31 answers

10 Month Old Cries All of the Time

I am at my wits end. My 10 month old son has been...let's say a very demanding child since birth. He's always cried a lot unless he's being held, and even then, he isn't always calm. He is a very healthy child except for the occasional cold during which his crying is incessant. I am a stay at home mother of two (I have a very vibrant and busy 2 1/2 year old daughter.) I used to be able to "shut it out" for a while and just let him cry while I got dressed and did a chore here and there. I'm not really the spoiling kind of mother who feels the need to hold him any time he makes a peep, though I do enjoy holding him and playing with him...I guess you could call me pretty balanced in that way. I just don't know what to do. Lately, it seems things are getting worse, and I find myself holding him more frequently out of self preservation...I know this is the usual time for separation anxiety, but I'm going out of my mind. I know kids are different, but my daughter was soooooooo easy compared to this. I should mention that my husband is often away for work for two weeks at at time. Do you think it's just my patience wearing thin? I know others have been here before...and I know many more of you have had more difficult situations. I guess I'm just looking for some "I've been there and survived." Help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have a 14 month old son that is also very demanding and vibrant! I would say buy a baby sling or a BabyBjorn and hold him all day! I worried that too much holding might become a problem but I believe this is what he is telling you he needs. I would also recommend the book "Attachment Parenting" by Dr. Sears. I hold my son constantly and he is still demanding but he is happy! Good luck!

My daughter is needy too. I use the Playtex hip hammock when I can't take any more. I also just let her cry like you said when I have chores or need to get dressed. Hang in there.

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Yes. My sone was exactly like this. You need a mom's day off, and you need to hire a sitter RIGHT NOW! Some kids are just needy like that, Jed was. There isn't anything wrong with him, it's just his personality.

However. It is this kind of frustration that cause's mothers to commit acts of violence against their kids when they snap. Get your mom or a friend or somebody who knows you and your kids to keep them for an afternoon and go do something "else". Read a book, go swimming or take a walk. Anything.

Then make a date of it. Do this once a week at least. It will give you time to refresh and take on the battle again. It is an emotional battle to be near a crying baby all the time.

God Bless you with peace!

1 mom found this helpful


Have you had your little one checked out for ear infections. He may need tubes in his ears. A friend of mine said about the first year after their son was born he would scream and cry and throw tantrums many many times a day and even when they would give him their full attention he would still cry. She finally took him to have extensive tests ran and he needed tubes put in his ears. After they were put in, he never cried unless something was really wrong. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

He could have an allergy to milk which makes him uncomfortable. I have a friend who figured this out when her baby was 18 mos. Another when her baby was 20 mos. They were both fussy babies.

1 mom found this helpful


First of all let me say "I have been there and I survived." You are correct that this is probably separation anxiety. There were times when I would call my husband crying because I could not do anything or leave the room without her crying. One thing that my husband and doctor suggested was to start playing peek-a-boo with her. Every time I would leave the room I would pop my head back around the corner and say "peek-a-boo." You can even do this without leaving the room. Start putting a blanket or pillow over your head and ask "where's mama." This eventually gave my daughter the assurance that I was still there and I was not going to leave her. I hope this helps because I know this was a very trying time but you will get through it.

Good luck!


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I know 10 months is a little old to be devolping acid reflux but i wouldn't rule it out.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi H.,

Been there, done that, don't want to do it again! My now 15 year old son was, as you so nicely put it, demanding. We adopted him at birth and we noticed his demanding, loud cry in the hospital nursery. Little did we know that this was his temperment.

Have you eliminated any health poblems, ie: ear infections, bowel problems, allergies, gas, etc.? That, in my opinion, is your first step. If all is normal health wise then all I can say is hang on for the ride and offer a few tips that helped us.

