My son wants to be carried all the time, and throws a tantrum when I don't.. what should I do?

Rebecca - posted on 07/27/2011 ( 62 moms have responded )

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I have a 17 month old and he wants to constantly be carried, especially by me. There are times when I can't because I'm cooking dinner or cleaning. He will cry and throw a fit, I try to distract him by giving him a snack or stopping to take the time to play with him, but that doesn't always work. He will throw himself back, and hit and throw things at me or his sister or my husband. He gets very angry, lol, and I feel bad cause all I wanna do is console him. Even when he hits me, is he too young for time out when he throws his tantrums, what should I do when he wants to be carried?

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Heather - posted on 09/13/2011

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I have seen this a lot with my friends but never when I watch them. If your son knows he'll get what he wants if he screams long enough, he will continue to do so. Put your foot down, get at his level and tell him in a firm (not mean) voice "Mommy is busy right now but when I am done we can go have some fun." It's okay to hold your child but what most people don't understand is some of us have things we need to get done. You should NEVER hold a child or baby when cooking since it puts their life in danger. I know as a mother that you would rather deal with the tantrum than have him go to the hospital for burns or worse! You care about him and just want to make him happy but kids are very intelligent! The second they know you are putty in their hands they will never give up the power struggle. That's what being a toddler is all about, they can be high strung and demand authority. But YOU are mommy, not him. YOU make the rules! You also need to make sure when you tell him you are busy and that you will get to him when you are done that you follow through. Don't pay him no mind when he's throwing himself around and screaming like he got shot. Attention is still attention, negative or positive it WILL reinforce the behavior to continue. You aren't being mean or denying your child by setting boundaries, you are being a parent. I know I will get a bad response from other people by telling you this stuff but trust me, I have been a nanny for 12 years and even after having my son, I'm still the go-to girl for all my friends. I even had people ask me how I keep their kid from pawing at them all day and now those same unruly children behave in public and when at home they play without making it a HUUUUUGE dramatic affair.

Aubrey - posted on 09/18/2011

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Terri, I'm not sure who you are calling ignorant but if you truly love your child then you need to learn to discipline them. Children needs boundaries and discipline in order for them to grow into respectful and mature people. They will also learn to respect their parents if the parent follows through with a punishment and means what they say everytime. Empty threats such as, If you do that one more time and then the parent does nothing will teach a child that you are a liar and they can't trust you. It does not hurt to teach your child discipline and there is always an appropriate way to do so in regards to the age of that child.

User - posted on 07/29/2011

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Your son is not too young for a time out 1 minute for every year old they are. However the worst thing to do is when he is throwing a fit do not give him what he wants explain what you expect of him and when you can hold him I.e. after dinner do not give 5 minutes etc as they don't comprehend time yet if you pick him up during tantrums he will quickly learn that's how he get what he wants with you and will escalate to other things he wants as time progresses. Gotta hold your ground no matter how tough it is.

Jackie - posted on 07/28/2011

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You know kids are alot smarter than we think sometimes. My son who has an older naughty cousin, knows what time outs are and I have started using them. When he is doing something like throwing things hitting or throwing his food and ive already told him no and he continues to do it. I know how u feel there are times when my son wants to be held 24/7 too but i just put him down when i absolutely have to etc. Eventually he gives up. Your will power has to be stronger than theirs. it will get better. Just remember he wont always want to be held. They grow up way too fast!

Toni - posted on 07/29/2011

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No, he is not too young. My youngest is the same way, and if I cannot console him, and he starts to throw a fit, I put him in his crib for a few minutes. When I go and get him, I love on him and then put him down in the play room and usually he is fine. Sometimes it is just because he is tired, and he goes to sleep when I put him in bed. You can't let him hit or throw things, he has to learn there are consequences for things like that. For that I say a harsh no and tell them why and put him in bed.
Hope this helps!!

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Albert - posted on 11/15/2014

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Im in a situation now facing this difficulty. I tried to control myself from exploding but its hard at times really. What I did is basically to calm myself down and then I walk away.
Whenever he trys to sit down and start to have behaviour of wanting to be carried, I walked away and say daddy will carry you if you stop whinning like this... when he stops after by effect of exhaustion I will return to him and say daddy loves you and now you not whinned daddy will carry you and hug him...

honestly I do hv some neg thoughts why my child like this but I just keep pressing on and hope he can improved ultimately.. jus trying to be a good dad that's all.

