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DS throwing himself on the floor (long)

455 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  msiddiqi
DS (13mo) has started this new thing where he throws himself on the floor when he's angry and just cries and whimpers and waits for me to come get him. When I do sometimes he is ok, and other times he gets up and does it again.
Here's one example: I taught him the sign for milk...a lot of the time he'll just sign every five minutes, take two sucks and runs away. I don't really mind and usually give it to him when he asks, but he does this a lot when I'm in the middle of something or I took two bites from my breakfast (after having had nursed him 10 minutes before, and doesn't want to eat breakfast with me) so sometimes I just tell him "Mama has to eat, then she'll give milk". But now, even if I'm going to give him milk but it gets delayed even a sec, because my shirt got stuck or something, he gets angry and throws himself on the floor.
He doesn't only do it for nursing, but just for about anything that makes him fustrated.
In the beginning, I just picked him up. I didn't make a big commotion out of it, but I just quietly would pick him up off the floor and gave him a kiss. But it started to get I would try to joke with him to get him to laugh, and lie on the floor next to him, but not pick him up. He would laugh a little and then get up and throw himself down on the floor again. And the frequency, again, increased. Now I'm not quite sure what to do. Today I just stayed nearby, and let him know he could come to me, and kept calling for him (so he knows he's not alone) and after a minute he'd get up and start playing again. I can't say if the frequency has increased or decreased because it's only been one morning of that.
I'm not quite sure what to do. I'm torn between fear of making him feel abandoned and of giving him the idea that this is the way he should get our attention.
Some background info:
*DS seems to be trying to speak, he actually said his first word a few days ago
*He's developed stranger anxiety in the last couple of weeks. Before he'd start smiling and playing with a new person immediately, but now he gets shy and presses his face into me and DH (whoever is holding him).
*He's been increasingly clingy, especially if I'm doing work in the kitchen. He doesn't want to go into the carrier anymore but he wants me to hold him in my arms. I've started to get up around 5,6 am to do my housework so it's done before he wakes up because of this. That way I have more time to focus on him.
*He has started to sleep better, which is kind of strange because I would expect that if there was something bothering him he would wake more at nite. He's gone down from waking up 4,5 times a night to waking up once or twice.

Anyways, I think some of these things may be related but I'm not sure. Anybody had something similar happen? Looking for any thoughts/ideas/suggestions.

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I think 13 mos is a tough age- they have new thoughts and desires, but they are having trouble expressing those.
What I would do, I think, is to tell him "yes I'll give you milk, give me a minute" (that way he knows you understood him) Then do it, but don't rush. Be calm while you're getting ready to nurse him. I have a feeling that rushing (going faster than you normally would, because he's throwing a fit) isn't doing him any favors.
As a matter of fact (if you're into TCC) it seems that it may cause even MORE frustration on his part, knowing that HE is controlling YOU. (for more info, read and

I'm definitely not saying to withhold nursing. At this age, only you can judge if he can go without while you finish eating. I do have my ds wait until I finish eating, but he's 20 mos old now. I'm not sure when I started having him wait more and more. It's a case by case basis.

I have a feeling that MY ds wants to nurse all the time, because it's his way of connecting with me. It helps him know that I'm there, and that "nips" (our word for nursing- don't ask, my grandma insisted on it. lol) are there whenever he needs them.
I've especially noticed that his desire to nurse is really strong when we are at relative's homes. He'll go a long time without nursing, but when he wants it, buddy he wants it!! I think that's the same reason- to reconnect with me. (It's not a hunger or thirst issue- all my relatives do is feed him, it seems lol)
So that would go together with your ds's stranger anxiety, and clinginess. He's making sure you're there. And what better way? lol