Here are some things that I did that helped calm our son down
* vanilla scented candles or fresheners
* soft classical music in the background
* soft, pastel colors in his room - avoid red at all costs
* low sugar diet
* prayer
* sing lullabyes to him
* rock him
* read children's books to him
* turn the washer on spin and place him in his carseat or bouncy on the top - the vibration will help calm him down
* they now make toys with the sound of the mother's heartbeat in it and I heard these are very successful - here's an address to one http://www.sassypup.net/Comfort-Pals-Puppy-Dog-Toy-hear-t...

Time will help some in his decreasing the level of his demanding. However, please know that if it's not a health issue and is his temperment you are in for a noisy ride. You can, however, survive sane and sound on the other side. Remember to take care of yourself also. If you aren't "healthy" emotionally, physicaly and psychologically then your journey will be harder.

From one mother of a demanding child to another...my thoughts and prayers are with you.

W. Q

1 mom found this helpful

Hang in there! My son was exactly the same way! My poor husband would come home from work at night, he worked about 70 hours a week but was home almost every night, and would take care of him while I would go get some groceries or something to get out of the house for a little while. That seemed to help me a lot. When I would return home, I would feed him (I was breastfeeding) and then he would conk out from all the crying while I was gone. We found out that he was having some ear problems when he was about 11 months old. He got tubes and he was a whole different child, though he did scare rather easily. The doctor said that was because he had not heard unmuffled sound before. The tubes came out rather quickly and he had to get another pair of tubes when he was about 18 months old and he has never looked back. He is a wonderful and very intelligent 6 year old boy today. I do hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I completely understand what you are going through, my son did the same thing. Come to find out he had Reflux real bad which makes teething really bad which caused him to have chronic ear infections. His body wouldn't drain the fluid in his ears so we had to get tubes put in his ears, after that he was like a new baby. His reflux cleared up, once in a while he has problems with it, hasn't had any problems with his ears, and well teething is still very painful, but that's ok.

I would take your son to the Dr and see what is going on and make sure that everything is ok, it could be something simple like his ears, very fixable, or reflux, which is also very fixable.
Good luck, I hope you get some answers soon

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Is he still spitting up more than once or twice a month? If so it may be acid reflux. My daughter went from being mildly difficult to screaming non-stop when we switched her to solid foods because of the reflux. A week after starting medication she was sleeping again!

1 mom found this helpful

I went thru something similar with my son. It's so difficult when they can't tell you what is wrong.

I found that my son had some pretty serious food allergies and yeast issues that were affecting his tummy and causing him to cry incessantly until he was held.
Does he eat / drink dairy products, wheat, corn,soy, breads with yeast? These are very common allergens.
Has he ever had antibiotics?
Do you breastfeed or use formula?

Some of these things can lead to issues like the suggested ear infections, yeast problems, etc.

Check out Dr. Mercola's website and do some searching. www.mercola.com.
It is a daily resource for me.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Ask your doctor to schedule a test to see if your child has gastroesophogeal reflux. This is just how kids with GERD act. They're in pain and you don't know it because they don't all throw up with GERD. Sometimes it just comes up and goes back down into the stomach. If it is GERD, you need to have your child on medication because continued reflux can cause serious damage to the esophogus over time. My son has it. We just take Zantac 2x per day and he's fine. The test is an endoscopy where they put a tiny scope down the throat. The baby will be asleep when they do it. There's no pain when they wake up and the doctor can see exactly what's going on.

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Our second child cried all of the time. We called her the velcro baby because she seemed to always want to be held. Around about 9 months, we finally discovered that her ears were giving her troubles. She actually had more problems with fluid than infection so it was harder to spot. She didn't really babble, wasn't crawling and wasn't sleeping through the night. (all of which our first daughter did either early or on time) She got ear tubes at 10 months. At the two week check-up, I told the doctor "I don't know what you did with my daughter, but I'm keeping this one!" Within two weeks of the surgery she began crawling and sleeping through the night and would be content not to be held for MUCH longer periods of time. You have good instincts. If you feel that he is crying excessively, he likely is. Be very aware of his moods and what might be causing it. Some babies have bad reflux or other issues that can be relieved once discovered. Keep investigating. Good luck and God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

Has your son been to the doctor lately? I'm sure you had him checked when this first started, but if the crying is getting worse, a medical problem could be developing. My son went through a period of crying every evening. It turned out he had reflux that was worse at night. His doctor put him on some drops called hyosycamine sulfate. I don't know if that is the correct spelling. And we probably had the generic. But it worked wonders. He stopped crying at night. So, you might want to get him checked out.