Tina - posted on 12/27/2013

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(Abate) I really feel that your post was very helpful. I'm at my wits end here because my 17 month old throws fits when I don't hold him ALL the time. My fiancé on the other hand mostly gives in to him and is always so eager to keep giving him things until something calms him down. I will sometimes do what you said in your post but at times I've given in too. I don't want him to grow up to be super needy so I'll try implementing your tips. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Karen - posted on 07/17/2012

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I agree that I don't choose play pens or their cribs or bed with the place for time out. But to call someone ignorant isn't really appropriate. We're all doing the best we can. She was saying that you can't just pick up a child every time they throw a temper tantrum. I just dont think you had to come at anyone like that.

Karen - posted on 07/17/2012

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Yep, I am watching a little girl who very obviously is never ever put down and is throwing massive temper tantrums. I can sit and play with her for a solid hour but if I get up to go to the bathroom you would think I had shot her. From 0-60. Purple. Screaming, It's crazy. So even if you think that by just holding them you are avoiding it, you aren't doing them any favors. You are only stifling their development.

Karen - posted on 07/17/2012

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It's not necessarily that you should hold your little one as often as you can/want to. But at some point you have to start teaching limits You cannot be held while I am cooking dinner because it isn't safe. And they aren't babies anymore. They can play and walk and crawl and be ok not being held for 30 minutes. I think its also our job as parents to teach them how to be independent people. Not people that will throw tantrums when they don't get there way. It's a delicate balance. Just something to keep in mind....

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/12/2012

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Putting them in their crib is a nono... I have a 13 year old and she began associating her room as a bad place! I now have a 15 month old too and we use the playpen for time outs! People that use the bedroom and/or crib may be back on here in a few years asking how to deal with that anxiety! Time outs work wonders! I still give my 13 year old time outs, I use the 1,2,3 method and I only ever get to 2! I have been using it since she was 2.5 years old. Before that I used her room and like I said she started associating it with negativity.... It was a bad choice! I have 2.... 13 years and 15 months.... You can say I have been there already?? ;) However, I would never ever tolerate inappropriate behaviour and NEVER spank! My 13 year old is very well behaved, yes, of course she isn't perfect but she would never ever disrespect me or anyone else! Trust me, time outs work wonders, as well as, taking everything they "like" away for a period of time.... Good Luck! ;)

Sonali - posted on 01/09/2012

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We are going thro the same things at present - it can be a lot of hard work ! I just try to distract him and hope that he will learn gradually.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2012

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I know its a bit weird, but he is young still and loves his mommy. with my 3, i either put them in a highchair and give them something small to snack on or i put them in a safe sturdy carrier. the best ones you want is this lady paxbaby. this lady sells all kinds of good carriers and she is a guru! here is her page on facebook, this link im giving you is her info where her website is on it. http://www.facebook.com/PAXbaby?sk=info and if you cant afford some of them, ebay, amazon or hyena cart sells them cheep. i got 3 from ebay and hyena cart between price range 26 to 30 dollars. i hope this helps out. it helped me out a ton! by the way, if you aren't sure, she gives instructions on youtube about what these carriers are all about and how you put them on, ect. and you are hands free to do work! if you cant find it, she has youtube under her photo.

Maryann - posted on 01/02/2012

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If he know right from wrong he's old enough for a time out. Kids push limits especially when they don't get what they want. My son does the same thing. It's what kids do but they need guidelines and boundaries.

Maryann - posted on 01/02/2012

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If he know right from wrong he's old enough for a time out. Kids push limits especially when they don't get what they want. My son does the same thing. It's what kids do but they need guidelines and boundaries.

Terri - posted on 09/26/2011

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Rebecca,You have opened up a conversation that many Mom's can related to. Are you a stay at home mom or is your child in someone else's care regularly while you work outside of the home? I see your post is 2 months old now. Has this stage worked itself out now or are you still having difficult, now that your child is older and can do more independent play?

