16 answers

Why Does My 1 Year Old Whine/cry So Much??

Mommas, I'm going nuts. I feel like I do everything within my power to take care of my son, but it seems he just isn't very happy. He almost constantly whines, cries, and fusses. Granted, he is my first, but it seems like he cries much more often then other babies his age. He was a colicky baby and had reflux pretty badly, and recently we started to try and weaning him off his reflux meds a bit. Maybe that's it? All the doctors said that by age 1, most kids outgrow their reflux, hence the weaning off meds. But maybe he hasn't grown out of it?? I feel like I'm always walking on egg shells, wondering if he's going to throw a fit any second. I am a SAHM, and I give him tons of attention all day long. He has plenty of fun toys. I feed him frequently, although he doesn't always eat much. He sleeps 9-10 hrs at night and 1-2 hr naps 2x a day, although he wakes and cries randomly throughout the night and naps. (I rock him back to sleep normally.) Whats wrong with him!!?? I always chalk it up to teething, but do kids CONSTANTLY teethe at this age?? He has all 8 in the front. (although they aren't all the way through quite yet) Could they still be hurting him while they are coming in all the way? I don't feel any molars yet, but I guess that doesn't mean they aren't coming. I recently got his ears checked at his 1 year well baby, and they were fine. But he has been pulling on them a lot lately, sometimes while he's crying. He also cries and rubs his nose area frequently. Help me mammas, I don't know what to do. Give him tylenol or something if he's teething? Go back to the higher dose of reflux meds? Just get over it?? How do I know which one to do? Is it just a big guessing game??? Sorry for the book of a post, but I am really at my wits end. I just want a happy baby!! Thanks, guys.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks SO MUCH for all the responses!!!
If anything, you all help remind me that "this too shall pass"!! I do think he is a really sensitive little guy, so any little thing bugs him. He's pretty much always been this way. I finally gave in and tried some tylenol, and he fell asleep right there in my arms 30mins later. (like I said before, normally I have to rock him to sleep) So I definitely think teething is somewhat to blame. I agree with many of you, that he is bored. We live just north of Seattle, WA, and the weather right now is really crappy, so we don't go outside as much as we used to. Hopefully we will have some sunny days soon! I think going outside daily would help a lot. I also think he has waaay too many toys, and he may be getting overwhelmed/overstimulated. We are def going to try to rotate toys now.
As far as sleep goes, when I say he wakes at night, I mean he lies there and cries until I pick him up. (we co-sleep, so I know when he is making sleep noises, or when he's really awake.) He's also very close to walking, and has been pulling up/trying to stand in his crib frequently. He may be getting frustrated that he can't walk yet. I KNOW he's frustrated that he can't talk yet. (all he has is momma and dadda so far..) He will be sitting on the floor playing happily, and the out of the blue he crawls over, tries to climb on me, and starts crying! It's so odd. It breaks my heart when he looks at me while he crying, like 'mom, why don't you get what I'm trying to say here!?'
He is also seeming to have some reflux symptoms returning, like some back arching, so I will talk to the ped about what to do. Maybe his boredom is causing things like teething and reflux to aggravate him more since he is not distracted, and has to focus more on the pain/discomfort. Maybe if I keep him busy he will notice those things less.
Thanks again, guys! You have given me lots of ideas to try, and reassurance that I am not alone! :D

Featured Answers

Some children are more sensitive than others to light, sound, schedules, food.... Gas, teething, reflux the inability to communicate, ear infection 9since he's pulling on his ears), all things add stress.

Dr. Sears has tons of great advice:

4 moms found this helpful

My first thought: ear infection or at the very least some fluid in the ears making it uncomfortable?

More Answers

Some children are more sensitive than others to light, sound, schedules, food.... Gas, teething, reflux the inability to communicate, ear infection 9since he's pulling on his ears), all things add stress.

Dr. Sears has tons of great advice:

4 moms found this helpful

You said he "wakes and cries randomly throughout the night."

Well, kids/babies, make noises at night or in their sleep.
Even adults.
Just let him be. Try that.
Both my kids as babies made noises/little cries during the night. But basically, they were fine. But IF I interrupted them... then they WOKE woke.
If I l let them be, they just went back to sleep. It was just intermittent noises they made at night.
So I got to know, their 'noises' and IF I needed to comfort them or just let them be.
Not all noises, means you have to 'wake' them and pick them up. It could just be that they are simply making noises in their sleep... but are actually STILL asleep.

Unless he wakes wakes, and is screaming/crying for you... I would just try and let him be. See if he goes back to sleep. Many times, they are still just in a sleep state. Making noises.
Try that.

