Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10-month-old temper tantrums

If you're reading this post, then most likely you are at your wits end on what to do with your 10-month-old who keeps throwing tantrums and fits. It really can be so frustrating as a parent to not know what to do or how to calm your infant.

First, understand that at only 10 months of age your little one may be crying for a variety of reasons. If the crying is almost incessant and you see him touching his ears, then he may have an ear infection. Is he tired? Has he been missing naps? etc...

Second, I have experienced this myself, and sometimes it may just be a "phase" as some like to call it, or it may just be that your little one just wants something or wants to do something really, really bad (see my old post below). When your little one throws the tantrum, is there something that he wants? It may be that distractions will work, or it may be that he will grow out of it once he can do more on his own.

What should you do?
  1. Do your best to not get overwhelmed and upset. Getting upset, talking to your child in a harsh tone, etc. will not help the situation. If you need to cool down, trade off with your partner for a couple minutes if this is an option.
  2. Talk to your child in a language that she can understand. At this young age, your child cannot understand complex sentences and reasoning. Validate your child's feelings, and then simply say what not to do, such as "Lucy, don't hit, don't hit, Ow" (reasoning comes into play when your child is a bit older).
  3. Understand that generally your child is not trying to make you upset. He may be doing it to get attention, but most likely he is just frustrated by something as he is trying to learn about his environment. Emotions are a hard thing to deal with at this age, and understand that your child is slowly learning how to deal with them and calm down (with your help).
  4. If you can tell that your child knows what he is doing, some people try "time-outs" for about 1 minute. Personally, this has not worked for me. Others put the toy or other object in a time-out. At this young age, removing the object may be your best bet.
  5. Know your child. Your child will most likely give you clues into what he is feeling and what he wants. Your little one may want you to pick him up to calm him down, or it may be that she prefers her own space for a few minutes.
What other suggestions do you have?

Original Post on  4/17/2010
Hello readers,

Today's post is going to be a little different. As you may know, I'm a parent too and have my own unique challenges with my child as well, and I like to hear your advice.

My little girl is 10 months old, and she has started throwing what appear to be little temper tantrums (but it is not just every once in a while). She seems to only be happy with something for maybe 1 - 5 minutes, and then she starts her little screams again. Help! I have to admit, it's driving my wife nuts, because she is home more right now, and she can't keep her happy. When I get home, I experience the same thing with her. I can do things and get her to laugh hysterically, but this usually only lasts for maybe 5 minutes, then we're back to the "I'm upset" face with the banshee cries. (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about! haha). It's not teething, by the way.

Any advice?

***By the way, now looking back on this experience...this lasted for about 2 weeks, and then she was over it. Although we are not sure exactly what it was, I believe it was because she wanted to crawl so bad that until she could do that she was just upset.



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