Demanding 18 mo. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-30-2008, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I read wonderful answers on this site all the time, so I know she's young and am as gentle as possible with her, but I also don't want to give in to her all the time and am not sure how to have boundaries. Are boundaries possible with an 18 mo? For instance, we're still BFing, which I'm fine with, but I don't want to nurse at every moment that she decides she wants to. I feel like at this point I should be able to tell her we'll nurse at home, or when we find a chair, or something like that. But, she wants it NOW! And screaming and yanking on my clothes always follows unless I can distract her with something else really enticing, which isn't always possible

Another example is that we've recently started massaging her feet to calm her in the car - she's always hated the car. This works for a little while at least. However, now she'll want us to do it in the house and it's impossible to tell her no. I don't mind giving her attention and massaging her feet on occasion, but when she wants a massage she wants it NOW.

I just can't seem to say "no" to her. I either need suggestions, or reassurance that I'm not spoiling her.
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#2 of 6 Old 10-30-2008, 04:06 PM
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*sigh* mine too. Just a little younger than yours.
I don't fight anything I don't have to. I think she's trying to figure out what parts of her world she has control over, and I try to give her as much control as possible. I'm a bit of a control freak myself, so I have a lot of sympathy for her in this area. But when it comes to MAKING me do things, there I have set some boundaries.

Re: nursing, I have started to tell DD that nursies are sleeping. It took a while, and I could see her processing what that meant--she spent a long time role playing with her dolls, with some assistance from me. I also started to carry her lovey around everwhere, and hand it to her when she asked to nurse but was obviously just feeling anxious, and didn't really NEED to nurse. Now, about a month after I introduced the concept, she is beginning to understand. I don't deny her, but I also don't nurse her when she is demonstrating bad manners--not ever. Not even when she looks super-cute and says "please" (but is also pulling my shirt down to my knees ). I distract, divert, and find cover.

This is a tough age, isn't it? But...I confess...I LOVE seeing her assert herself.

Mommy to DD 5-07
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#3 of 6 Old 10-30-2008, 05:16 PM
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DD was like that - it's a stage, because she is slowly getting much better. As for nursing, DD won't eat solid food, so I feel like I have to nurse her to make sure she is getting enough to eat because she is dropping her weight, but I noticed that when she went into hysterics about nursing NOW it was her teeth. She would have a different whine for that, and then she would nurse for a few minutes and be fine. She was getting all 4 canines and her upper molars at that time. Then one day, it just stopped and she started chewing on her fingers instead. And now she is back to only nurse every few hours and she can wait if I can't nurse her at the moment.

As for the foot massage (for a DD is her grabbing my hand to take me somewhere, she wants to go NOW! ) I used to say no and let her fuss a little bit, she cried and I tried to distract, then she ran off, and I left her alone. After all awhile she got over it and came back to hug me. I have learned to say "not right now" or "we will do it later" something other than no, because "no" sets her off. DH big phrase is "let's find something else to do" and she does whine (that's unavoidable, she is frustrated and doesn't have the words) but she has been getting over it quicker.

oh and I don't think you are spoiling her by giving in, I usually do. But I also have to say no to her, so I have to learn to deal with her getting upset.

Mommy to 2 beautiful girls dust.gif4/07 and babyf.gif1/11
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#4 of 6 Old 10-30-2008, 05:51 PM
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The big thing right now is DD fake crying for every little thing. I've had to be a little more forceful in my tone for her to get the message but it seems to be headed in the right direction. For example, we're going upstairs to nurse and no, I would not like to carry you through the entire house to get there. I tell her to walk with Mommy so we can go upstairs and have milk. When we get to the stairs I'll carry her up and then make her walk from the top of the stairs to our chair. She's learned how to fake cry (just whining) and I'm not letting her get into that habit because it WILL drive me batty. Batty mommies are not good mommies!

BFARing mama to Haley (3/07) and Abigail (11/10/09)
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#5 of 6 Old 10-31-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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oh, the fake crying...that sound is like nails scraping the blackboard for me, especially first thing in the morning.

I definitely use "let's do something else" often, but sometimes it works amazingly well, other times not so much. I just wish I could get her to fall in love with a lovey. I've tried ever since she was tiny and she's never shown interest. Suddenly, a few weeks ago someone gave her a baby doll and she loved it. For the first week she carried it everywhere - i thought that was going to be it. But, no... she passed that phase quickly.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-01-2008, 01:46 AM
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I have this problem too, and my 20-month old DD is, shall we say, persistent. I try not to use the "you're upset - hey look at that shiny object over there" method, but even when I've tried it in desperation it seems like she's got the distraction game figured out and doesn't fall for it. What I've found that works some of the time is to validate, and then give her something specific to do while she waits, even if it's dumb. Like:

DD: Want grapes.
Me: OK, I'll cut up some grapes for you.
DD: WANT GRAPES! WANT GRAPES! Starts pulling on my leg.
Me: I'm cutting up your grapes. Can you go give the dog a pet while I cut your grapes? -or- Can you go touch the couch while I cut your grapes?

She often gets absorbed in something on the way back from the task and forgets the original request. This might not work as well when you're talking about a comfort thing like nursing or massaging, but it might give you a break once in a while!

I'm also working on saying "no," and not feeling bad about it. It's a hard transition from satisfying baby's every need and desire to saying "no" and sticking to it! She's still my tiny baby and I want her to be happy! But I think it's important to start letting them discover that they can be denied something, be disappointed, and get over it.

-Ecstatic mommy to amazing DD, 2/07 :
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