Changes in Behavior - Fort Worth,TX

Updated on December 18, 2008
M.C. asks from Fort Worth, TX
30 answers

My 8 month old son is teething...he already has 3 and has two more on the way. I expect some fussiness with this, but the last week or so he has been acting way more agitated. He is normally a very happy and calm baby...easily pacified with singing and cuddles but lately he can't be soothed. He doesn't really cry, just wines, grunts, shouts and yells a lot like he is really frustrated. I've noticed him chewing a lot on stuff and he has had congestion. He also has been batting at his ears more. I don't know if all this is the teething or maybe he has an ear infection? He is not running fever. He does not like to eat much, especially from the bottle, but I thought this might be because his teeth are hurting. I've tried orejel and cold stuff. The main thing that is different is his personality. He is not happy like he used to be. He acts frustrated and agitated. He is also on the verge of crawling so I thought maybe it could be related to that. He just grabs and scratches and yells and pushes away and cries at everything. Is this just normal boy behavior or is something wrong? Any suggestion on what to do or what might be causing these behavior changes? Should I take him to the doctor?

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D.W.

answers from Tyler on

I think it is probably a combination of factors... his teeth, being congested (which can drain into the ears when laying down and cause some pain- this is not necessarily an ear infection though)- and teething can cause the congestion also, and trying to get some where on his own and not being able to. Can all factor into his behavior.

Give tylenol for pain or the teething tablets (these work great- they are tiny little pills that dissolve in their mouth- can find at Wal-Mart, CVS, Wal-greens). A decongestant for the stuffiness- Pedicare is good if you can find it.

Just a side note, if he is still acting like this and you give into what he wants (sick or not) he will expect to receive what he wants anytime and will learn to act up. What I used to do with my youngest (he was/is the most strong willed) when he would fuss for really no apparent reason, didn't want to eat, didn't need to be changed, didn't want to be held... I would sit him in his room and tell him "stay here until you can come out in a better mood" then pull the door (but not close it). Sometimes I would have to put him back in the room if he came out still fussing- other times he would come out in about 5 minutes, happy and in the best mood. As he has gotten older (13 now), there have been times, when going to his room is the only thing that makes him stop and think about his moods and how he is acting toward others. Still helps.

Just some thoughts.
D.

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H.F.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried Hyland's teething tablets? I think that they work much better than the gels, and they are less messy.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

Call the Pediatrician. Hopefully you have one where you can ask these kind of questions at will & not feel like you are bothering them! Good luck to you!

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W.H.

answers from Dallas on

The top part of a green onion helps with teething sometimes. just let hom chomp down on it. also what is really great is Vanilla Extract. yes there alcohol in it, but the amount you put on their gums is very little. and it really helps the pain. our baby's dotor tld us about it. and they love the flavor of it. just put some on your finger and rub his gums with it .

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello,

The best advice I've ever received as a new mom is to follow your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong, always take them to the doctor. It really helps to allievate some concerns.

Also realize that babies go through a lot of changes. As a first born child, your baby is probably going to be very opinionated. The problem is, right now he can't communicate to you. Most likely what's going on is a combination of the teething, maybe an ear infection, plus wanting to crawl. My baby goes through these stages whenever he wants to do something new, he gets really agitated then he masters crawling,walking, etc. He goes back to himself, then in a few months it starts over again. His personality changes back and forth that we joke he has a split personality.

I would encourage you not to worry, even though this is really difficult. Enjoy this time with your baby. Most likely he will grow out of this phase and then you'll get to face new challenges. Good luck to you!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I would take him in for a check up. All three of my kids got ear infections every time they got a tooth. It was horrible. I hope that is not the case with your little one, but I would take him in just in case.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Gosh, why waste time asking questions here when you have a doctor available to help? It sounds like it could be an ear infection, but I'm not a doctor and won't pretend to be. Take your child to the pediatrician right away so they can help you figure it out. Whatever it is, you don't want it to go on longer; you want it diagnosed early to prevent further damage, if possible.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

When babies teethe there is fluid accumulation in the associated sinus, ear and throat areas. That can be painful and irritating as the fluid (especially in the ears) has a tendency to move and causes odd sensations and internal sounds--have a docotor look at his ears and sinuses--it may be very halpful! Irritability is normal--especially with multiple teeth coming in--they hurt, the gums hurt--something cold to chew on is very relieving--it can be simple--like a frozen clean washcloth---there are teethers that can be frozen--I had several that I kept in the freezer and alternated using them! Good luck!

Me - Mom of 2--Nana of 3!!Merry Christmas!

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R.A.

answers from Dallas on

OMG..I am right there with you now. Lately I can't even put my little boy, Colt down. He wants to be held or he cries. Not sure what is going on with him either but I am going through everything you described. I have been watching and we actually just went to the Dr for our 9 month check up. He thinks Colt has some allergies. He told me to give him some children's claritan at night. However we haven't done that yet b/c I am not a 100% sure its allergy related. I personally think Colt is bored. He can't get to where he wants to go. He is frustrated so he is confined to being where he is and he hates it. Whenever we go running errands he never does any of that behavior. So that makes me thing he is being stimulated by all the new things he sees, people he sees, and how he isn't confined to a certain area. He is always happy when we are doing stuff all the time. Do you belong to any playgroups that could help stimulate him? Let me know some feedback you get. I am curious about this myself. Goodluck!!!! You are not alone.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

My kids got an ear infection every time they cut teeth too. I would get him checked out at the Dr. I used to give my babies these over the counter tablets that were chewable (babies can gum them) for teething, but I can't recall the name. I used to just get them at target or walmart. You could probably ask the pharmacy counter and they would probably know. They relieved the discomfort of the gums. I hope he is feeling better soon.

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P.E.

answers from Dallas on

I really like the advice about the green onion and the vanilla. I will share that with my two daughters who are both new mommies.
Please do let the doctor check your son for ear infections.
Also, I've learned that babies can get really frustrated that they can't communicate. They can be taught signs to communicate. If possible, look into learning and teaching your baby signs. Maybe it could help with the whiney times if he could tell you "juice, please" or "milk, please" with signs. Of course, that's for after you've ruled out infections, and just plain discomfort.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

I would take him to the doctor. My daughter started getting really, really nasty about a month ago (she is 5 months old now), and she had a really bad ear infection. She had no symptoms beside being really grouchy. She did not run a fever or play with her ears. It might be just teething, but I think I'd rather make sure.

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

He could have an ear infection and be grouchy because it hurts! I would take him to the doctor just to be safe.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi M.,

Go with your gut and if you think something may be wrong, have the doctor check it out.

The doctors say there wasn't a correlation, but my kids got ear infections when they were cutting teeth. Perhaps not what's going on, but it's worth piece of mind!

Good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

My second son acted much the same when he was getting new teeth. He seemed very irritated most of the day and whined and cried a lot. He, also, bit all of us once or twice while he was getting his first molars and he is normally very happy and sweet. Since your son is touching his ears a lot, I would check with his pedi and rule out ear infection. If it is his teeth, give him a dose of Infant or Children's Tylenol and it will help. Call your doctor for dosage amount.

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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

It wouldn't hurt to get him checked for an ear infection. My daughter fussed at me but never runs fever with an ear infection. It does make them whinier than normal. Have you tried Similisan? They are over the counter ear drops that help with the pain. Also try Teething Tablets for the teething. They will give enough relief to allow them to sleep if the teething is a problem. If you use the ear drops, make sure to put some cotton in there to keep of from running out. It dries like glue in their hair and is a mess to clean out. Good luck.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Please take your little one to the doctor. My youngest daughter got several ear infections while teething and exhibited no symptoms except fussiness. With the first one I had no idea there was anything wrong until the morning I went in and there was dried blood in her little ear. We were at the doctor's office when it opened! Anytime there is a marked change in behavior there is usually a cause, many times physical. Best of luck!

C.E.

answers from Dallas on

I also agree to take him to the doc to get his ears checked. I took my little guy and he didnt have an ear infection...the doc said that there is a nerve?? that is connected from the mouth through the jaw line and to the ears...it can cause their ears to hurt when they are teething. Its great to rule out an ear infection though! Good luck...teething stinks! I cant imagine the pain they are going through....I would take any/all advice that you are comfortable with from the other moms....anything that can make the process easier is worth a try, right? I like to go as natural as possible but admit I'm not against a little motrin when I've explored all other options!

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P.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried teething tablets? I tried oragel and it seemed to make things worse for my twins. My 9 month old niece visited this weekend. She is teething and i suggested to my SIL to give her baby some tablets. She had never heard of them. They worked so well that she has made the switch also. I get them at Target. You have to ask the pharmacists for them...Hylands teething tablets. Good Luck!

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would go get his ears checked. Every time my son was "off" his normal behavior, he ended up having an ear infection. Then, I always felt guilty for thinking he was just being horrible on those days. If he's acting out of character, there is probably a reason for it. Go have him checked to ease your mind. Hope he is back to normal soon. Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

M.,
Have you noticed changes after a vaccine? PLEASE read Dr. Sears book about vaccines and a safer schedule or Stephanie Caves Book. This is not normal. Your doctor probably will tell you it is. If you would like more info on a more natural way to help your son then you can email me. [email protected]____.com You should have his ears checked too. They do not need to have a fever with an ear infection.
Thanks, L.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

Could be teething but also could be an ear infection. One third of kids don't run fever when they have an ear infection. Time to check it out with the doctor. You could give him some tylenol but it might just mask the symptoms of pain from an infection.
B.

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

I would take him to the doctor. The sign of batting at his ears is always a a definite clue that he has some ear issues. My son went through numerous ear infections and eventually three rounds of ear tubes due to chronic ear infections, so I have been through your pain. Good luck and keep us posted.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

I believe he is trying to tell you his ear hurts. Most babies will pull on their ears or where ever it hurts. He may be just getting an ear infection. You said he was chewing on things, that is to help him break through the skin fir the new tooth to come down. It must be Instinct, to try to communicate .My G.Granddaughter is also 8 mo. and has been real fussy lately and does not want anyone but her mommy and breast milk.
Please take him to his DR.Better safe than sorry.( Cover his head from the cold air out doors.) Hope this helps.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

I would suggest taking him to the pediatrician. He may have an ear infection. My 5 month old had congestion and was batting her ear. Plus was screaming every once in a while like she was in pain. Turned out she had a little cold and ear infection. Poor thing :( It may be just the teething; however, if you have insurance it is worth paying the copay to rule out anything.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds like an ear infection to me. The not wanting to eat is a key tipper for me to know because my kids never run fevers with theirs.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hopefully it isn't due to any vaccination. I would look into the dangers of vaccinations before he receives any more. Other than that, breastfeed him for comfort all you can. Be really patient and meet his needs for comfort. If it's a sickness, it'll pass. If it doesn't pass in a week or two, then maybe look into pursuing it further, but until then- just comfort him as much as you possibly can. Don't get angry or frustrated, as is easy to do. Be calm and loving and patient!

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N.W.

answers from Dallas on

Has he recently been vaccinated? Have his bowel movements changed? My autistic son (who is now 6) began this at about the same time. He would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and I couldn't calm him. I knew something was wrong but nothing physical showed. (I'm not suggesting your son is like mine, just sharing my experience) If your son has an ear infection and you treat it with anti-biotics consider probiotics as well to balance the gut flora.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

Yeah, you'll want to check those ears. Mine did the same thing, fussed but never ran a fever. Very frustrating. Only once did I go in and find out it was not an ear infection...but I have had 4 kids, and two have had tubes, so lots of checks for ear infections! The ear infection may or may not be related to teething, but most certainly would be related to the congestion. Better to know than not!! And, be sure to give him some motrin..it may help either way. Good luck, I hope you get your sweet boy back soon:)

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

A lot of times getting teeth can make a baby fussy and grouchy. He may have itchy ears and throat if he has a cold. Being nonverbal, all of that is something to take into consideration. But another thing to think about (and this is coming from a mom of 10) is that up to now, he's just been a baby, now he is getting a bit older, and the time is quickly coming where he is going to need a bit of discipline to help him understand what is right and wrong. You will have to help him understand that grabbing, scratching, yelling, pushing away, and crying when he's not getting his way is not okay. He'll be a much happier child when you have established some boundaries and helped him learn to control himself. He's very little at only eight months, so your discipline will need to be gentle, too, just holding his hands so he can't scratch, and telling him that it hurts mommy when he does that, and he can't scratch. No allowing him to push you away while you explain in a calm happy voice that he's got to have his diaper changed, or whatever you are doing. Help him feel good about himself, and help him understand that mommy is going to help him control himself, so he won't FEEL out of control.

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