Terri - posted on 09/26/2011

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My response was meant to be read as; being unmindful of the child's needs and to handle it with love. Punishment and Discipline are two different things. I am a childcare provider and of course can not hold 4 children at once and if I put them all in a pack in play for time out while cooking a meal as "punishment", then at nap time I would expect they would think of it as a negative place and not a comfort.
I put the children in their high chairs, if they are waiting for me to prepare a meal ect: and give them stacking toys or coloring for example or if old enough have them help me by getting out the cloth napkins or plates or place mats... That is called distraction or encouraging a positive experience not a negative one.

Then no one leaves the table until we are all done. This discipline is put in place, so they are all not encouraged to leave before their belly's are full and ask for a meal 1/2 hour later, as we have a routine to the day.

Belinda - posted on 09/25/2011

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My daughter is very clingy and I just let her know that I have to do something and I'll give her another cuddle when I'm finished. She is getting better and is accepting it now. I've found she is extra clingy obviously when teething or sick but just do the best that you can. If he is throwing a tanti I would definitely try a time out as they are smarter than you think at this age and definitely know what's going on. If you don't deal with it now it will get harder the older that he gets. Best to start dealing with it now I reckon.

Ann - posted on 09/23/2011

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Mine did that too at that age two.

If he hits I'd say "NO hit" and move him away from the offended party if he does it again a 15 second time out followed by "NO hit.". I'd ignore the tantrum if he's just yelling.

Terri - posted on 09/16/2011

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WOW YOUR RESPONSE IS BEING IGNORANT! Not to disrespect you, but you are disrespected your childs needs if that is the way you would treat a person. Why not do it with love,when you are incapable of holding the baby instead of letting them go to their room and cry it out.

Jasmine - posted on 09/15/2011

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Time out actually works. I think at this age none of them want to be in their playpen, so that can be used as a time out area.

Aubrey - posted on 09/15/2011

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No, he's not too young for time out. And, he's playing you. He knows that you will give in so he throws a fit until you pick him back up. Stop giving him the negative attention he's requesting and explain to him in age appropriate terms that when he is calm you will play with him. Until then, let him be upset that you won't pick him up. He'll get over it. Timeouts should be one minute per age. Put him in a place he associates with comfort but make sure there are no toys or other things he can play with...so, if he sleeps in his crib and likes it there, that is a good place for him to chill out for a minute while you both calm down.

Ariel - posted on 09/14/2011

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After learning my lesson with my oldest, I realized you should start time outs when the baby/toddler knows what "no" means but throws a fit anyway.

Temper tantrums are the worst! My son (now 3yrs) has done the same thing and you just have to work your way through it. I've definitely learned my lesson with him because I would give in and wouldn't put him in time out. With him, I would let him cry for a few minutes, then pick him up and console him.

(19month old) My daughter, this time around, I decided the more stern route. I put her in one of those infant seats for time out. She hates it but she refuses to sit in time out on her own. I've also seen people put their kids in high chairs, just so they have something to basically hold the kid down.

Erin - posted on 09/14/2011

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if your unablt to hold your son put him in a room when he has a few toys to enjoy where he can be safe let him have a cry it's just a phase he is going through and will soon grow out of it. good luck and i hope he grows out of it soon

Candiace - posted on 09/12/2011

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I THINK YOU SHOULD PUT HIM INSIDE HIS BED AND LET HIM CRY UNTILL YOUR DONE HES JUST SPOILED HELL GET OVER IT YOU CANT HOLD HIM ALL THE TIME IF HES NOT WET OR HUNGRY THEN HES OK

Carol - posted on 09/12/2011

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wow, dejavous.... omg, i go through the same thing!!!! me and his dad live in different places.. when hes at his dads house he is an angel...he sits in his pack and play and just watches elmo... he plays all by himself...he keeps himself occupied.. when hes with me... omg... he is a different baby. its so noticable. he is attached at the hip and is always crying for my attention... when i am over at his dads, his aunt and mom are there, and his aunt tells me all the time, "you need to stop picking him up at the slightest cry... this is why he is the way he is.....while crying or whining, if hes not in distress, then you need to let him learn that crying or whining isnt going to get him what he wants" although it breaks your heart,cause i know it kills me to let him cry, but i have to say that his aunt is right.
when i go over there, first thing he does when he sees me is cry and put his arms out... and my first reaction is to pick him up.. they get really mad.. i have to say, that hes calmed down alot.. hes learned to play on his own alot.. if you can find the way to have family help you out with this, it would be wonderful... it has worked for me.. believe me, my son was attached at my hip and i couldnt clean, cook, nothing!!!! it was so hard.... good luck

Fahd - posted on 09/09/2011

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I'll just let him know that by delaying mommy from whatever you are doing, he's delaying the time to spend playing with him. Believe me at that age, they understand alot and he'll listen if you stand firm on your word. Sometimes, i ignore my 17 months old son, and sometimes i talk to him from where i am and now, he got the point and had stop the tantrums. Chose whatever works for you works, and remind im constantly that he is loved. Good luck.