For during the day, if he is fussying like that... well is he tired? Both my kids as babies, did that when they were tired, and before they actually fell asleep. They made this fussying-droning type of "cry" before they actually fell asleep. It was a sort of momentary thing they did, before actually falling asleep. It was, in a way, them nodding off.

And yes, maybe he is teething.

Don't give him higher doses of reflux meds, unless the Doctor tells you to do so.

And make sure is is not just hungry and needing a feeding.

1 mom found this helpful

Could be a lot of things. Could he be overstimulated? You say you feed him frequently and give him tons of attention and lots of toys. Maybe you play with him too much and he has never learned to entertain himself with toys and the world around him? Put away 85% of his toys and after a week pull out FOUR toys he hasnt seen in a week. and put away four toys for a while Keep rotating his toys so he has "new" toys every week.If you always rock him to sleep he has never learned to self soothe and that is a big problem, he is dependent on you. Some kids pull on their ears when they're tired. Is this a habit or a new behavior? Have you read my favorite book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block? If not run to your library.

1 mom found this helpful

If you are constantly trying to help him not be fussy and whiny, when he is doing okay and you have a moment to yourself, that means that you aren't doting on him anymore. So he starts up the whining and crying again. Basically, he's learned what he needs to do to get what he wants - whine and cry.

It's a learned response. You won't have a happy baby until he figures out that the whining and crying won't work.

Try changing some things up - pay lots of attention to him when he's not acting this way. Less attention when he is. Tell him he needs to wait if he's fussing for something he doesn't need right away.

It will take time to change this. Don't hesitate to talk to your ped about it, just in case it is a physical issue as well.


1 mom found this helpful

My son was very whiny at 12 mos too. I came to realize most of it was pre-verbal stuff, as if his whine meant "what is, what is, what is THIS, Mommy". Naming stuff constantly helped. Also, some of his whining revolved around problem solving, when he got frustrated that he couldn't work out a problem. Letting him work it out (with occasional suggestions) helped with that.

I think his sleeping sounds on track.

Do you see a decline in his reflux symptoms? I remember lots of back arching with reflux.

Maybe he has allergies? Not to make you worry about one more thing.--I really think a lot of kids rub at their face or tug ears when they are fussy, not because of pain necessarily, but more to express frustration.

Maybe try Tylenol just to see if your hunch about teething is right, but don't make Tylenol a regular thing for him (just my feeling, I like to sty away from too much meds).

Does he get exercise or a change of scenery? I think the winter can get boring for a kid.

I can understand how stressed you are. Follow your Mommy instincts. Sometimes it is a guessing game, but you can be methodical about it if you want to rule out some issues.

Oh yeah, try different kinds of music to set a mood too.

Sorry about the book of a response! : )

1 mom found this helpful

It seems like you have lots of good ideas/solutions. I wanted to ask if you've tried ibuprofen instead of tylenol? We found ibubrofen worked much better for teething than tylenol. Some babies really have a hard time teething. Our 2nd daughter is a terrible teether and I swear she teethed from 12months - 18 months, straight - getting most of her teeth during that time. My first daughter wasn't nearly as bad with teeth.

Also, babies also can have fussy times when they are hitting major milestones - crawling, walking, etc.

Does he have a lovey/security item or blanket? With my younger daughter we carried a small security blanket with us and it helped when she was upset/fussy.

my son did this when he hit one as well, it peeked at 15mnths now at 18mnths things are better. yes teething could be one of the culprits, but think about this...imagine going through your day not quite sure what to expect when you are getting fed next and knowing what you want/need but not being able to get or or really explain what it is to anyone else. that is what your son is going through. at one he is old enough to know what he wants but gets frustrated when you cant figure it out. we found that once my son got better at communicating (not just words but motions, like pulling on the fridge door when he is thristy or trying to climb in his high chair when he is hungry.) he stopped having as many tantrums

I would check with the dr about the reflux meds. Maybe you are weaning him off to soon. Or something else is going on. It's possible he has an ear infection now, but not at well baby.
Constant teething isn't normal, although sometimes it seems constant when it is one week on and one week off.
It sounds like he is getting enough sleep. It may not be quality sleep if he constantly wakes up, but that is hard to "cure" them of.
Sorry this isn't more helpful. It could be medical or diet, but more than likely it is just a phase.

After reading your what happened, I want to suggest baby signs. It has helped with my late talkers feeling they can get their needs across. Find simple signs for what they use most- drink, eat, sister/brother, animal sign for favorite animal, car, train (ok car and train are frequent sign at our house). If you can't find a book at your library, ASL has a website/dictionary that shows signs.

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