17 answers

Frustration...one Year Old

I am really having a difficult time with my 13 mo old. I would greatly appreciate some input.
My daughter started solid foods/table foods about 2 months ago...until that point I made all her babyfood for her and she was drinking formula. She started on solids slowly and it took her a long time to fill her belly, so we always gave her a cube of food or a quick jar to go with it-along with helping her eat. Today, she won't let us feed her. She shakes her head violently back and forth and purses her lips together...but she won't even feed herself. I don't give her something to drink first and I have been fixing a variety of things for months. What was her favorite and she gobbled it up...she is throwing across the room. We stopped throwing/dropping foods 2 weeks after she started on solids. If it is fruit, she will eat it quick but anything else she refuses. What can I do and why is she behaving like this?
Additionally, she is fighting sleep. I usually rock her to sleep and what used to be a 10 min ordeal is now 20-30 minutes. She flat out doesn't want to go to bed-AT ALL. I have adjusted her schedule to see if that helps and even tried letting her kinda run the show lately.
Her norm is up at 6, down by 9 for 1-1.5 hours, back down by 2pm for 2 hours and in bed by 8pm.
Yesterday, she was up at 7am, down at 10:15am till 11:45am, didn't take her afternoon nap till 4:30pm to 6:30pm and wouldn't go to bed till 10pm.
So...today she got up at 6am (she went down at 10pm instead of 8pm). It's now 12:30pm and she is still awake. I refuse to rock her because all she is doing is playing (basically anything to stay awake). She has got to be exhausted and she is in her room laughing and shrieking high pitched noises.
I don't know what to do....HELP!!!!!

What can I do next?

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I dont know what to tell you about the feeding situation, but the sleeping one sound very similar to what my 14 month old daughter is doing.
Her sleep patterns have been changing when a developmental stage is coming.. She started waking in the middle of the night and not taking naps at the normal time, and then a week later she started crawling, and then again before she started walking.. So it can just be that something is going to change with her soon.
I would just try to deal with it and see what happens.
My little one just the past few nights has woken up and screams at the top of her lungs, i would take her in bed with me and she would stop.. But i put a stop to that one quick. I had to let her cry it out last night and she slept the whole night and is still sleeping, and its 6:45am...

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Keep trying....this is completely normal. My son used to love veggies and now refuses anything green! I also made his food and I am now making my daughters food. They love one thing one day and the next thing you know they won't touch it. So keep offering a variety, but let her eat just what she likes. Some things that worked for me: peaches, sliced cheese, lean turkey, avacado, bananas, strawberries, all of these cut into very small pieces ofcourse. I know it is frusterating but just when you think you've got it down they change the rules!!! Shouldn't this job require some sort of degree? :)
Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I know how frustrated you are, my daughter did that for a while too. I don't know if you do or not but try not to show your frustration. She is going through one of her stages. In regards to the food- I would just continue to try different foods and she will come around- try to be patient. In regards to the sleep- I am really familiar with this. My daughter would fight it as well. What i did is I would put her in her crib and I put a side mobile on her crib so she could turn it off and on, she would sit in her crib and talk (baby talk) to herself and then finally fall asleep. If they are tired enough they will get bored of just sitting there and go to sleep. I would give that a shot and maybe you can put her in her crib with the mobile instead of worrying if she is going to fall asleep while rocking her or play. Best of luck and have a Happy Holiday

1 mom found this helpful

Hey R.! I have had great success with all 3 of my kids, and although the youngest 2 are 10 months old, i've had a lot of experience in both the eating and sleeping dept!

First of all, eating. When my first son started eating solids, he got very picky..and it actually frustrated the hell out of me until i decided that he would eat when he was hungry, as long as i wasn't filling him up with junk before meals. (which i have never done...i've always been very anal about feeding sweets, so my son really doesn't even know what candy is unless it's a very special occasion.) It really does work when you just dont feed them. If all your daughter will eat is fruit...don't feed it to her first. Give her the meat or veggie first and if she refuses, say "okay..this is all you are going to eat until dinner", and take the plate away until dinner time, then try the same thing again. They will eventually get the point that all you are going to feed them is what is put in front of them. Trust me, your daughter won't go hungry!!