Tiffany - posted on 09/09/2011

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My son is going through the same thing.... I do not use his crib for time out.... I have a pack n play I sometimes use or I just let him sit there and work through his frustration... My son was pretty good about letting me roam the house to get errands done, most the time he would follow me where he could but about a month ago he got sick and since then has been very clingy I can't even go to open the front door for the dogs without him freaking out. I let him know I am still there but do not pick him up. I am pregnant with baby # 2 about 6 months now so to carry him around is to much.. And I'd really like to break him of being clingy and hitting before she arrives, he also throws things and bangs his head on the floor when he is mad....

Hayley - posted on 09/08/2011

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just tell him NO!! my son who's 2 always wanted to be picked up at that age and he slowly learnt after time that when i said NO it means no,my son wouldnt walk anywhere and threw tantrums in the street if i didnt pick him up,sometimes i would pick him up out of embarrasment lol, but others id tell him firm ,no your walking, grab his hand and walk, he learnt after a short time to listen and walk, and he is 2 1/2 now and is very good at walking, and not being picked up now, i have a 15 month old, where if i put her down she throws a fit, and i just tell her shhh!! check she's ok and leave her to her tantrum, she not at stage of lifting arms up and grabbing at me to be picked up, but im teaching her to say up! so eveytime i pick her up she knows when i say up! but otherwise i say no and leave them to tantrum, doesnt hurt them to cry xx

Chelsea - posted on 09/05/2011

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I have three that have been like this. The best I can tell you is to distract them. What ever you do though do not give in and pick him up all the time, because you will never break him from it. Once in a while is ok, but the best way to break him is to find something you can do together that will require that you dont have to hold him to do it.

Melissa - posted on 09/04/2011

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I would try to ignore him...after a few days he will understand thats not how to get attention...its hard but works like a charm and makes for a much happier baby and mommy!

Kathleen - posted on 08/22/2011

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He is not too young for time out. In this house hitting and throwing things at people is NOT tolerated. I know you want to hold him, but there are times you can't. Depending on the circumstances I have put my son in the carrier and cooked or cleaned. Other times I put on a movie, or give him crayons and paper. Let him get angry though he's gotta learn that he can't have his way every time he wants it WHEN he want is. Sounds awful, and yes can lead to temper tantrums, but...let him. He has got to learn he can stand on his on, and if he leaves you alone the quicker you can pick him and give him attention. I know it's not that you don't want to give it to him, we had the same issue here. However, cooking probably isn't a good idea to hold him while doing. My mother did that and accidently hit me with boiling water. Did not mean too, and that was years ago, but it shows that holding a baby while attempting to do something that requires your attention and both hands is dangerous to hold a baby. Considentatly tell him that you will pick him up when you are done. If he hits, time out. Or even ask your sister or husband to keep an eye on him, play a game, or watch a show together that engages him like classical baby, or blues clues anything.

Cheryl - posted on 08/17/2011

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When I'm preparing dinner and my 17 month old son starts to take a tantrum because I won't pick him up, I pull his highchair close to where I am (but not close enough that he could get hurt from what is on the stove). I put him in his chair with either a colouring book and crayons, or a toy, or even some spoons and measuring cups. He's happy because he's close to me, he's up higher so he can see what I am doing, and I think he feels involved. I involve him by pointing to things (pot, spoon, lid) and explain to him what I am doing. It works very well for us.

