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Baby "tantrums"?


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  #1  
May 5th, 2009, 08:02 AM
MilkyJo's Avatar Veteran
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I knew it was a mistake to go and revisit these old baby forums I used to read when I was pregnant... but I did it anyway. Stupid morbid curiosity. I saw a thread about a mother asking how to deal with a 9 month old who throws what she labelled as tantrums in his high chair (kicking, angry shouting, banging etc). All the advice she received was in favour of ignoring the tantrum, not reacting, and waiting until the baby stopped. One mum even went on to describe how when her 11 month throws tantrums she puts him in his bumbo and leaves him at the bottom of the stairs on time-out. Time-out for an under one year old? Does that seem crazy to anyone else other than me? I thought the point in time-out was so you could TALK and explain to them after they calmed down, and surely you can't do that until their language is more sophisticated?

It got me thinking though. Ben is almost eight months now and so far I haven't really dwelt on discipline at all - I thought he was still too young. Ben sometimes shouts in frustration or whines and fusses if he can't have something he wants, or if he wants to get out of his highchair, carseat etc. I've never thought of this behaviour as tantrums though, nor do I consider it being purposefully naughty, so discipline hasn't occurred to me either. I've just been using distraction when it works, or picking him up and taking him elsewhere (when possible) because often out of sight means out of mind with Ben.

When did you start/plan to start discipline?
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  #2  
May 5th, 2009, 09:48 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I guess when I think about how I personally "discipline" it is more about teaching...so I started knowing it was way earlier than he could comprehend it, thinking that I won't know what day he "gets it" suddenly so why not do it all along? Now what I do & did will hardly look like discipline to most people. I just mean that I would talk him through things, try to validate his feelings very simply & explain things as simply as I could. I tried distraction (which for us I found was totally ineffective 90% of the time, as he seems to have an amazing attention span for things I would rather he NOT do or touch LOL). I definitely removed him when necessary, etc. I do think Jonah has thrown tantrums from very very early on, he just seems to have a quick temper. The first temper tantrum I remember him having was at about 2 months while I was changing a diaper (something he has always hated) and he threw his body around so much he rolled himself (thankfully he was on the floor). I have a friend whose 2 week old baby hated laying on his back so much that if you tried to lay him on it he would get immediately angry & could literally throw himself around until he rolled. He couldn't do it calmly, it wasn't "technically" rolling himself as it wasn't a conscious maneuver, nor did he do it the same way twice, but even so, it was due to angry body movements & he would do it fast, like in 30-60 seconds. I am not sure I would have been quick to believe a two week old baby rolling himself unless I saw it for myself. Now are these purposeful tantrums at that age - NO. And they aren't to be punished or taught a lesson because of them....rather tantrums are merely a physical expression of anger or frustration. I just handled them typically by telling him I am sorry he hates his diaper changes I will be quick...and repeating it over & over & over again so that when he was able to understand, *whatever* day that finally occurred, then at least he would know I understood what he was telling me & I was trying to do what I could about it to help him. Even as early as 25 months I do put Jonah in "time out" but he usually doesn't mind and I just tell him he needs to set for a minute and calm himself. If he has done something specific we need to address (like hit someone) then he needs to repeat "hitting is not nice" or say he is sorry or acknowledge in some way that hitting is a bad idea....kind of depends on the situation. At this age I try not to force an apology as I don't want him to offer a fake apology anyway, but normally he is fine with saying sorry once I tell him it hurts. He may not be in love with the idea of setting, but he doesn't really resist either, and he does seem to benefit from a few minutes of down time. We started that just maybe a few months ago & it isn't something that happens every day or anything...but it seems to work for him & it is usually just a minute or two & he can come out of it a little less spastic. I don't define a minimum time, because it's not like he is serving a sentence...I just define a maximum time, as I think it is unrealistic to think he can set longer than 2 mins at this age. So far we have never hit 2 mins because before that time he has already calmed & can get down anyway.

I can't really tell you much else....as he is at an age where there isn't much to it. I do make him stop what he is doing quite often & I say "look at me" and he says "look-i-lee" which I think is cute & he looks me in the face, because if I tell him something without doing that first, I may as well be talking to the wind. LOL Other than having him look me in the face the ONLY time he hears me is when he wants to (like "Let's get the bubbles" or if I yell "Hey" like if he is running toward the road or something - but I try to reserve that tone for serious business ONLY).

