13 month old MISERABLE

Kelly - posted on 07/05/2013 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I need help! My 13 month old is so cranky and miserable all the time. He spends most the day and night crying and fussing. He also won't sleep more than three hr intervals at night. He wakes up screaming! We let him cry it out but it doesn't always work. He doesn't even want to be held or touched. He gets so mad. I give him tylenol or motrin before bed just in case it is his teeth but that doesn't work. He is not sick/ no fever. My 2 yr old daughter always was an awesome sleeper so this is killing us! Will this ever end? Will he ever sleep and what could be wrong with him?? We feel like we have a newborn again and are so tired. I just want to figure out why he is so unhappy : (

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Kathleen - posted on 07/26/2013

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Could be gluten, dairy or egg intolerance. He would have possibly gas, bloating, loose stools etc. The tylenol/motrin will just be hard on his liver and sometimes constipate. If he is constipated, then you can give him a suppository. No harm in trying either even if you are not sure if he is constipated. My experience with this has been with my daughter being constipated. We did a suppository and it relieved everything. She returned to her happy self and then ensured she had enough fruit and fibre. Good luck!

Billie - posted on 07/25/2013

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Have you considered colic? Many times babies develop an allergic reaction to various formulas or milk which causes digestive issues? Peppermint tea is a huge help. It could also be an accumulation of problems, such as cutting teeth combined with colic. Though I was told by my mother I was simply a 'crier' and went day and night bawling as an infant without anything wrong. I think I'm okay now, but I'll leave that opinion to my husband.

Helen - posted on 07/21/2013

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having a child that doesn't sleep is THE worse experience ever. My second was a bit like this, and as someone else suggested he had reflux, which luckily we were able to control once diagnosed.

Has your son been sleeping ok until recently or has he been like this all the time? If he's been like this since he was born then I would say you need to get some professional help as it is a long term issue that could have an underlying medical issue.

If it isn't a long term issue then there are several issues that could be at play here:
Firstly is there anything going on around him that is upsetting him or his routine? Could be that the daily routine has changed because work has changed, or school holidays have started changing nursery (day care) patterns, stress at home etc? All of these can have an effect on toddlers. Even something as simple as dropping a nap can upset them as they get more tired towards evening then get crotchety . . . well you know the rest :) Even a change of sleeping arrangements (new bed for instance) can set them off.

It could be teeth so yes, keep on with the medication before bed.

It could be that he is having 'night terrors' - both mine had/have them. They are awful - child screaming while still asleep, nothing will calm them, then they do wake up really upset, not knowing why and being difficult to settle. Not at lot to do about this other than cuddles when they wake up and lots of reassurance.

I am guessing that if he is waking up screaming then it could also be nightmares, but something is upsetting him. I wouldn't leave him to scream it out if he is genuinely upset as he needs reassurance and calming down so his bedroom, and especially his bed, is a safe place to be. If he doesn't feel that bed is safe that might be why he's waking up, crying and fussing. If he isn't sleeping well at night, he'll be tired which will be why he's so difficult during the day. If he doesn't want to be touched, just sit with him, either next to him on the bed, or on the floor next to the bed.

There are so many possibilities at this age, and they are too little to tell you what is wrong. Crying, grizzling, screaming etc is the only way they have to communicate illness, upset, fear and other negative emotions. Trying to workout what is wrong is difficult at the best of times, let alone when you are tired.

I hope I have given you some ideas that might help somewhat.
I also hope that your little man feels better soon.

Carly - posted on 07/15/2013

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To the mom who said that her doctor Stated that no one this small should have that much power over somebody... Your son is not trying to exert power over you, he is hurting, and he cries because he needs you. he need you to know that something is wrong, and obviously you haven't found the culprit yet because if you had, he wouldn't be crying like this and staying up all night. once we got my daughter on prilosec, she started sleeping at night again, and life is back to normal! Ask your pediatrician if he can refer you to a GI specialist, or just send you to the hospital to have an upper GI study done. This will show you if hes having the reflux. , and some diet changes

Marie - posted on 07/11/2013

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Could be a combination of things. Food sensitivities/allergies (as the other moms have said) may be the culprit - corn, soy, dairy, gluten.

If he wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, try to determine if he is ACTUALLY awake - if his eyes are closed and he's making motions in "a general direction", he may be experiencing a night terror. You can wait those out, just rub a leg, gentle words, sometimes bring him out of it gently by putting a favourite show on TV (I use the weather network).