Sarah - posted on 08/13/2011

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My suggestion is to get him involved with what you are doing. Your cleaning? Give him something to do, like a damp cloth and ask him to help you!
If your cooking, let him help with the safer stuff, he's too young to help with the more challenging things.
Find something he enjoys.
As for the time out... NEVER EVER EVER use the bed as a time-out spot. That teaches them that bedtime means they have been bad. Use a corner or a naughty chair, make one if you have to. Put him in the time-out for 1 minute and come back and if he was throwing things get him to give whoever he through things at a hug, just to show he is sorry, because he needs to learn that it's not right to hurt others because we are angry.
I have 3 boys, so I've had to work real hard to get them to where they are now. My oldest is extremely respectful and when he's upset we talk about why he feels this way and what we can do to make him feel better.
My 2 year old still can't speak; he's Autistic, but I have to be really firm with him. My youngest boy is 13 months old. He always listens but I know that's very temporary.

Cara - posted on 08/11/2011

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Angela, there are ways to babywear that are very safe. When I'm cooking I always have my baby on my back so that he cannot reach anything or get spilled on. My body is between us. But he still feels close to me and is happy to be a part of things.

It's important to me that my son never feels ignored by me or that I don't care about his feelings when he's sad. That's why I choose to wear him in a carrier at times. Of course it's a matter of personal opinion, though, and every family is going to do things differently. The way people view/treat 'negative' behavior from a baby or child is a matter of opinion as well.

Angela - posted on 08/10/2011

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I really dont think wrapping your baby around you especially while cooking is safe. If boiled water spills or pops us or if the child reaches over then you have a child who has been burned and you are sitting in a Dr office or ER explaining why you have a 17m old thats been burned. Not to mention as I stated before negative behavior should never be rewarded or acknowledged. Yes, you want to spend plenty of time with them, love them, cuddle with them, kiss and hug them, but they also have to realize that there are times when mommy and daddy have to take care of things and at 17 months they should be able to entertain themselves with toys, books, colors, etc.

Angela - posted on 08/10/2011

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My 17month old tried that last month and guess what...I walked right over her, completely ignored her (of course peering to make sure she wasnt in danger) and continued with life as normal. Yes it was loud but I had to learn to tune her out. I tell her once "negative behavior does not get acknowledged" and from there the ignoring begins. It will be hard at first but eventually she realized I wasnt having it and she was just gonna have a temper tantrum and scream and cry for no reason. After she stops for more than 5 min than I give her a hug and ask her if she's ok or whatever to pay attention to her to show her only positive actions get attention. Needless to say but I no longer have that problem with her.

Karina - posted on 08/10/2011

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My son is 16 months and likes to throw tantrums like pulling, pushing, tugging, and screaming at me especially when I’m in the kitchen washing dishes. I tried giving him time out in his crib and the only thing I got out of that is him crying more and almost falling out of the crib (not a nice experience especially if you have hard wood floors). What I have found to work is just letting him cry it out next to me and not give in (even though he is very strong with the pushing and pulling) or if he is very persistent I give him pots and spoons to play with right next to me. It may not be the greatest method but at times you just have to improvise to entertain your baby. He’s my first child and I’m learning as I go. As you can see you’re not alone. :)

JOY - posted on 08/10/2011

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MY sisters son does dat too. him really want to be on her mummy body at all time,dats mak her not to ve time for anything. so frustrating even when she try to distract him all effort fell.jst be patience wit him may be wit time him wil over grow it.tnks

Darcy - posted on 08/09/2011

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I believe around 18 months this is a developmental stage. Hitting you is his response to his frustration since he doesn't have words yet, but it is not OK either. One of my twins used to bite at that age for attention and my 22 month old son sometimes hits me too. But then you can't pick them up and reinforce "If I hit her she'll pick me up." behavior. When I was hit (or bit) I would pick them up and move them away from me and say something about that hurt mommy (or sister). I didn't have luck with time outs until my twins were about two, but some friends had luck with them at 18 months. My husband and I call this "the mommy do it stage". From about 18 months till about 2 and half my twins wanted mommy to do everything. It was hard, but it did go away (and evolves into the "me do it stage" and the "no stage". Something to look forward to. ( :

Gemma - posted on 08/07/2011

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16/17 months is when they really start to miss you if you go- they start crying at teh door when you go away- they panic when they don't see you for a period of time.

Stephanie - posted on 08/07/2011

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my son does that two but is more like he wants to always see me he hates to be carried but want to be with me i am a stay at home mom getting ready to go back to college and he hates me leaving him then the babysitter will calll and tell me he wont stop crying

any clues to help with him ?

