "C? Do we need to go sit down for a little while?" it can head off the full blown version and set her back on track long enough for me to finish whatever I'm trying to get done and give my full attention to what she's after. I only have the one DD so I'm not sure how this would work with the 3yr old in the picture but it's worth a try.


Good luck and try to stay calm.

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