As for sleeping...i've also been very tight with putting my kids to bed at a certain time EVERY day/night, naps and bedtime. I think if you stick with the same time they start getting sleepy at those times. I have never rocked any of my kids, so they never got used to it. But i can say, if you want to stop rocking your daughter, i would just get a nap & bedtime routine going. Read your daughter a book, and say "okay we're going to read a book, and then it's naptime or bedtime" when you're done reading, say "time for bed", and put her in bed, give her a kiss, whatever...and close the door. If she continues to play, go in the 1st time and say, "this is not play time, you need to take a nap/go to bed" and walk out. The 2nd time, you just lay her back down in bed firmly, and walk out. Keep repeating without saying anything until she finally falls asleep or stays in bed. (might take a while) My son will play for maybe a half hour at nap & bedtime before he falls asleep, but he is not allowed to get out of bed and knows that. Of course when he was still in his crib, like i'm assuming your daughter is, he would just play with his stuffed animals and fall asleep. Oh, you can even give her a special blanket to fall asleep with to make it more secure since you are going to stop rocking her. I really think it helps if you take the rocking part out.

I hope this helps...just keep routine and stick with it. I know you will see a big difference!!

1 mom found this helpful

What the Doc's say is that a baby won't starve herself- she'll eventually eat...keep offering foods-especially favorites. If she continues to not eat, check in with her ped. As for the sleeping, maybe its time to drop her morning nap and just have one per day. Some babies stop needing that second nap when they are 1, when my youngest was ready to go down to just 1 nap a day, he got very mad when i would try to put him down and cry and fight sleep, when up to that point he would just lay right down and go to sleep. Now that he's only taking 1 a day he's back to going right to sleep, will even lay on the floor w/ his bear if he gets tired a little early. Hope this helps and your lil one starts co-operating again!

I recommend you start attending your local La Leche League meetings. If you go to http://www.lllusa.org/ and click on Find a Local Group at the top of the page, you will locate a group near you. You will find new friends and hear the most delightful stories of creative, compassionate solutions. Happy Holidays, R.

When my son was 12 months old he did the same thing.. pursed lips, batting at the spoon.. wanted nothing to do with baby food. We were on vacation in Australia visiting family at the time so it stressed me out even more.. until I figured out that he didn't want baby food anymore. He wanted what his mommy, daddy and big brother were eating. As long as I gave him something that he thought I was eating, and let him do it himself (even though this was extremely messy) he would nibble here and there. It was just a phase that lasted a frustrating 4 weeks but now he is a good eater again. I can relate with how you must feel.. it is so frustrating.. but it will pass. Good luck and happy holiday's.

It sounds like your daughter is moving into toddlerhood:) She is becoming independent and testing the waters and your patience. All she is trying to do is find out her limits and boundaries. Be firm in what you expect and do not give in.

What type of table foods are you offering her? How many teeth does she have? Try giving her what you eat at meals, just cut it up really small. She might not be interested in what you are feeding her or is bored with the foods. Change it up, spice it up whatever it takes to make it more interesting. We used to give my son frozen peas and he ate them like candy. He seriously thought they were the best thing ever! Give her choices at meal time. Put cut up cooked carrots, small cubes of cheese and cut up cooked ravioli's(the good kind, not the kind from the can) on her tray and walk away. Start doing the dishes etc. and before you know it she will be eating. I always gave my children fruit like it was a dessert. I only gave it to them if they ate everything else. My son also liked cheerios with milk and started eating it like that with a spoon at 10 months. Just give her the opportunities to be independent and she will stop rebelling against you.

As for bedtime, once again, don't give in. Remember you are the mom and she is the child. I am totally for rocking to sleep, but if the child does not fall asleep within ten minutes I definitely would put the child in the crib to try to fall asleep on their own. If she is playing and squealing, quietly go in and tell her to use a quiet voice in the house. Children can understand so much more than we expect from them and you will be surprised at how, before long, she knows the rules of the house. Merry Christmas and Good Luck!

I dont know what to tell you about the feeding situation, but the sleeping one sound very similar to what my 14 month old daughter is doing.
Her sleep patterns have been changing when a developmental stage is coming.. She started waking in the middle of the night and not taking naps at the normal time, and then a week later she started crawling, and then again before she started walking.. So it can just be that something is going to change with her soon.
I would just try to deal with it and see what happens.
My little one just the past few nights has woken up and screams at the top of her lungs, i would take her in bed with me and she would stop.. But i put a stop to that one quick. I had to let her cry it out last night and she slept the whole night and is still sleeping, and its 6:45am...

