27 answers

1 Year Old Constant Crying

Hi all, my partner and I are really at our wits end and need some help. We have a son who is soon to be one. He has never learned to crawl and can only walk when you hold his hand. Basically every single minute of the day all he wants is to walk around holding your hand to explore his surroundings. I try to give him as much time as I can but to do this every minute of the day is impossible. I am a childminder and work from home, and am very busy. The result is as soon as you sit him down to go do something he cries, and cries and cries till you give in. The sight of his baby walker or anything similar triggers a tantrum from him as he feel these hold him back and restrict him, and hates being put in them.

I feel almost neglectful but have a house to run also, and I feel like I can only get the bare minimum done as it is. I know this will pass when he can walk and talk, and this is purely frustration but this is draining our family and raising tensions. I don't know if I should be trying to mildly discipline this behaviour so that he knows it is unacceptable to cry and be actively angry to get what you want. Can anyone realate and/or help? I hate this situation as I feel I am just feeling sorry for myself and should be doing more for my baby, but feel he is becoming far too quick to show his unhappiness and I don't want to encourage what is now just pure spoiltness. Where's the line between meeting his developmental needs and enabling him to grow up snapping and being very unable to see things from others point of view? HELP.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

It has only been a few days since I posted but I have taken on board all that has been said and done a little soul searching of my own too. Firstly thanks to everyone who took time out to try and help me. I am not so worried about his not crawling, I am told by baby doctors here that it is not a problem, and that not every baby crawls. He is very switched on so I have no concerns.

I have had a range of responses which are so varied. The 2 sides are basically ''ignore him'' or ''adjust your routine''. Ignoring him is what I've been trying, and trying to no avail! A lot of people have made me think however. I feel there is a constant battle in my life in the form of ''my son'' and ''my home'' and the way I was remedying that was to just stick him in our main room with a bunch of toys and run around crazy trying to get it all dun and get back to him. However, and I know this sounds the most plainly obvious thing, I have now thought about taking more time to take him round with me. Get him involved when I'm folding clothes or cleaning the bathroom. It will probably take twice the time but its valuable time between us also. I think the best thing I have picked up from this was from a mother who gave me an example about raking leaves. She said I could either do it with my child, it take longer and be messier but have fun and enjoy his time with it, or raking leaves with him in tow could be a chore. That has really given me a new perspective on parenthood. I am swallowing my pride to admit to it, but its really given me food for thought about what I am giving back to my child. Don't get me wrong I spend a lot of quality time with him, have great laughs and teach him new things all the time, but only when I have other things taken care of it feels like. I think my next step is to ask my partner to help me re evaluate the house work so he can help me and I have more spare time, not doing chores right up until bed time. I am hooked on sleeping tabs as I cannot wind down. Somethings got to give!

Thanks to all, its been a really character building exercise for me. Sorry to ramble on...

ps. a childminder in the uk is someone who has parents bring their kids to my home to look after while the parents work. Its like nannying but they come to me, and instead of me working with just one family I can have up to 6 kids, and I work alone. So you can understand the stress. I'm basically a part time mum of up to 6.

Thanks guys, I'll definitely use this site in the future.

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Hi A M:
SH offered you an excellent response,and some wonderful advice. Ditto what she said.: ) By the way,I must regretfully disagree with Julie L,in her belief that babies know how to manipulate.It's not manipulation,it's communication. Crying,and fussing are the only forms they know,until they are taught to converse.It's my opinion,that if you ignore,or play a deaf ear to your child's cries,you send him A clear message.( You aren't there for him.I wish you and your growing son the very best.J. M

3 moms found this helpful

Hi A M,
I am a mother of 4 children. First off, you are NOT depriving him of anything if you do not hold his hands so he can walk every where. It sounds to me like you have a strong willed, determined little guy. He knows what he wants and throws a fit to get it. I don't think you should ignore him, but I also don't think it is reasonable (you have many responsibilities and obligations) reasonable to cater to his every whim all day long!

I think he could stand time of frustration to be "on his own". Doing things for himself, learning to walk on his own. Sometimes a child learns to do things on their own faster if they have a motivation. It sounds like your little guy might have a low threshold for his frustration. I would just do a lot of talking to him. When he is throwing a fit, I would put words to his emotions. "I see your are frustrated, but mommy will help you when I am finished washing all of the plates. Then I can help you walk to the living room." This is a challenging time in a toddlers life, for the child and the parents. You do not need to be his slave.

The other thing I would suggest is that you get down on the floor with him and play crawling games with him. The skill of crawling is very important for development of children. Yes, it is also a mode of a child getting around, but it is also important in other developmental situations when they are older. Encourage him to crawl....actually get down on the floor with him and try and get him to move his arms and legs in the right way. Make it a game.

Keep hanging in there. It sounds like your little guy is busy and demanding. These are good traits, yet can be challenging for the parents. But, no, it is not your job as a parent to do everything for him, not even now! You do not want him to be dependent upon you for everything his whole life, do you? TEach him he can do things on his own. Do you still need to do much for him, yes, but we want to teach our children they can do it on their own. They learn that at an early age.

Best of luck with your little guy!

2 moms found this helpful

Hello AM,

Here's my advice (my kid did pretty much the same thing, though he did crawl)

1) make an appt with your ped. just to be sure there's nothing wrong.

