Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Crazy right?  Is it even possible for a child this young to have total meltdowns?  DS started having FREAKS OUT (ie throws whole body backwards, lays on the floor and kicks feet/lifts butt up and down, thrashing, SCREAMING GD BLOODY MURDER) about 3 weeks ago.  When it started it was just when we would dress/undress him, I instantly thought it was possibly a sensory thing but it was now spilled over into other areas.  If he's getting into something he shouldn't we pick him up, say no and redirect him to something appropriate.  He thrashes and wigs out.  He could be playing on the floor happy as a clam for 15 minutes and then for no reason start screeching like someone is STABBING HIM. We move him to another area (maybe he's bored and needs a change of sceanery?) but to no avail. He is teething but no amount of cold washcloths, wooden teethers, tylenol or baby oragel address the tantrums. Theres no ear tugging or pulling up his legs so I've essentially ruled out that he has an ear infection or belly ache. Kid has been strong willed since birth and definately wants what he wants when he wants it but I just thought I had a couple more years to mentally prepare for this kind of behavior....

    We've started "ignoring" him when he has his moments by first trying to distract him and if that doesnt work we wait for him to chill out.  We dont give him extra cuddling or attention till he stops; we are emotionless to him so he doesn't get negative attention either.  One half of my brain says this is the best way to deal with it but the other half (the SUPER guilty working mom side) says that he's just a baby and he should be loved and hugged ALWAYS.

    Has anyone else experienced this? 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    No, I haven't experienced this.  But perhaps you can keep doing what you are doing (ignoring the tantrums) and see if this extinguishes them.

    BUT at the same time I would also start keeping really good notes (seriously, write it down) about WHEN he has these tantrums, and what was happening before, and what the consequence was.  And keep note of when he last woke up, and when he'd last eaten. 

    for ex: some kids get really HUNGRY and go from a wee bit hungry to STARVING OMG in about 30 seconds.  most other kids seem to do this in about 10 minutes, giving you some warning cries/whines that thye are hungry, which allows you to warm up bottle, get food prepared (cut, mixed,etc.) or get yourself together to nurse (pee, get your water, turn on/off tv, let dog out for a quick pee, whatever).  I've seen a 2 yr old who just TANTRUMS only when she's hungry, but she doesn't say she's hungry, but if she's being horrible, she's hungry.  so the deal is, her parents don't let her get to this horrible hungry/starving phase - they make sure she gets her snacks and meals every 3 hours. 

    perhaps with your child it's that he's tired and overstimulated and needs a nap. so cries about it.  again, going from a wee bit tired to EXHAUSTED OMG in seconds vs 20 minutes. 

    another question (I have more questions than answers, sorry) - if you pick him up and soothe him when he's crying (tantruming) does this soothe him? Or only get him more revved up?  if it soothes, then you have your answer, I'd do that.  but if it gets him more revved up, I'd see what is getting him so revved he feels he needs to cry to dispel the pressure or frustration or whatever. 

    don't feel guilty (ha, easier said than done) he's fine, he's unique, he's your wonderful son, and you'll figure this out together.  and I'd also ask your pediatrician, and then if you have a large practice, I'd also ask the other peds when you see them, because this is unusual (not crazy, just unusual) so a more experienced pediatrician may have run across this when a newer/younger/less experienced one hasn't yet. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    I think keeping a detailed journal is a great idea, albeit time consuming and a total pita.  This way, even if you don't see anything jump off the page you'll have something concrete to start with at the doctor's.  I'd purchase a day planner with one page per day so you can fill it in hour by hour instead of just a notebook, but I like extreme structure so maybe that's just me.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ash. Show ash's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Well, I would say probably not in a sense that a 2 or 3 year old does--they still don't really have conscious thought. 

    But you do have to remember that crying is the way that 7 month olds communicate, so he is trying to tell you something.  The question is what!  He might be hungry.  He might be tired.  He might be frustrated that he can't move very well yet (so this might all go away when he can crawl and cruise).  He might want attention.  He might just have mighty reactions to mundane things (he's not just hungry, he's HUNGRY!--I mean, adults are like this, too!). 

    I would be careful not to label or "psychologize" this behavior.  In all likelihood its some variation of normal crying.  I think a diary is a decent idea, but I wouldn't get too overwrought about it.  It sounds like it stops eventually.  I think CT is right--what makes it stop?  Does something make it worse?

    By the way, you might be right about stomach problems or an ear infection, but there is never anything wrong with seeing your pediatrician to rule out a physical problem over unexplained crying.

    Don't feel guilty about working (easy to say, I know).  I do and I have 2 very stubborn teenagers--one going to college--who believe or not, have turned out to be pretty decent kids!  All these are phases that do pass.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ash. Show ash's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Oh, I also wanted to ask...does this happen at day care, and if so, what do they do?
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Thank you all for your insight.  I've been racking my brain trying to dissect the issue and the only major conclusion I have is that there is little ryhme or reason to his behavior.  For example, when we dress and undress him it is usually a battle but the last two nights and mornings he has been completely fine.  Daycare and I have both noticed a correlation between the quality of his naps and his general dispostion (like with anyone).

    I definately agree and know that his crying is his way of communicating. Sometimes when I pick him up in the middle of a fit he instantly stops, ie he has gotten what he wants.  Other times it sends him even more over the edge.  In general he would be content to be strapped to my body morning, noon and night....unfortunately I'm away from him 10 hours a day making that immpossible.  Daycare will not and cannot wear him.  Its a home daycare and he's not her only child.  I understand that. 

    I'm just a little at a loss over the whole thing.  I'm going to try to journal his behavior this weekend and try to carry it into next week.  For the most part, our sitter gives us great and detailed feedback at the end of everyday.  Maybe by looking at it all written down some things will start to make sense.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    I wouldn't totally rule out sensory issues. My nephew was a real screamer and you'd think he was having tantrums, but it was really sensory issues. He also wanted to be worn all the time. It could be worth checking into -- the therapy for sensory stuff can be really fun. We squished him between cushions and swung him around in a blanket and stuff like that.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from capecod1818. Show capecod1818's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Coffee,

    This sounds just like my DS when he was at this age.  I found it was a combo of being strong willed and starting to have tantrums and also he was getting in a whole bunch of teeth.  They all sprung up at once so he didn't have many freak outs after that.  We had a number of weeks where he was an absolute nightmare.  I found that Motrin really worked for him.  After the teeth came in he was back to normal so hopefully that is what it is.

    Now my DS is 18 months and is still strong willed as ever.  I am bracing myself as I think he is going to be a handful from now until age 3-4ish.  He has starting hitting and saying no when we tell him no so a whole new ball game. Good luck!
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Can a 7 mo old have tantrums?

    Did you just go back to work?  My daughter had a few weeks of this with JUST me (great with Dad once he got home, no trouble at day care, no trouble with grandma, etc.).  It was like she was angry and easily frustrated because she missed me.  We figured out that I couldn't use the computer or grade papers or do anything besides hold her and play with her and give her 1-on-1 time for a half hour or so when I got home.  Then we'd feed her and then once my husband got home he'd take over so I could cook or whatever.

    It didn't totally solve the problem, but it helped pretty quickly.  After a month or so she outgrew it (I think getting better about walking helped her too).
     

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