1 mom found this helpful

My ten month old cries all the time TOO~ I was reading your post and thought that maybe I wrote it for a moment there. What is up with all the crying. I too thought that I must have spoiled him... then I thought that I must have ignored him and he needs me. I don't get it but it is DRAINING! I hope that this TOO WILL PASS>

Being a SAHM can be very stressful (take it from a SAHM of 6 kids.) He is going thru the clingy stage, and also he is probably teething. You will not spoil him by holding him, and if it eases your stress and he is quiet, you are giving him the comfort he needs. My youngest is 14 months old and last week he had an ear infection was unbearable on a roadtrip. I got him to the doctor on Monday and he is much better already.

H., have your son checked by a physical therapist or chiropractor. My great-grandson was the same, and as it turned out, he had a shoulder, ribs and jaw out of place due to a difficult birth. He has received 4 treatments and is a completely different child, happy and calm. Thankfully my daughter, his grandmother, recognized that the cry was one of pain and discomfort, not just fussiness. Give it a try.

H., I agree with the others that it is most likely an allergy or sensitivity to something in his environment. My second son was much more demanding. We don't use pediatricians because frankly, I don't think they are much help in this type of situation unless there is something blatantly wrong. I also don't believe in giving drugs of any kind to babies unless they are seriously ill. If you are breastfeeding then you need to clean up your diet and use digestive aids to make sure the gas is at a minimum. If you are not breastfeeding then check out the top allergens which are dairy, wheat, corn, soy...and also there are things that the baby shouldn't have on their skin. (Don't put any lotions of their skin) My son was sensitive to blue dye and bleach so detergents and Clorox had to go. We used only 20 Mule team Borax on his clothes for years. No food with dye either. If you get a book on Food Additives like Hard to Swallow by Doris Sarjeant, you will find out how much cr#p is actually in our foods. Many of the things used in the US are banned in other countries. So- clean up his diet, clean up his environment. Do not use any scented anything unless it is an essential oil that is pure. Aromatherapy is a good idea but not from Glade. All the commercial stuff is full of toxins.

And finally, we had to do a series of Homeopathic consults for our guy. Its hard to find a Classically trained Homeopath but they can be a lifesaver. They help you get baby back to normal so he doesn't develop these negative behavior patterns because he feels cruddy all the time. There are many books on Homeopathy now. Go to Barnes and Noble and look around.

Sorry for the long letter. I hope you are not too exhausted to try some of these great ideas that everyone has provided. ;)

Good luck, M

my friend went through the same thing she felt like no advice she tried even worked. This was her 1st. child and she felt like it was his way in saying he wanted to be the only child, it almost made her go get tubed tied she stated he or her slept. The 1st thing she did was changed his milk to nutrigema, it helped but didn't work she was told to allow him to cry she trid but it was hard for her finally after 6mths she did it hurt her like mad to just alow him to lay and cry, she had to stand outside. He cried for 2 1/2 hours then just stoped she went to check on him and he was lying quietly. That night he woke up cried she decided she would only let him cry 20min then go get him, but before 20 mins was up he stoped and went back to sleep than night was the 1st time anyone in their house got rest. She has not had a problem since. Remember she tried everything she ordered special item for babies with colic she sent alot of money and nothing worked until she tortured herself by allowing him to cry for what I consider a long time but in the end it paid off.
I also have a parent with a 3mth old similar to that we rap him real tight in his blanket and he stops cring.
Good luck and remember it wont be forever

the baby might have collic. you might want to consult in a doctor. cc

After reading the advice already given i would suggest obtaing a second opinion for another pediatrician.
I am not saying change doctores, but a second opinion can not hurt.
Of course you may received some help by doing this with Dr. Mercola.
God Bless