2) encourage him to crawl. that is actually really important for his brain development (it helps coordinate everything together)

3) designate one person as the "walker". Sounds as if it should be your partner? since I'm guessing she/he works away from home? This limits the time your son expects to be helped out. In my family, it was my husband who thought (at first) that taking his boy around to explore was wonderful. It got to the point where he hated coming home, though, knowing that a child with an insatiable desire to "walk" and apparently unlimited capacity for screaming awaited him.

This doesn't help so much now, I know. Just remember that your son is doing what is really important for him; exploring his environment, and learning how to communicate to his parents.

4) empathize with his frustration, and let him know that what he is feeling is normal (yeah, it's crazy-making, but really normal)

5) skip the "discipline", in the sense of trying to get him to quit screaming/crying. He is frustrated, and that's a normal response to frustration at this age. Instead, try to re-direct him, and let him know that you "feel his pain".

6) I'd ditch the baby walker thingy. They develop the wrong muscles for actual walking, and they aren't really safe. (assuming it's the kind on wheels. the stationary excer-saucers are certainly safer, and i think not as much as a problem with the muscle development)

Take a deep breath, and realize that once you're a year down the road, you'll barely remember this (really! :-) ) I know this isn't so helpful in the moment, but lots of "trying" stages just need to be endured until your kid gets through it.

best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi Scotland! Crawling is truly important to his brain development. Have you found Brain Gym? Look it up and get someone to help you out. Hand him objects in such a way thay he has to reach across his body to get it from you. Crossing midline is important to his learning. Crawling does that. Do exercises with him, such as.. taking his right foot and left arm and cross them over his body then his left foor and right arm - you get the idea. Also check into Touch 4 Health. Good luck. V./California

1 mom found this helpful

just in case someone hasn't already suggested this, get a "Baby Signing Time" DVD. Your son (not sure how old exactly; but mine is 14 months) can start learning to sign the basic needs (eat, drink, please, thank you, sorry etc.) so that he doesn't whine and cry for everything.

best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A M The problem i see is you and the baby;s daddy are allowing his crying to control you and your schdule. He's not walking on his own sweetie cause he does not have to, all's he has to do is cry and someone will hold his hand. Baby's/tots know how to manipulate as early as 6 months with crying. screaming and tantrums. If his crying gets him what he wants he has no reason to try and use words. Stop giving in, make him walk on his own and don't let the crying get him what he wants, You said you are a childminder, not sure what that is, but you are busy and you do have a house to run. I am a Daycare provider and I have a 5 month old, I try and get things done while she is sleeping but if she wakes up and I'm in the middle of something that has to get done, I finish what I am doing then I go her, I don't let crying, screaming or tantrums
control me. Get firm he'l get it. J. L.b

1 mom found this helpful

Lord, no discipline for your baby boy at this stage, please!!! A one year old is still a brand-new person. He's just joined us in the world and is so new and it's wonderful that he's curious and wants to explore. I can totally relate to your feelings of frustration - I've been there, needing to get things done and having a tiny person who wanted me to do nothing but hold her and focus on just her. I'm sorry you are having to juggle so much because this is a very brief period of time (it just feels like it lasts forever when it's difficult).

It's likely he's frustrated at not being able to move about. You say he's never learned to crawl, but walks with assistance. Hmm -- the crawling is actually a brain stimulating function. I know he's sort of past that, but I think it might be worth talking about this with his pediatrician or whatever you call baby doctors in Scotland. I'm not saying it's a terrible thing that he didn't crawl, but he's apparently not ready to walk yet and needs to be getting around a bit.

At one babies don't have much available to them in the language department - he's crying because he needs something. And, really, he's way too young to comprehend what you're talking about in terms of becoming spoiled. Along the way as he grows up, you will be teaching him to see things from others' point of view & now is too early to worry about that. As much as you can, give him what he needs and he will feel safe, loved and as a result of that have confidence. That right there goes a long way toward having the generosity of spirit people need to have in order not to be completely self-centered. I've seen many spoiled older kids, but taking care of a one-year-old's needs isn't going to ruin him. I realize what I'm saying is probably making you feel like your balancing act is going to be too hard, but I hope you'll heed what I'm saying.

In your childminding work, are you the only person taking care of these kids? How many of them are there? Are they lots of different ages? Is there any way you can have them all together, so he's not feeling so alone?

Also - I know lots of mamas who continued to "wear" their children well past one, keeping them close, safe & happy. You may want to consider popping him into a sling when he gets fussy about having to sit it out while you're busy. That may seem really out there, but it's common in many parts of the world to carry kids around well into the toddler years. It makes great sense to me.

I wish you much luck with this. It sounds like a really tough situation to me, caring for one's own child as well as other people's. In purely practical terms - your child is the one you'll be with all your life, and it just makes the most sense to make him your priority. You can't neglect the other kids, but if they're older, they can understand. Also --and I can't believe I've left this to the last, but talk to your son, all the time, even from the other room. Explain to him what you're doing while you're doing it. Do you have a little chair for him in the kitchen? He sounds really smart & maybe needs more stimulation. Even though he can't understand everything at his age, he still wants to be a part of it.

Well, that got long. I hope you feel helped by my ideas & comments.
All the best,

1 mom found this helpful

Stop constantly helping him. He's going to cry alot in the beginning, but eventually he will figure out how to solve his problem and resolve his frustration. Life is not about instant gratification - there is no better time to start teaching this, he's old enough now. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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