I agree with you though - the situations that you are talking about regarding putting a baby in a time out or ignoring a tantrum are more than silly, they are sad. If a child is tantruming in a high chair & you can't get to them because your hands are full or you have another child with a more immediate need, then fine, that is life sometimes. In a family with a lot going on, sometimes even the baby has to wait a minute or two....but to purposefully ignore it thinking you are teaching them deosn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
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We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. ~Sigmund Freud
My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie Harmon
Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. - Harold Hulbert
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb
The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~Carrie Latet





Last edited by beck12; May 5th, 2009 at 09:53 AM.
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  #3  
May 5th, 2009, 09:48 AM
KatiesGirls
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Wow. I agree, under a year is far too young!!! We didn't start 'disciplining' Julie until after she was two, and even that was few and far between. That's one of the reasons I believe so strongly in AP with setting boundaries and using redirection techniques. It's amazing what a little redirection and positive reinforcement can do for both your and your child's spirit.
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  #4  
May 5th, 2009, 10:17 AM
noworries
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Yeah, parents need to be taught what discipline is. Discipline isn't punishement, it's teaching. Before a year old (and even after a year old) I think that redirection is probably the best bet if a child is doing something you don't want them to do. I don't think think time-outs are appropriate at that age. My daughter is 16 months old and we still redirect and teach her rather than discipline her. If she hits we tell her that hitting is not ok and that she needs to be gentle and we have her show us how to be gentle and then she has to say sorry (she says sorry by giving a kiss to whoever she hit since she can't say it yet). She is at the age where she is starting to throw some good tantrums and I tell her that as soon as she's done with her tantrum we will ___________ (whatever it is that she is wanting). Her tantrums consist of laying on the floor and kicking her feet and crying. As soon as she gets up and comes over to me (even if she is still crying) I pick her up and she usually calms right down. But, when she was younger I never would have let her cry at all before picking her up and calming her down. The difference is that she now understands her behavior better and knows that throwing a tantrum is not the way to get something.
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  #5  
May 5th, 2009, 01:40 PM
MilkyJo's Avatar Veteran
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Beck, I talk Ben through things as well when he's angry (and when he isn't too). I'd never thought of that as a form of discipline, but now that you mention it, I suppose it is a gentle teaching of sorts, even if he's too young to understand it yet.

Apart from it being quite sad, I also wonder if starting time-outs so early (< 1 year) would dilute their effectiveness as the baby grows older.
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  #6  
May 6th, 2009, 06:20 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think the idea of starting time outs so young is that they arent meant to question them later, basically break a childs will before he knows he has one and the battle is won, but I dont know if it really works that way, nor would I want to try anyway.
Ian expresses frustration too he throws his whole body back and forth rocking toward what he wants and distraction doesnt work too well. I just accept that he is frustrated, and I do put it into words which i know he doesnt understand as well. People do look at me like I am not right in the head, because i talk to my babies from birth, but sooner or later the words sink in, and my children have all been early talkers themselves.
I've never used a high chair as none of mine have been fond of anyhting with straps, we have to cope with the car seat, but other then that I dont blame them. I use a walkin chair for Ian to eat, but if he wants out, I take him out, why leave him crying, he isnt going to eat then anyway?
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  #7  
May 6th, 2009, 08:58 AM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broxi3781 View Post
I think the idea of starting time outs so young is that they arent meant to question them later, basically break a childs will before he knows he has one and the battle is won, but I dont know if it really works that way, nor would I want to try anyway.
Ian expresses frustration too he throws his whole body back and forth rocking toward what he wants and distraction doesnt work too well. I just accept that he is frustrated, and I do put it into words which i know he doesnt understand as well. People do look at me like I am not right in the head, because i talk to my babies from birth, but sooner or later the words sink in, and my children have all been early talkers themselves.
I've never used a high chair as none of mine have been fond of anyhting with straps, we have to cope with the car seat, but other then that I dont blame them. I use a walkin chair for Ian to eat, but if he wants out, I take him out, why leave him crying, he isnt going to eat then anyway?
You know it never even dawns on me that some highchairs have straps...since mine doesn't...it just has a post between the legs to keep him from sliding out when he was smaller. Before that I never put him in a chair to eat, I either held him to sat on the floor.
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B - Crazy momma to my two boys
We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. ~Sigmund Freud
My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie Harmon
Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. - Harold Hulbert
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb
The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~Carrie Latet




