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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the past 2 days our 18 mth old DD has been very cranky and upset at times. She cries when she can't do something she wants to, such as run across the street and pull up the neighbor's flowers, and cries sometimes for no apparent reason, just a kind of fussy cry. Sometimes she gets really worked up and will cry, run away from me, run around in circles, like she is so frustrated or distressed she doesn't know what to do or where to run.

I tried some Tylenol earlier and that seemed to help (?) she fell asleep and was happier for 2-3 hours. If she is having pain, I can't tell where it is. She's not drooling excessively or pulling her ears or anything. She has a small cold, with a drippy nose (for the past 5 days) but other than that no symptoms. No fever or rashes or anything. When I offered her Tylenol (several times) this evening she got angry and batted it out of my hand. This is not like her.

I don't know what to do. Does anyone ever take their child to the doctor for "increased fussiness?" I feel like something's wrong, but I don't know whether to wait and see if more symptoms show up or take her tomorrow. DH thinks she is just bored and getting more angry when she can't have what she wants, but its come on so suddenly I don't know. She is still distractible and will smile and scream happily at times, but not often. Its terribly pathetic to watch her running in circles crying. In the bathtub which she usually enjoys she just started crying, kicking, and batting at me for no reason that I could see. I feel so helpless.

Anyone have any ideas what to do? Am I worrying too much for nothing? She's never been sick before - is this normal behavior for a child that just has a small cold or passing virus?
 

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She could be sick. But then again she could just be 18 months old! My DD has been doing the same thing. Some of what you've described sounds like "Frustration Tantrums." In those cases, you just have to let them run their course, and comfort the child as best you can, because sometimes you just can't make what they want happen. (For example, my DD is always trying to open things that can't be opened.) And comfort isn't always holding them. Sometimes it's leaving them alone because they're angry and don't want to be touched-- they just need to get that anger energy out. You just have to try and see what works with your own child until they get better at handling frustration, because frankly you can't squeeze water out of rocks for them.

I also think your DH is right about the boredom. I think a lot of 18 month olds have outgrown a lot of the older toys or games we've provided, and they need new challenges, new opportunities to do with the big people are doing-- but they don't know how to communicate that need. Maybe it's time to put away some of the old toys and put out more puzzles and books or something. Or else go outside more, or go to the library or pool instead of the park. Teach her to do more stuff around the house. (Frankly, my daughter enjoys trying to clean things. She's also learning to swim and has potty trained herself. Some of these new activities have given her interesting things to do. Since I don't know what you're doing at home, whatever will create a change of pace for your child is what might help. Also, kids at this age can be less distractible now because at this age they have developed a longer memory. To try and substitute one thing for something else is sometimes just plain insulting, and creates anger because they haven't forgotten what it was they wanted originally, you know?

So if you ask me, you're dd's just growing up some, and I have no idea about when kids start to feel more at ease with not being able to do all they wish they could. But if you really suspect she's sick, that's something probably you and your doctor need to figure out. It wouldn't hurt to take a child to the ped for "increased fussiness" or "crankiness."

Good luck.

Faith
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Faith
I feel better now knowing another child this age is acting this way.

On the one hand, I would be relieved if she isn't sick and its just growing pains.

But on the other hand, that would mean this is the beginning of the next three years of my life
:
 

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My DS was a bear around that age.
I chalked it up to 2 things... (1) teething. Even if you don't see the signs now, they can be slow coming and painful.
(2) Verbal breakthrough... what I mean is for DS he was chatting away at 18 months, but mostly one word at a time (read... blue... book) And not quite as CLEAR a he speaks now at 2 years old he has GREAT diction.
I think his mood swings were sometimes due to frustration at not quite being able to express everything he was thinking. It's an age where they understand so much and yet nobody around them seems to understand THEM!
:
Within 2 months of that he made HUGE breakthroughs and was talking in full clear sentences and MAGICALLY became the calm sweet baby again.

Hang in there.
 

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How has her sleep been? Does she need an extra nap? Is she cutting any teeth? (2 year molars early, for example)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by nfpmom
How has her sleep been? Does she need an extra nap? Is she cutting any teeth? (2 year molars early, for example)?
I'm not sure about the teeth. She is definitely overdue for a tooth - she has 8 teeth, and its been about 4 months since her last one came in. But she's not drooling or mouthing or putting her hands in her mouth.

Funny you should ask about sleep. She went down very early for her nap yesterday, was in good spirits for about 3 hours after her nap, then it went downhill from there. Then she fell asleep about 2 hours before her regular bedtime and we woke up this morning at her regular time (not earlier than usual which I was expecting since she went to bed so early). So she does seem like she's needing more sleep than usual. She slept 13 hours last night instead of her usual 10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatbaby
My DS was a bear around that age.
I chalked it up to 2 things... (1) teething. Even if you don't see the signs now, they can be slow coming and painful.
(2) Verbal breakthrough... what I mean is for DS he was chatting away at 18 months, but mostly one word at a time (read... blue... book) And not quite as CLEAR a he speaks now at 2 years old he has GREAT diction.
I think his mood swings were sometimes due to frustration at not quite being able to express everything he was thinking. It's an age where they understand so much and yet nobody around them seems to understand THEM!
:
Within 2 months of that he made HUGE breakthroughs and was talking in full clear sentences and MAGICALLY became the calm sweet baby again.

Hang in there.
I'm realizing that I'm so used to the gibberish that sometimes I don't recognize when she's using a new word because its so badly mangled
The past week she has been using a BUNCH of new words, maybe more than I realize since they aren't very clear. Plus she uses them in unexpected ways (for example she called a rock an "ack woob" for ice cube yesterday and I didn't get it at first). Maybe she is having a learning burst. I often feel like I am ten steps behind her...
 
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