As far as tantrums (ds doesn't tantrum much now. But he had a phase a while back), I'd sit calmly very near him. Touch him, if you think he wants to be touched, back off if he seems to want space. But stay near him, and use him as a gauge. Let him get through it, but let him know that you are there, and try to show him that you understand why/how he is feeling. I think staying calm and being empathetic is important.
Trying to distract my ds makes it worse- he cries longer. And when people laugh or smile when he's upset- THAT is bad!! He starts crying so hard he can hardly breath. The best way to deal with any upset with him, is to hold him calmly, and talk quietly about what just happened. So, if he hit his head, I just hold him, take him away from any commotion, and say "i know, it hurts when you bump your head"
Oh, and I know that ds used to start tantrums if I didn't understand what he was expressing (he still isn't verbal) right away. I started telling him "give me a minute. I'm trying to figure out what you want." and he'd stop being upset, and actually give me a minute! lol. He'd sometimes try again to tell me. We usually figured it out together, and all was good. As long as he knew I was *trying* he was happy.
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Thanks Becky for all your helpful suggestions. I skimmed thru the links you gave me but haven't gotten to read them thoroughly yet (that may be my project for his next naptime tomorrow
). I thought they were pretty interesting though, because even though DS is very young I'm already feeling at a crossroads of how I want to deal with things from here. I am very appalled by the way a lot of my friends/family deal with their children sometimes but I am afraid that in my trying to get away from that, I'll end up at some other extreme where DS walks all over me (which I dont think is fair to either of us).
I usually don't make DS wait for nursing unless I know I JUST gave him some milk and I need to get something done or eat or go to the bathroom
. In those situations, I think I need to make more clear to him that I acknowledge what he wants and that I will get to him as soon as possible. I realized after you wrote that that I almost feel like I need to avoid eye contact or something because I feel bad making him wait. But I think that fustrates him more. And you're TOTALLY right, I do get a little panicky because he's angry and I think sometimes he starts expressing more anger then when I'm a little calmer about things.
I appreciate your suggestions, because I think they encompass this middle-ground I'm trying to reach. I want to be ready as possible for when DS really needs me to guide him (the way I see it, these last few weeks are a trial run).
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You know, I was really confused about that "middle ground" too. On one hand, I do think ds has a right to his own opinions and that those opinions deserve to be respected. On the other hand, I believe that it's scary and overwhelming for a young child to have too much responsibility. But, I had no idea how to reconcile those two ideas!!
But then I read a line in one of those articles- something about how we shouldn't look to our children for guidance in raising them. THAT was my light bulb. I realized that *I* could be the one guiding, and I could still respect his opinions, by not *asking* him to make choices that he didn't make of his own volition. So, I say "it's time to get your diaper changed" (of course, at a time when he's not busy playing). Then I get him to go do it, with an expectation that he'll be ok with it. BUT if he dissents at that point, I respect that. I may try to give him a book (which generally makes the whole thing agreeable to him) but if he still dissents, then I figure he has a good reason. lol

Now, nursing is a different story. lol. I'm dealing with the same thing, with my 20 mo. I watched the clock one day, it was a normal day for nursing. He didn't go more than an hour between nursings. grrrr. It's really hard to get stuff done! I'm working on it too.
But hopefully I gave you some ideas that will help. Now if I can just put some of those ideas into action here!

Oh, and something else that goes along with that "middle ground." I've noticed that if I tell ds to do something, or that we ARE doing something, in a matter of fact, pleasant tone, he is way more likely to go along. But when I (or dp) get frustrated, and start trying to get ds to *choose* to go along, he resists more. You know that voice? Kinda whiney, apologetic, and frustrated at the same time? Oh, and it usually involves the words "Have to."
I've seen it with dp time and time again (and I'm sure it happens with me too). The longer it goes, the more ds resists- it's like he's overwhelmed. It usually starts with a big choice ("Come here. You have to get dressed so we can go outside" instead of getting him and saying "Time to get dressed.") And its not that he doesn't want to do the thing, I don't think. If I go in and just do it, he'll be fine with it, usually. And its the same vice versa. I think that kids like fo their parents to know what to do (but still respect their opinions)

Anyways, just blabbing. But, hey, that's what I do
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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy
You know that voice? Kinda whiney, apologetic, and frustrated at the same time? Oh, and it usually involves the words "Have to."
Man, you described that perfectly...I didn't even realize I was doing that till I read this
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