42 answers

10 Month Old Throwing Fits

My daughter is almost 10 months old. She has been a pretty mellow baby besides the fact that she loves movement...she can't sit still. I am looking for some advice because she recently started throwing fits at anything and everything. She arches her back, kicks her legs and yells or screams. She throws a fit for anything from a toy dropping, me putting her shirt on over her head and arms, to me cleaning her up after she eats. I don't know what to do about her fits. I have been trying to just ignore them so that she is not getting any positive or negative attention from me. Do I continue to ignore the fits, do I tell her 'no'...what should I do? They are making me want to pull my hair out. Does this seem young for a child to be throwing fits already? Please help.

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Thank you everyone for your great advice. This is such a wonderful and informative website to be a part of. I am definately going to implement some of the advice that has been given to me. Thank you for all of your responses. - J. -

Featured Answers

hi J., i totally sympathize, my 1.5 year old has momentary fits as well, something his brother (who is 4)never did. if you aren't already, i recommend telling her what you are about to do before you do it. get down on her level, look her in the eye and tell her. in this way you are respecting her as a human being (who may have been busy enjoying something else) and she will appreciate it.

good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

Don't just ignore the fits, but prepare for the next. She is throwing fits because she is having a hard time communicating . . . poor baby.

At her age, she is not trying to be naughty, she just has no other outlet or way of telling you her needs. Try napping her longer or feeding her more. She's cranky for a reason, help her feel better so she'll act better. Help her use her words more. Find out whatshe wants/needsn or is trying to get across, then talk to her, tell her you understand her frustration, but help her get her point across in a better way for everyone.

My son was a tantrum thrower too. My pediatrician suggested that he was manipulating me. He said to simply walk out of the room when it happens. Only go back when the child is quiet. If it doesn't happen or the child follows you into the next room and continues, keep leaving and ignoring the behavior. You can even close the door quietly(don't slam it like you want to!) Tell her that when she is quiet you will come back. When she doesn't get the attention she wants she will quit. Then is the time to praise her about being quiet or on th behavior you want to target.
This worked for us, but it took a few times before he realized that we were going to be consistent.
Good luck! It is nerve wracking to go through this!

More Answers

hi J., i totally sympathize, my 1.5 year old has momentary fits as well, something his brother (who is 4)never did. if you aren't already, i recommend telling her what you are about to do before you do it. get down on her level, look her in the eye and tell her. in this way you are respecting her as a human being (who may have been busy enjoying something else) and she will appreciate it.

good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

Your response in this situation is everything don't get emotional with her because then she will think this is the way to get your attention. You need to make sure she is not in any danger and then just let her have her fit. She will get bored if it doesn't get her any response. Just say something in a sweet voice like " I am sorry you are so sad let me know when your done" I know it sounds like a lot for baby to understand but by the time she does the fits will stop. PS Love and Logic The magic of early childhood" is an amazing source of info on how to not have to do battle and how to raise great kid.

C. (mother of 4) CA

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

Have you tried teaching your daughter sign language? Sometimes the causes of the tantrums can be frustration due to an inability to communicate. I took a baby signs class with my daughter through Gymboree (although there are other methods out there) and found the sign language to be very helpful. It cut down on the tantrums and she seemed to develop verbal language much sooner than many of peers. 10 months is a great age to start because you will see results quickly. Good luck.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.-
This type of behavior can be frustrating, but I wouldn't rule out some sensory integration/sensitivities. My son had similar responses to such things as putting on shirts, loud noises and the tags on the backs of shirts. I got a referral from our pediatrician (it took a LONG time, but was worth it) and had him evaluated by the Regional Center, and it turns out that Occupational Therapy has done him a world of good, just when I thought I would be committed to an institution!
If it turns out your child happens to be highly spirited, there are lots of good books out there (Raising Your Spirited Child is a great one). And also it helps to remember that she is not trying to annoy you, this is just her way of communicating, it is all she has. Talking her through it at this stage really helps. Keeping your patience and wits about you is hard, but teaches your child how to manage stress. Even at this age, she is watching you to learn how to react in all situations. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It's hard to tell without seeing the whole senerio of what is going on but this idea may help. Because a childs understanding of language develops a lot faster than their ability to speak some tantrums start because they are frustrated with communication. Try telling her everything you need her to do and what you are going to do."We need to get you dressed, heres your pink top, lift your arms, now peek a boo over your head""you look like you're finished eating, one more bite then we'll take your bowl away and get ready to clean up". If you're already doing this and she still starts to tantrum try distracting her with a song or nursery rhyme. A lot of books and tapes teach Baby sign language that would give her a way to communicate with you.
I know it's so hard when you don't know why they tantrum I hope it gets better, hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J.,
It would be helpful to your daughter if you would talk to her about what she is experiencing. It will help her to understand what to expect. When you put her shirt on tell her before you do it. You could say, "I am going to put your shirt over your head, here we go, one, two, three! Make it fun and give her a chance to help out. "Can you put your arm in the sleeve?" When a toy drops, you can say, "I saw that, you dropped your toy." Try to slow down, be patient with her and acknowledge her feelings.

1 mom found this helpful

I would keep ignoring the fits. My neice was doing the same thing at the same age, maybe a bit younger. They just ignored it and she eventually stopped.

My 15 month went through brief stages like that when she was 8-11 months old ... she hated diaper changes, hated putting on clothes, tugged at arm sleeves, bit her clothes, threw toys... I had well-meaning friends tell me she was manipulating me. But in hind site I realized that she was feeling painful effects of teething that I was not recognizing. Some babies have extreme sensitivities to teething and others don't. If there is any manipulation going on it could be for you to get her out of pain. Fussing is her form of communication that she is ill at ease and needs you to teach her how to comfort herself... which may take some time. My daughter was a completely different baby once her teeth came in. We went through it again when her molars started coming in and now we're back to mellow baby again. Sensitivity levels vary per person... we must respect those with low tolerances and assist them through it. I think I might throw a fit if I was in constant pain too.

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