LaShawn - posted on 08/06/2011

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have you considered baby wearing? you can buy about 6 yards of a cotton cloth at your local Fabric store (not jersey cotton, it stretches too much and loses elasticity) and go to this website - http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/ - to learn the different ways to tie it, so that you can "carry" your 17 month old around and have 2 hands free to cook, clean, vaccum, etc. Some kids are just extra cuddly and need the reassurance from moms through about 24 months. I wrap my 17 month old, and I've wrapped my 3 year old when they wanted to be with me while I had other things to do. So I recommend it.

Tami - posted on 08/05/2011

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17 months is not too young for time out. and talk to him and explain that mommy is busy right now and needs him to be the big boy he is and wait until you have your work done for his attention time. But during attention time nothing should interrupt Not even his sister. Also, employ his sibling and you husband to distract him during these times. It takes a family to raise a child. .

Katie - posted on 08/04/2011

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I'm assuming he gets plenty of cuddle time, that his pediatrician confirms he is healthy and not in pain when he is walking or standing, and that he doesn't have other issues (such as autism). I don't think a 17mo is too young to be confined to a safe space by himself for time-out when his behavior is unacceptable. You really can't tolerate his hitting or throwing things at you or other members of the family. You have to establish your authority now while you are bigger than he is -- imagine if he still thinks he can get his way by hitting or throwing things when he's 17 years old! Calm but firm is the ticket. No spanking -- that just teaches him that it's OK to hit other people to get what you want.

Gemma - posted on 08/04/2011

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depends on the situation- if tobi is palying with food then obviously he isn't hungry anymore, if he starts fussing and rubbing his eyes then I know he is tired. . if I am in the middle of cooking I try to distract him with his drawer. depends on what I am doing- if I am vaccuuming he is fascinated with the maschine and wants to ride. if I am cooking then sometimes I just have to move him into to the living room so he can still see me. he is pretty predictable- i can't use the carrier now because my muscles are all out ofd sync. music or audio books are great for calming kids down too. so I usually have music going before I start to cook. adn get a couple books out for him to look at. - I recently rearranged his room so he has more sunlight to his play area. he seems to appreciate that too. lucky for me tobi isn't that much of a cuddler so if he really gets awful with a tantrum i stick him in the buggy and go for a walk- cools both our heads. i can turn the stove off and come back if necessary. oh adn check the diapers- tobi throws tantrums when his diaper is full he hates a full diaper- it will even wake him from sleep.

Rachael - posted on 08/03/2011

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I personally wouldn't use the cot as a time out either, my OH wanted to do that and I said no as I didn't want my son to associate the cot with being punished incase he then didn't want to go to bed later I it xx

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When my son acted like that I put him in a backpack toddler carrier (ergo wAs the most comfortable). It made life far easier. Now he's 7 and barely has time for me at all:)

Terri - posted on 08/02/2011

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For me that worked as a single Momas I had a ergo carrier and if i had to carrier her even to nap at age 3, when she wouldnt go down anymore i would just carry her on my back...this way she would be in it to nap while i do errands.

Melissa - posted on 07/31/2011

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Dont give in to ANY tantrums, its hard I know but he will eventually get it! When he gets violent put him in time out...he is not to young it really worked for me! We dont really yell at our son but we use a stern voice and talk to him...its different for everyone though but thats my advice!

Courtney - posted on 07/31/2011

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My daughter is almost 17 months too and she gets so upset when I'm cleaning , cooking , She wants to be carried all the time by Mommy not daddy

Dana - posted on 07/31/2011

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My son is 16 months and has just started that. I let him throw his fit...make it obvious that I am not giving in. I will carry on about my business and when he realizes he isn't getting what he wants he stops crying gets up and goes to play. It kills me to not give in but I work at a daycare and trust me the worst thing to do is give in.

Jane - posted on 07/30/2011

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You might get a play yard where he can't hurt himself when he throws himself back, can't reach others to hit, and has nothing to throw. Every time he starts to throw a tantrum, put him in the play yard, tell him that he can come out when he stops having a tantrum, and then ignore him until he calms down. As soon as he does, take him out of the play yard and praise him for controlling himself.

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