Please help, my 18 month old is continuously crying for attention

Lesley - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 60 moms have responded )

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From the minute he wakes up he cries. He is not poorly at the moment and not teething, he is given attention but my little girl is begining to feel it as i'm spending so much time with my son. I actually think it is all attention seeking but how can i over come this??? Has anybody got any ideas as to why he could be doing this????

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Sophia - posted on 05/03/2012

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My daughter does that too but she is an Only child. I actually find that letting her cry and get it out of her system has helped. I send her to our room and she will come out in a completely different mood and will play with her toys. Just do what you would normally do and let him cry. It is hard (earplugs some days helps! LOL) but it will get him used to the fact that he is not the center of attention.

Paulette - posted on 05/03/2012

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If he has been fed...the diaper is clean and he has had a nap. Then he very well may need to cry it out. But I would recommend a routine that included a nap time. So that during that nap time it is big sister's time to have mommy all to herself. If you use that time to get things done...then I would say that an 18 mo. old would go to sleep at night a little earlier than her and then give her that window of time to her before bed time. Let her know that you are going to come up with a schedule that will help you 2 to spend time together. I would recommend a product called Super Yard (gate) that creates a circular/octagon like play area and put some toys inside to entertain him so that you can get things done and/or spend time with his big sister. We bought 2 of the Super Yard gate because it was more economical than buying 1 and then their extra panels for it. This gave our son the room to walk about and play without him feeling restricted.

Lisa - posted on 05/04/2012

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I completely disagree with letting him just cry it out. If he has to cry, something is wrong. He may be in pain in someway and can't comminicate it you other than crying. How old is your other child? It may be attention seeking but if he is attention seeking, then it means his needs aren't getting met. He is old enough that you can do lots of activities with both of them together.
I would also suggest getting a backpack or sling and "wearing" him. My daughter went through a similar phase and after I started "wearing" her, she decide that she would rather be down, playing than being "worn" by mommy all the time. She is an only child and had no one else to play with. Another solution is by setting boundries for him. Sit next to him while he plays and then every few days more a little farther away from him. Eventually you will be able to get things done in another room while is playing.
There are so many other reasons that a child will cry. He could also have sensory issues and needs the pressure and feeling of security of you holding him, to feel regulated.
Check into early intervention programs in your area to have him tested for Autism, sensory disorders and of course I full work up at the doctors office. Once you have ruled everythin out then you will be able to narrow down the cause faster.
Good luck. If you need some more help or suggestions feel free to contact me.

Andrea - posted on 05/03/2012

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She is just immitating the behavior of he baby. Don't feed into it. She at 18 mths is able to simply express her needs. (warning- this takes a lot of patience). You have to approach her calmly and basically ask what she needs. Keep correcting her until she is able to adequately communicate it (for an 18 mth old) and then address her concerns. This will take multiple tries but eventually she will learn the proper way to get anyone's attention.

Katie - posted on 05/03/2012

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Needing love an attention is a real need and not something to be ignored. It sounds like there is more to it than that, I agree there might be something physical going on, check with a doctor. Babies cry to communicate, whether it's a physical or emotional need it is still a need. Some activities that i found for me to do with both my 1 and 4 year olds are music: instruments, ipod, classes, playing with balls or going to the park.

It's hard to balance the needs of 2 young children,you are not alone.

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Debbie - posted on 05/16/2012

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Hi Lesley, I'm now 41 and 14 yrs since I had a little one but my son was the same. He cried every 10 mins at night so it was pure hell. He is 13 now and suffers with migraines and told us his head hurt when he was 5 and suffered them 3x a week and so we wonder if as a baby he suffered headaches, not sure if babys get headaches but it's a possibility. Every baby cries a lot, we all know that, but a mother knows when something is out of the ordinary otherwise you wouldn't be posting this...right. Don't want to put any worries in your head, last thing i want to do but it's worth asking. But if it is just attention don't let the crying stress you, just sit near your baby and give him something to play with but don't pick him up just talk to him and play with your daughter as well near him. Hope you find some solution...xxxx

Lesley - posted on 05/15/2012

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Thank you everyone for all your hints, tips and suggestions,I have set things in motion with the health visitor, she also reckons that he is attention seaking so I have a few ideas from you wonderful people as well as her to try and quell this situation.
Once again thank you for the replys the have been greatly apprecieated x

Kerry - posted on 05/14/2012

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First off;are u sure the baby isn't having any pain that he cannot explain, if not as long as his basic needs are taken care of and u spend quality time with him just leave him be, in a safe place of course and he would stop the "begging' attention phrase. As long as u continue to give in to the bad behavior and the kids realize your weakness they would play you like a fiddle. :)

Lisa - posted on 05/10/2012

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What a tough situation! I know how it feels as I have three kids now all under the age of 4. What I do is let the one doing all the whining/crying let him know that I don't understand when they talk in that tone (he does understand this) and let him know that when he wants to talk to me in a voice I can understand I will talk with him. Time outs work wonders too just to let them be for a while, sometimes the little ones need that. Hang in there...yes it is a phase!