Good news! This is just a phase! My son did the same thing with his food and sleeping. While they are learning to feed themselves they want to do it theirselves! She will eat enough food, don't worry, babies don't go hungry :) Just keep making her yummy stuff and let her choose. One thing I did was to go back to making things like sweet potatos and butternut squash and just cubing them, he loves the flavor of those so he didn't throw it and he was able to easily pick it up and feed himself. As for the sleeping thing, I stopped my son's afternoon nap at about 13 months and he started just taking one a day at about 12:00 (usually for 2 hours) and was ready for bed by 8 every night. It took a little while to get him used to this but it was worth the work because now he is really into the routine. Also we do a bath and a story before bedtime and say "night night" to a few things before laying him down. I don't rock him anymore either because he was doing the same thing. I just lay him down with music and his pacifer. Gook luck!
J. :)

Sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time. My advice for the sleeping schedule is to stick with what you want her to do. She is probably in a phase of rebellion and trying to push your buttons...and it's working. Anytime my daughter did this to us (she's 20 months) we would keep to her schedule no matter what. If she went to bed late, she still got up at the same time. She will eventually succumb to the schedule...she has to sleep!!! If she is screaming in her room...as long as she is safe...let her scream. Go in every 15 minutes or so, rock her and put her back down. Don't rock her for 30 minutes...just a few and put her down. She needs to learn to drift off alone.
As far as the eating...again it sounds like rebellion is getting the best of you. You should give her fruit everyday but it shouldn't be the only thing. I would suggest making it a daily ritual of fruit at breakfast or a midday snack ONLY and fix her regular food at the other times. She will have to succumb at some point!! Her missing one meal will not make her starve!!! If she doesn't eat what's in front of her, then so be it. She will learn to eat it. Conversely, try to make kid friendly meals to begin with. Mac & cheese for example...and mix in the baby food carrots (same color) so she gets her veggies too. Keep sneaking in the good stuff until she gets used to eating table foods.
Keep in mind none of this is going to come easy. She obviously knows she will get whatever she wants if she puts up enough of a fight. You are the one that will have to break her of it. Keep trying, stick to your guns...you're the MOM!!!
Good luck!

I can't comment on the food - I'm going through the same with my 2.5 year old! However, as far as the sleeping goes, you might want to think about going to 1 nap per day. At 12 months, most children are ready to transition. Trying skipping the morning nap, then putting her down in the very early afternoon (12-1ish) and see if that works. She seems to be telling you by her behaviour that she's ready to give up that morning nap. If she's getting that extra nap in the morning, then sleeping in the late afternoon, it makes sense that she wouldn't want to go to bed until late. When DD was about that age, she would get up about 6:15, take a nap around 12 or 1 for about 2.5 hours, then would be tired and go to bed between 7-8.

Good luck!

Oh my word! This sounds like my daughter! Whom is 16 months old now. She goes through phases and i just try to go with the flow and not let it frustrate me. When she wouldn't eat I just increased her milk again until she started asking for foods. She'd take in up to 36 oz. of milk a day it only lasted a week or two then she would eat this or that then a week or so would go by and she'd refuse that so at every meal I was trying something new till I figured out what she wanted. It is always changing at one point she would only eat if she could feed herself but that was hard because she shoveled it all in her mouth until she'd gag. So we monitored her piece by piece. Then she started eating jarred foods because she refused to eat again and just recently she has been wanting to try everything my husband and I eat. I am so happy about this phase. So hang tight try to go with the flow and relax as much as you can because your child can sense the stress and she reponds to you!
The nap thing was the same for us normally they don't switch to 1 nap a day till 16-18 months but Ava changed to one nap a day at 14 months. Once I figured that out it was easy to get her to sleep and she would nap for 2-3 hours again. She used to nap from 9-11 then 2-3 then we went through the same thing with her not going to sleep and when she did it would only be for 30 mins then she'd be cranky. We were fighting it so I kept pushing back the am nap till she was cranky and tired enough to go down without a struggle. Now she sleeps from 12:30-3 usually. Because they cannot verbalize to us I think they are trying to tell us they need a change of schedule that better suits their growing needs by acting out since that is all they can do for now. Well, good luck. This phase will pass!

There's probably more than meets the eye to this problem. Take your daughter to the doctor - she may have a medical condition that needs immediate attention.

