11 Month Old Having Tantrums

Updated on September 28, 2009
S.B. asks from Fairfax, VA
9 answers

I knew it was going to happen someday where my "baby" becomes a toddler and has to be told "no". She has taken quickly to pitching a fit if she doesn't get her way. She screams at the top of her lungs, looses her breath and usually just sits down to cry. She then waddles over to give me hugs, but continues to fuss. She also has started to just fuss in the middle of playing and it takes everything we have to find something to make her happy and my husband and I both are spent by the end of the day. I am a first time mother and really curious what type of discipline methods may have been used for an 11 month old. I'm not sure if she's too young for time outs, if I should just let her pitch her fit and ignore her or what else I should do. Are there any tips?

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K.H.

answers from Richmond on

well, what worked with my sister when she threw a temper tantrum with me, was i simply asked her what the problem was..was she bored, tired,hungry, wet or what..and then told her she had five minutes to calm down and then we were leaving, no matter where we were, because all she was doing was embarrassing herself, not me. i mean , i told her that
maybe i was bored, tired or hungry too. but not wet.. thankfully
K. h.

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

This doesn't directly answer the quesiton, but tha tsounds like a tired baby to me. Does she need more naps or an adjustment to her nap schedule?? Sometimes around that age they start getting really active an dget tired and frustrated much more easily than a few months earlier.

In terms of discipline, overall, I recommend "natural consequences" - you throw a toy, you don't get to play with it. You hit Mommy, Mommy ignores you and walks away, etc. I personally don't use timeouts (like a timeout chair and a timer), although I occasionally need to send my kids to "sit quietly to calm down." I think your reaction needs to fit the crime.

Also, try to offer simple choices - "This toy or that one" or "This snack or that one."

I also feel like an 11 month old needs you to speak for them, and ignoring them isn't always the best answer. If you child cries, just wait it out. Walking away from a non-verbal kid can make things a lot worse. But when she settles down, look her in the eyes and very quietly say, for example, "Good calming down. You may not have a snack right now. You can play with this toy or read a book. What do you want to do?" You need to use words FOR her. Ignoring works a little better when she can say the right thing and chooses not to.

Hope this makes sense. Overall, a good rule of thumb is the more upset she gets, the calmer you need to get... Good luck and enjoy her.

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B.C.

answers from Washington DC on

11 Month olds don't throw tantrums. She really is still a baby not a toddler. Try to think of it that way. She's frustrated because she wants to explore, but you have to limit her for safety reasons. I would not put an 11 month old in time out. I wouldn't use time out with a child younger than 2. You should not be worried about disciplining. Using gentle parenting methods is a lot safer and satisfying then trying to discipline. Redirection is key. If she is fixated on something that she shouldn't have then redirect her to something she can have. I also find that if DS is in one room for awhile that he gets bored and we have to change scenery. So to sum it up I would not put an 11 month in time out. I know it's all a learning process!

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E.K.

answers from Washington DC on

i remember those days. What helped us to get thru them, we taught our children some sign language. Signs for food, milk, sleepy, hungry, potty, play. Kids pick up these signs very easily and you will be surprised at how calmer they get

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K.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I really like "Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child" by Burton White (http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Happy-Unspoiled-Child-Burto.... he talks about early discipline, which is, of course, not discipline in any traditional or punitive sense, and gives you guidance on how to gently and lovingly start seeing your child as a person who needs love and support but needs also (ultimately) to learn that while she is very important, she's no more important than anyone else in the world. he has a very gentle, loving approach that has to do with creating boundaries and guidance and limits, aimed specifically at the first 3 years (and really, the first 20 months or so). I have found it very helpful with my 3 boys.
good luck!

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

When my son was about that age, I was holding him while my husband was cleaning up and organizing desk stuff all over the floor. My son wanted to get down and play with Daddy, but I had to hold him till all the bills and papers were cleaned away. By this time my poor child was crying his eyes out, but finally Daddy was ready to play so I put my son down. He turns around and puts his arms up in his 'pick me up' signal and gives me this look like "Mom, I'm upset! Why'd you put me down?!". It's like they want something, they don't know what it is, but they want it now and they have no idea what to do with their feelings of frustration except to turn to Mommy and hope she knows how to make it better. And sometimes Mom just doesn't have a clue what's going on. A hug and a snuggle or 10 min rocking in our rocking chair would usually help my son feel better. 11 months is too young for time outs, and I wouldn't assume she knows exactly what No means yet. I wouldn't ignore her, but cuddle her and try to reassure her that Mom loves her through all her moods.

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R.H.

answers from Norfolk on

yes this is a normal transition. But you shouldn't try to find things to calm her down because every time you do that you will have a harder time next time. She will quickly realize this gains something. She's looking for attention and when she throws a fit and you start trying to fix it she's gotten her attention and that is great for her. She's gained what she wanted. So if the first time she got a toy she didn't otherwise than the next time that's not good enough you will have to get a bigger one or something better. So stand your ground. Don't try to fix it if she's playing and starts throwing a fit find out what she's throwing a fit find out why. If it's because something isn't being done her way DON'T change things. So she will become accustom to things not going like she wants. It's all very complicated but in the end you will be happy to stood your ground. All i can say is "Don't conform to her" do as you always have and ignore the tantrum or separate her from everyone. So she's not gaining at all from it. Good luck

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D.Z.

answers from Washington DC on

As a first time mom, there are so many variables to address, I'd like to send you to a resource, instead. Dr. Rene Hackney and her Parent Programs say and do everything I would coach for you. So check it out, and you might love her "down to earth" experience of loving your child and learning about her as you use skills, limits, and your own behavior to foster your child and family's "happy" development: Rene Hackney Parenting Playgroups, Inc.
###-###-#### [email protected]____.com She's in Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia.

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

you really shouldn't 'discipine' a baby this young, she doesn't get abstract consequences at all. she can't communicate effectively, or even understand what's frustrating her some of the time, but needs to express her frustration the only way she knows how. i certainly wouldn't jump through hoops to pacify her. rule out physical causes (diaper, hunger, teething, illness) and then simply be reassuring, loving and calm. if she's angry because she wants to play with something she can't, redirection is best, or simply being there quietly going going about your business where she can see you, talking to her but not frantically trying to please her. she needs to take comfort from your presence, and you should certainly take reasonable steps to figure out what's going on, but i would not try to 'train' her not to fuss. she needs to know she can come to you when the world overwhelms her and she doesn't know how to handle it.
khairete
S.

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