Wow. I really feel for you. I know how I get when my 16 month old cries all day long. It really gets to me bad! My husband works a lot, however, he is not gone for 2 week at a time. Bless your exhausted heart! I really don't have any good advice. Just wanted to let you know that there are many of us right there with you. I guess this is what our mothers were talking about when they said motherhood is difficult. Try getting him outside and playing. Perhaps that would help him calm down. Sometimes that helps me.

Hi H.,
Boy, you are living my life of 18 years ago!!!<g> My daughter was very easy, and very different--3 years older than my son, who, like yours, cried a LOT. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without him sitting outside the door crying! My husband was gone for weeks at a time, like yours. I worried that my son would be able to ever function without me--couldn't even leave him at a sitter's or MDO because of his crying. Now, he keeps the road hot and is a social animal. Very outgoing and happy. What my husband and I decided about his crying and unhappiness as a baby (he was about 6-18 months old during the worst time of my husband's being gone so much) was that he was feeling abandoned. My husband would be home for a few days, hold him, talk to him, play with him, and then disappear for a couple of weeks. Jackson didn't understand why his dad was gone--he just missed him. At the time, it never clicked, but when my husband was able to be at home more, J's behavior changed and he wasn't so clingy. I know it's hard, but hang in there. Your boy needs you now more than ever! when they're 18, you sometimes wish they were babies again, even with all that crying. <g>

My nephew was a great baby until he was about 3 months old. Then he cried for the next 9 months or so. He cried so much his grandma didn't even want to babysit!! He was just a cryer-some babies are, your son may be one. My nephew grew out of that and was a happy kid until his parents divorced-now he's a grouchy tween-but that's beside the point. So, my sister survived her crying baby, and lots of times you do have to just let him cry some so you can get some things done. You can't hold him the 12 hours of the day he's awake, you have a home and another child to care for. God bless you-God's teaching you about patience!

My daughter is needy too. I use the Playtex hip hammock when I can't take any more. I also just let her cry like you said when I have chores or need to get dressed. Hang in there.

Hi H.,
I'm sorry that you are going through this. It does not sound fun. I have not had one that demanding yet, and I hope I do not.

I know that some kids are just more demanding than others, and that could be what you are dealing with, but I also think that often behavioral issues are related to other issues, so it doesn't hurt to look into those too to see if there is anything that can help the situation.

My first thought was: Is he getting enough sleep? What is his nap schedule like and how many hours does he sleep at night? Just by googling this I pulled up babycenter.com which has recommended sleep hours by age. At 9 months it says that your child should get about 14 hours of sleep, divided up into an 11 hour night and 2 naps totaling 3 hours. At 12 months it says your child should get about 13 3/4 hours total sleep divided into an 11 1/4 hour night and 2 naps totaling 2 1/2 hours.

At a quick glance, that seemed to match up to what other sites were saying. Obviously there will be variations depending on the child, but I would add up how much sleep he is getting and see how close it is to this. As another example, my 12 month old son sleeps about 12 hours at night and takes 2 naps that total about 3 or 3 1/2 hours. So he is a bit over the average. He is pretty laid back and happy most of the time, but of course this could just be a personality trait. If you need help adding more sleep into his schedule try reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth.

Other than that, the only other thing I can think of are discipline issues, trying to outdo sister with attention, or just needing to learn to be alone sometimes. But from what you have described about the way you are handling, it sounds like you are doing everything right.

Good luck, and I hope it doesn't sound like I know what I am doing, because I daily run into issues I don't know what to do with too. Hang in there. :)


I would take him in to the doctor to see if there is anything medically wrong.