Couple of things- stay consistent- put her down for those naps at the same time every day- and keep bed time at the same time every day- even if she doesnt take the naps - the repition of a schedule will help. When my daughter got to this age- we had to do a little of the cry it out stuff. She is big enough to know its time to go to sleep and just put her to bed- if she isnt crying in there leave her alone- some kids need to unwind for up to an hour before the nod off. If she is crying and trying to stay up- do the five minute checks. I ended up explaing to my dtr that when the sun goes down it is time to sleep- so when I would tuck her in I tell her- see you when the sun comes up. At age two- she says it to me every night. When she would wake up at night- I would show her the outside and remind her that she has to stay in bed till the sun comes up-- its frustrating and trying her boundaries is only going to get worse- the key is consistency and patience.

Hi R.! Your daughter is testing her limits. Now is the time to be consistent with her boundaries in a gentle way. She needs and craves this. After throwing the food on the ground, sweetly say, "uh, oh. you can eat when you don't throw" and immediately remove her from the table very lovingly. Lunch time is over. It's extremely important to follow through so she'll learn to trust that you mean what you say and that it will happen each time. Of course you don't want her to starve, so try again in a half hour or hour. Keep repeating this process and she'll learn that when she throws she doesn't get to keep doing it without consequences, and the fun is over. When she's hungry enough she'll eat it instead of shaking her head or throwing it. If you remain consistent like this in all areas she will learn that obeying is more pleasant and she'll look to you as an authority figure that she can respect even as she gets into the teenage years. A few more thoughts--kids are really good at listening to their bodies when they're hungry or full and they go through growth spurts, so trust that she'll eat when she's hungry and don't try to make her eat when she's not hungry. Also, playing with the neat textures of food and learning about gravity when things drop are fun for a kid. Some of her behavior is simply natural curiosity. Try to give her chances to explore the world in ways that are agreeable to you, like in the bathtub our outside where you don't mind a mess. Food coloring in the bath and bubbles are fun, or fingerpaint. I let my son paint with washable watercolors on paper I tape to the wall when he's taking a bath. He even knows when he's done to rinse the wall off with a cup to get rid of any paint.

I HIGHLY recommend watching the seminar on DVD "Painless Parenting for the Preschool Years" found here http://www.loveandlogic.com/ecom/p-128-painless-parenting... or reading the book "Parenting with Love and Logic" found here http://www.loveandlogic.com/ecom/pc-121-25-love-and-logic... You can also buy the book on CD if you prefer. Both the DVD I'm recommending and the book are by the same authors and are wonderful. They address parenting children of all ages. It's all about tough love--being firm and consistent in letting them suffer the natural (logical) consequences of their actions, while doing so in a very gentle and loving way.

I am seeing remarkable positive changes in my toddler's behavior since applying the principles/ideas I've learned through attending Love and Logic classes here in Arizona. You can call the Love and Logic company at 800-588-5644 to get the contact info for people who teach classes in your area (I just called and a real person answered right away and was very helpful). They have Love and Logic parenting classes taught by a parent coach in the East Valley that I recently attended, which are awesome.

My daughter was a bit older when she started some of the same things you are describing. My sister is a NICU nurse and I called her in tears after a particular horrible dinner where I tried to get my daughter to eat just anything! My sister said that babies/toddlers go through growth spurts and slow down periods. During the growth spurts, they eat everything in sight. And in the slow down periods they eat next to nothing. The slow down periods usually last 1-2 weeks and because they are usually followed by a growth spurt, their little bodies have stored up the nutrients they need for the slower period. Just feed her what she will eat and don't worry about the rest. All my little girl wanted was fruit & Mac N Cheese for about 10 days. Then she went back to normal eating habits. My sister also said if this slow down period lasts too long and you are worried about nutrition, you can add pedisure for one drink a day. Good luck and don't stress!

As for sleep, I agree with some of the other responses. Try just one long nap a day and maintain consistency. Routine is very important to little ones. My little girl now sleeps from 8p to 8a and takes a 2 1/2 hour nap from 1p to 3:30p (most days anyway...). Just hang in there and just remember that this stage too will pass.

About the nap ordeal, my daughter was the same way about that age. I used to get so frustrated, that I would even cry! Turned out that all she needed was one long nap a day, instead of the two short ones. I could'nt believe it cause kids her age were still taking the 2 a day! Once I got her on the schedule of taking a 2 1/2 hour nap from about 12:30-3, we both were alot happier! Good Luck!

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