Monday, October 11, 2010

Fussy 13 month old

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness 
10                       10                           10            10

Questioner: Melinda

Subject: Fussy 13 month old

Question: My 13 month old so cries and fusses all the time. He is very healthy and has no medical problems. If I keep him totally engaged in different activities all day he is better but still fusses a lot while playing too. He gets VERY easily frustrated and does not take time to try to figure anything out.

If I try to help him he throws a temper tantrum. I babysit a 15 month old girl and she will spend 30 min. or more trying to figure something out and if I go to show her how something works she watches and then tries to imitate me. She also never fusses or cries unless she's hurt or sick. Why is my son so different? What can i do to make him a happier toddler?

I get to the point that I don't even want to play with him b/c I know he'll fuss anyway. Also, he smacks me, the dog... everyone all the time. He knows better and gets time out for it. When he smacks and I say, "No hitting" or "Did you hit _" He puts his lip out and lays down. So I know he knows he did wrong, yet he does it over and over all day. Please give me some advice!

Answer: Melinda:

First of all children are all different. There is a big difference between a 13 month old and a 15 month old so lowering your expectations is a good idea.

Why not try something different. Next time he gets fussy give him a baby massage. See is this relieves his frustration and anxiety.

I strongly suggest finding a book called "The Sensitive Child." It is a small paper back book that will help you understand you little guy better. He sounds like he maybe slightly high needs.

Also, time out for a 13 month old is not very effective. When he tries to smack the dog pull his hand away and say we don't hit the dog. It may take awhile. He doesn't really know he did wrong at this age, what he knows is you are not happy with him and he feels that deeply.

When he repeats something over and over again it is because that is how his brain works. Children do things repetitively because their brains are developing and the neuro pathways are developed by repetition. It is critically important you are patient and realize you need to respond to him in a consistent manner.

When you tell him not to hit the dog then move him away from the dog and onto a new activity. This is not a one time cure, expect that he will do this again again and so will you.

I recommend looking up ages and stages through a google search or even better look here:

so you can develop age appropriate expectations of you baby!

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller