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  1. #1
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    Default 17 mo behavioural changes - naughty tantrums or growth spurt?

    Hi there!
    My 17mo DD has always been a little angel, friends and family often comment on how good she is - rarely cries, sleeps and eats well and even follows our instructions such as "pick up your toys" or "put that in the bin". She has always thrived on making DH and I happy with her. However, for the last couple of weeks she has started acting out...

    She's fine at home but we took her to the beach and she wouldn't let us put her down, she just cried and cried until we left. We took her to the park and it took me about 10 mins to convince her to run around on her own. DH is getting very frustrated with her because she just wants me most of the time. She won't go to him and cries when he picks her up.

    She also seems more tired than usual but sometimes won't have a nap, just talks in her cot or lays there kicking the wall.

    We have lunch in our local shopping centre food court every Saturday, has never been a problem before, but today she tried to kick while we put her in the highchair, then sat there and screamed for a few minutes until I let her out and sit on my lap instead. DH got cranky with me for letting her get her own way, but she is usually so good and I hate to see her upset like that.
    She is being so clingy with me and I don't want to encourage the behaviour but I'm not sure what to do??? Mum's telling me that it's just a growth spurt and all she needs is a little more TLC, but I don't want to give her a cuddle for throwing a tantrum

  2. #2
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    My 17 month old DS is going through the same kind of thing at the moment. I'm sure my 2 daughters did the same at this age too- it's just a bit of separation anxiety/ testing their boundaries/ and realizing they are an independent little being, separate to mum and dad.
    Fun times ahead!

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    Feezy  (23-04-2013)

  4. #3
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    It's separation anxiety and what she needs is reassurance that the world is not a scary place. Completely normal at this age. Both of my children suddenly became extra clingy at around this time. My dd is almost 19 months old and she started about 6 weeks ago. She suddenly hides her head against my leg if someone says hello or backs herself up onto my legs (sometimes falling through when she pushes against my legs!). She will even do this with my dh or my Mum (who looks after her a lot), not just with random people in public.

    It's also completely normal (but upsetting sometimes) for children of this age to prefer one parent over the other. Both of my kids at that age went through stages of preferring one parent over the other. At 17 months my dd was very clear that she wanted her Mummy, not her Daddy (despite him being very hands on). If I was around she wanted me. Thankfully that is now easing off a bit (dh was away a bit more often when she was 17 months old so I think that stirred that stuff up then). With my ds from 16 - 24 months he would go through phases of wanting one or the other of us. As I worked full time I was usually 2nd to my dh which I found hard, but a week later it would be the other way so I just had to bide my time.

    As for sleep, is she teething? My dd is a lot harder to settle if she's teething. And my dd has recently had a growth spurt and so she drank a lot more milk than previously and wouldn't settle unless she had heaps of milk (eg. 300ml at bedtime!).

    So, your Mum is right. TLC and lots of reassurance is what she needs. Tell her it's all ok and gently encourage her to move away from you as she feels comfortable, giving her encouraging smiles & words when she looks back at you. It is a phase and it really does pass (but not in a week or two).

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    Feezy  (23-04-2013)

  6. #4
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    it's a stage they go through and it will pass. Stick to your guns, be persistant so she learns that tantrums don't allow her to get what she wants yet be reasurring. It's a trying time...you should hear my 20mth old dd carry on when I have to go to work at night...OMG I feel so bad for leaving her but once I am gone she is fine...then the same thing happens again in the morning when dh has to go to work and the kids go to school...youngest dd pulls out clothes and gets a little bag and gets her shoes and wants to go to school too...then the tantrum comes again when they go...sighhhh
    As for going to sleep...dd is also a BIG milk drinker and likes a bottle while going to sleep (sometimes two!!)....whatever gets her down! lol
    Last edited by ozeymumof5; 22-04-2013 at 21:38.

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    Feezy  (23-04-2013)

  8. #5
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    Thank you, it's good to hear that it will pass! Just now before I put her down for a nap DH picked her up to give her a cuddle and she struggled away from him, but then he got down on his knees with his arms out and she ran to him and gave him a big cuddle and kiss! Definitely trying times ahead!!


 

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