When my son, now 5, was fussy at that age, it could either have been over tired, under tired or MORE hungry. (I nursed him for an extended period). You may want to try increasing his solid food intake (one of my old 2009 or 2010 posts referenced that). He may be more hungry than you think, but you'll need to experiment to see what types of foods he'll consume.

The other option is to have him tested for hypersensitivity disorder. They tend not to enjoy contact with people/clothes/things, or prefer specific contact/sound etc. I don't know much about it, but I've read that it can make for a super cranky little one.

Alternatively, does he want to be held a lot during the day? Could be he really needs you right now, and baby-wearing is a great alternative solution.

Best wishes. I hope you find out soon what all his fuss is about.

Poor little spud.

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Jay - posted on 05/01/2014

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It is possible your son is having night terrors. Most commonly, you would look for signs that he cannot be aroused during the episode and cannot remember the incident the next morning.
I am a researcher at Stanford University and I am working with a team to find a treatment for night terrors in children. As you may have seen, there is not too much clinical research on the causes and effects of night terrors. My team is conducting an investigational study for a new treatment option at the Stanford Sleep Clinic. We are recruiting patients in northern California for our study and we are also conducting a survey to try and gather more information from parents of affected children. If you think your child is experiencing night terrors, please visit www.caydian.com and help us learn more about the condition. Thanks for your help.

Marla - posted on 07/26/2013

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Have you ever looked into aside reflux? Usually by this age they have grown out of this, but not always. The crankiness just might be due to the fact that he isn't getting enough sleep, due to being in pain. I think baby's are most affected by this when they are laying down. If your child was diagnosed, there is medication out there that could help!

Carly - posted on 07/15/2013

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My phone is giving me major issues typing on this site, so I'm having to post a second time to finish what I wanted to say... my daughters GI specialist who ran the test said that this inflammation can be very very painful, and that it was probably the cause of her not sleeping at night.. even if he is not a baby his spits up a lot, he could still have the reflux and you wouldn't even know it. I think he's a bit young to suggest that this may be some type of psych disorder disorder. this might , he propain

Carly - posted on 07/15/2013

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I think maybe you should have him tested for acid reflux disease. my daughter has it, she has had it since birth. she is 20 months old now, for the longest time I was resistant to any treatment with antacid drugs because the long term effects are not known.
However, last month we had some tests ran. and found out that the acid was causing. severe inflammation in and small intestine

Megan - posted on 07/15/2013

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Some children can react this way if they have a gluten sensitivity. An elimination diet might help.

Amy - posted on 07/13/2013

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Try soothing music, mobiles over or by his bed, night light, rocking cair???? Warm heating pad, cloth, not sleeping alone , try with sister? They can all work or at least say u tried. Not same bed just room.

Amy - posted on 07/12/2013

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Have u tried gas drops? Maybe having a reaction to the iron in formula or vitamins? I had that issue with formula and had to use low iron type, also vitamins. Car rides, dryer rides for the soothing motions and lavender at bath time a must. Playing on stomach or laying over ur lap for a little bit of back rubbing, calming. Liking to be touched or not. When crying alot they suck in alot of air, causing swollen gassy tummies, so do fans blowing on them as does over dressing them for bed...too hot. I would look into the gluten possibility also wish u the best of luck.

Joyce - posted on 07/12/2013

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@Marie Douville, Your answer is most excellent.
I do remember that carrying my own hyper-crying baby many years ago (left shoulder only, please (lol)), did help her.
Of course, like said earlier, we didn't know about AS or any of the disorders you wrote about, so everything you suggested is a most excellent idea!
And regarding food allergies; my daughter is 31 and about 1 1/2 years ago, she found out that all her stomach irritations were from gluten. She has been gluten free since. I've been GF for about 1 year. There are many excellent GF products and cookbooks available. And with a small amount of time, it is easy to become a super GF cook. Everyone in our family is GF now and we are enjoying everything and are giving up nothing.
As I write this and reread it, I am sure that many Moms out there are wondering why/how my daughter didn't get medical attention while she was younger. Oh, she did and so much so that I could not believe how much we were spending w/o results.
After she became an adult (25 or 26), there came the flood of tears w/ an amazing apology for having been so complicated as a child. She offered up that she was competing w/ her medically needy sister, but even though she knew she needed some attention, her girlfriends encouraged her to say nothing bc it was better to keep her parents in the dark so we couldn't control her life. At that time, her own psychological issues had become further involved bc she had never been truthful to us or any Drs or psychiatrists we took her to, so she was scared now. She seemed to be developing schizophrenia and was wishing she had been forthright from the beginning and not listened to kids. And by then she was an adult w/o insurance. What a head-shaking plight! And we were living bi-coastally, and cash was very, very tight bc the economy had just tanked and husband had just lost his job, along w/ everyone else.
I don't know what to gain by writing this but I hope it at least offers some insight as to how some children can be as they mature, given who their friends might be. To me, they always seemed like genuinely good kids. Smart, dressed well, participated in school activities, well-spoken, super families, etc. Don't judge books by their covers, for sure! Despite the picture they present, we never know what goes on inside. And how it all hurt my daughter! Such wasted time.
I wish you the very best as your precious son grows! God bless you both!