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  #8  
May 6th, 2009, 12:46 PM
KatiesGirls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broxi3781 View Post
I think the idea of starting time outs so young is that they arent meant to question them later, basically break a childs will before he knows he has one and the battle is won, but I dont know if it really works that way, nor would I want to try anyway.
Ian expresses frustration too he throws his whole body back and forth rocking toward what he wants and distraction doesnt work too well. I just accept that he is frustrated, and I do put it into words which i know he doesnt understand as well. People do look at me like I am not right in the head, because i talk to my babies from birth, but sooner or later the words sink in, and my children have all been early talkers themselves.
I've never used a high chair as none of mine have been fond of anyhting with straps, we have to cope with the car seat, but other then that I dont blame them. I use a walkin chair for Ian to eat, but if he wants out, I take him out, why leave him crying, he isnt going to eat then anyway?
I've never thought of it that way. It makes me feel kind of sad
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  #9  
May 7th, 2009, 08:28 AM
*Jack'sMommy*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Wow, I can't believe that someone would "discipline" a child so young. That is so sad. Jack is 8.5 months and definitely has "tantrums" but that is to be expected with little ones!! They are just learning and getting used to the world around them and it is completely normal to get overwhelmed and upset. The way I see it, when Jack has a "meltdown" (that's what I prefer to call them) it is my job as mommy to scoop him up and help him get through it. I snuggle him, sing to him, walk around with him. That is what I signed up for when I decided to get pregnant and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I would never, ever, ever even consider disciplining or looking down upon him for crying and being upset. It is his way of expressing himself. Heck, sometimes I feel like laying on the floor and kicking and screaming but I have learned not to. But sometimes I do it anyway.
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  #10  
May 7th, 2009, 09:31 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Jack's Mommy - I am laughing at your comment on still feeling like laying on the floor kicking and screaming, I must say the thought does have some merit. I have to admit there are times when I feel like screaming myself! Does anyone remember the old primal scream therapy? Maybe we could start, inner child tantrum threapy and charge people a fortune
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  #11  
May 7th, 2009, 09:40 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Beck - I swear everything here has straps. DH bought a high chair and you would have to use the harnesses to keep the child from falling out. Its still in the attic unused. planning list a bunch of stuff will never use in the free ads soon, highchair, pram, cot, etc...
I have to say its the being strapped in annoys me the most about prams here. I know many children are left strapped into the pram for hours to keep them out of the way, and strapped into highchairs way before dinner and left way after
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  #12  
May 7th, 2009, 12:05 PM
*Jack'sMommy*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't even have the straps pulled through on Jack's highchair. The tray keeps him safe and I hate strapping him into things! He loves his highchair while I am cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, but I don't think he would like it if I strapped him in and he couldn't lead forward and reach for his toys! (By the way, his "toys" are spatulas, plastic bowls and his very own dish scrubby brush)
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  #13  
May 7th, 2009, 01:55 PM
KatiesGirls
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Originally Posted by broxi3781 View Post
Jack's Mommy - I am laughing at your comment on still feeling like laying on the floor kicking and screaming, I must say the thought does have some merit. I have to admit there are times when I feel like screaming myself! Does anyone remember the old primal scream therapy? Maybe we could start, inner child tantrum threapy and charge people a fortune
Oh Miss Brrrrroxi, I think you're onto something!!
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  #14  
May 7th, 2009, 05:47 PM
*Jack'sMommy*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I wasn't kidding though - when my husband was deployed and I just felt totally overwhelmed I would go lay in bed face down and let out a big scream and kick my legs and swing my arms. It felt SO good!!!
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  #15  
May 17th, 2009, 09:19 PM
Kierasmom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I definitely think what people label as tantrums for a child under 1 is really just hunger, thirst, tiredness, overstimulated, etc. It's not like a child that young can say I'm tired, put me to bed. The only way they can communicate is through crying or making other noises. I think it sounds like those parents are uneducated in parenting(or new at it) and havent considered why their baby has to cry.
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