In the meantime, get a sling or other baby carrier and wear him everywhere. This keeps him close to you and knowing his needs will be met and keeps your hands free to do other things. Crying it out is cruel and has been shown to cause brain damage. http://www.naturalchild.org/research/harvard_attention.html
If you couldn't talk and were in distress, would you want to be helped or walked away from? I put my babies in a sling and wear them around the house when they get fussy. Everyone remarks on how much more content they are than other children, and it's because they know their needs are met and not scorned to "teach" independence. What child would survive and thrive without an adult meeting their needs? Of course your baby is going to want to be with you. They need to be near the people in their lives that they love and trust, and you are his world. Take it as a compliment that your son wants and needs to be near you in that you are the person he loves and trusts best to take care of him.

Step One: Go to the library
Step Two: Check out the "Fussy Baby" books by Dr. William Sears

Parenting The Fussy Baby And High-need Child - Everything You Need To Know - From Birth To Age Five

The Fussy Baby How to Bring Out the Best in Your High-Need Child (Sears, William, Growing Family Series.)

Step Three: Take a deep breath, try to get away for an hour or so for a walk or a Starbucks, or just sneak off for 15 minutes in your own backyard. When my daughter (who was an EXTREMELY high attention needs child) was a baby, I used to take what I called 5 minute vacations. I'd put her somewhere safe (ie playpen, swing) and step out on the balcony for a few moments. I could see her, but not hear her. It was what kept me from seeing if babies really DO bounce!
If it's any hope, at four, she walked into her pre-k classroom, walked up to the teacher and announced "I'm A. I'm here for school." She is now THE most independent child I know, sometimes much to my dismay LOL

Step Four: Remember that they do grow up. When this stage is over, and it will be someday, it won't seem like it lasted as long as it seems like it's lasting now. Cuddle him a bit more, reassure him you'll always be there, and he'll get over the screaming sooner than if you force the issue.

Step Five: Remember you're not alone. My son is going through another weird round of it right now. He's 14 months and has suddenly added temper tantrums to the general crying. It's so much fun, lemme tell ya! LOL So when you're holding your squirming, fussing boy, remember that I'm doing the same over here.

HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!

Could it be colic? Have you taken him to the doctor?

It sounds like he may be upset about your husband being gone. I think he may be afraid you may go away too so he is just clinging to you. My son is 3 and when my husband had to work out of town for a few weeks he was very very clingy and he would also get angry alot more too. It was really hard to get him to stay in his own bed at night too. I think he was afraid he would wake up and I would be gone too. I helped a little to prepare him in advance and tell him when my husband was going to be gone.

Also, with two young one's my patience was thin and I was worn out after my husband was gone for that long. I was sooo happy to have him back home. I don't know how women do it who have husbands in the military. It would be so hard. But I guess you would just adjust it just takes time.

I would make sure you keep a good routine going througout the day. It seems my son does so much better if he sticks to a daily routine. When my three year old was that age he spent alot of time in a backpack on my back. It was good exercise for me and he felt safe and I was able to get some things done around the house that way.

Hope this helps!

My duaghter is/was the same way. She is now 21 months and things are a whole lot better, but it was just a few months ago when I posted almost the same request. Mostly for peace of mind! I don't have too much advise, because what worked one day, didn;t the next, but just know...you are not alone and there are other children out there just like your son who are healthy and happy and well behaved in the end. It can be very rough, i know, but it will pass and before too long, your son be will be very independant and no longer "need" you the way he does now, and believe it or not...you will miss it! good luck and if you ever just need to vent to someone who knows...you can contact me anytime!

I have a 14 month old son that is also very demanding and vibrant! I would say buy a baby sling or a BabyBjorn and hold him all day! I worried that too much holding might become a problem but I believe this is what he is telling you he needs. I would also recommend the book "Attachment Parenting" by Dr. Sears. I hold my son constantly and he is still demanding but he is happy! Good luck!

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