Joyce - posted on 07/12/2013

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You may never know. Our oldest cried all day and night for 4- 1/2 yrs! Non-stop. No playing, no eating, no sleeping. The more we soothed her, the more she cried. We checked on her every 10-15 min., no luck. The pediatrician told us early on, "You have a beautiful baby girl. She needs to learn to fit into the world. No one this big is in charge of anything. Sometimes the kindest thing is to let them cry it out. As long as you tend to her needs calmy, every 15 min or so; make sure she is clean, fed, has no issues like a hair around her finger or toes, burp her...you know you've done all YOU can. She needs to learn to solve her own problems. The only thing she can eventually do is fall asleep." Well, like your son, she had mini naps. We fed her in between, tried to play, etc.,but OY!, the crying! We couldn't take her out anywhere bc we always drew a crowd and so we stayed home, but neighbors came calling to ask to "see the baby." Ppl thought we were abusing her!
As she got older, it became more complicated bc she had tender feelings about everything, so everything made her cry. Same results about soothing too. And her cries were ear-shattering! Other mothers didn't let her play at their houses bc they didn't know what to do for her, either.
And it wasn't about not getting her own way, or a kid taking the toy she was playing with. It was simply a need/resolve to cry.
And by the time she was 4, when she was able to do certain tasks, like put on her own socks, it was a national crisis if one went on wrong. (Now referred to as a meltdown. We didn't know about AS back then (1986).)
She is 31 now, still tender about things and prone to tear up at any given moment. She is Aspie, indeed, but was not diagnosed until beyond high school, for a series misbegotten reasons. I'm happy to say that she has come very far from many AS behaviors on her own by finding good ppl to model behaviors from, as she has matured and most ppl would never, ever suspect her AS by now.
I've definitely asked her if she remembers all the tears from her childhood, she does! But she has no explanation. So, it's simply AS, Mom; simply AS.

Kirstin - posted on 07/09/2013

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Has he always been a bad sleeper? Could he have allergies? My daughter did not sleep through the night until she was past 2 because the milk I gave her at bedtime upset her stomach when she slept. Maybe try water? Another thing that happened was that everytime she woke up, we gave her a bottle/sippy to soothe her. This then made her have to pee which in turn woke her up. We removed bottles/sippies after dinner and tried crying it out again and it worked! I hope it helps!

Pam - posted on 07/09/2013

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Have you contacted your pediatrician? It maybe something that doesn't cause a fever and unfortunately he can't communicate it to you. When are the times that he is not crying? What are you doing then? When is the exact moment it starts? Possibly start a journal and see if a patterns emerges.

Teresa - posted on 07/07/2013

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There is a medical condition where the child gets over-stimulated. That might explain the not sleeping and not wanting to be touched or held. I would ask the dr. about maybe seeing a pediatric psychologist.

Cyndi - posted on 07/05/2013

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If he is getting thay little sleep I can understand him being cranky. Take him to the dr rule out ear infection, for most little ones thats the problem. If no ear troubles then. Put I n in a warm bath with lavender baby soap ( I swear by the stuff when mine were little) put in in his bed with soft music on and dim lights. If hehas a bedtime routine keep itup. But my first step is the dr if its gone on for longer than a couple of days and hes thay misrable.

Amy - posted on 07/05/2013

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Has he always been this way or is it new? Have you ruled out allergies to food that could be causing it? Have you spoken to his pediatrician and ruled out anything medical?

Sarah - posted on 07/05/2013

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Have there been any changes recently? Change of diet, environment, activity?

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