Michelle - posted on 05/09/2012

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Lesley I feel for you.
I have 2 boys, 3 & 6 years. The 3 year-old cries everytime he wants attention from me or my husband particularly when he wants something & isn't getting his way.Once we acknowledge him & most of the time sit him on our lap & rock with him & ask him what happened ( it helps that he can talk), he tells us that older brother wouldn't share or hit him on the back, etc. We constantly have to praise our older son for being nice to his little brother & sharing with him instead of fighting. The little guy likes a lot of individual attention aside from nonstop playtime with big brother ( infrequently he plays on his own -- more so with age).
When he was younger he would occasionally wake up crying but I would immediately say Goodmorning to him in a cheery voice & he would stop instantly.

It takes quite a bit of physical pain for our 3 year-old to continue crying more than 2-5 minutes & he typically stops once we hold him unless he is truly injured.

All of this said, it takes a lot of energy & time to raise children the right way. Money too if you have frequent Dr. visits & tests, etc.
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Life is short but your quality time with your family doesn't have to be.
Best wishes for good health & peace of mind, Michelle

Jenny - posted on 05/06/2012

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Is he talking? My son went through a really fussy stage right before he started talking.
That age can be incredibly frustrating because they can't tell you what is wrong. If
He doesn't know the words yet, try spending some time working with him on basic need words, milk, eat, toy, up,...

Stefanie - posted on 05/06/2012

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becuse uncontrolble crying an tantrums that go beyond the normal tantrums an crying for that age can be a red flag for autism .one of my friend son did this non stop .i didnt sleep for 2 years at night my mom say i scream an head bang an stuff .he may be in pain or cant coummicte or understand what going on around him

Heather - posted on 05/06/2012

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my 13 month old was crying all the time and refusing to eat. then she started getting diorhea, took her to the doctor and had her put back on reflux meds and took her off of cows milk and problem solved. she stopped crying and started eating again. my daughter is now 16 months. i can tell you she also cries and whines when im reading my 3 year old a story she come up to me and hangs off my leg. i pick her up and read to her until she loses interest. so your baby could be jealous as well. someone on this post mentioned autism, but if he wants your attention all the time than i dont think its that. you dont say much about his personality outside of the crying ie..is he talking yet, walking yet, does he like books. he may be bugging you because hes really smart and needs more intillectual stimulation because hes bored..hope some of these ideas help

Jeanne - posted on 05/06/2012

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It could be all of the things posted by other moms (jealousy, etc.) but before you assume any of those reasons, make sure it's not something physical. My daughter was crying and we couldn't figure out what it was. (She was younger than 18 months.), We eventually found she had a double hernia.

Pamela - posted on 05/06/2012

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It could be any number of emotional or psychological needs that he cannot express because he cannot yet speak.

I have watched how astrology works in my life and the life of my family and friends for 42 years now. I am convinced of this way of seeing myself and the changes I go through. If you are willing to check out this energy for your son, go to www.astro.com. On the left hand side you will see a blue column. There you will see a list in white letters. The first on the list is Free Horoscopes. Click on this. It will open a new list. Go to the bottom on this list...Horoscope Drawings and calculations. Click here. Then choose Chart Drawing Ascendant. It will give you a box called birth Data Entry. Enter all of the information for your child and click continue. You will eventually end up with a drawing that represents the sky at the moment of the child's birth. When you have this info, go back to the column on the left and click on Free Horoscopes again. Then click on Personal Daily Horoscopes. This will give you what is happening for the child on that day.

Do this for yourself and every family member and then check them each day to have a "heads up" about what each family member is going through for that day. I have found it extremely helpful, especially on the days that others are challenged.

At the bottom of the Daily prediction you will see something that says Important Long Term Influences. These you can access FREE only on Thursdays, but it does help to do so because often influences can last well over a year. Sometimes they are only a week or so long.

This information has been very helpful for me. On days that I talk to my sons, or when friends are talking to me about a problem, I will access their page and check to see what may be affecting their situation.

Hopefully you will see what psychological influence there is. Play with this website. It has loads of info for free. You can even check out the free child's horoscopes under Free Horoscopes. Hopefully you will find useful information!

The highest and best to you and yours!

Beth - posted on 05/06/2012

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Did anything happen right before the crying began? Had he been sick? Did he get his 18 month shots? I'd say call the pediatrician and an alternative doctor. It definitely sounds like something is wrong medically/physically, etc.

Meredyth - posted on 05/06/2012

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I practice alternative medicine. If you would like I can look into this for you but it seems to be his nervous system. He is not doing this to get your attention. That's rediculous. Sorry. Let me know if you would like me to look into this for you. Meredyth you2well@gmail.com.

Nykee - posted on 05/06/2012

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It sounds like he has just fallen into the habit of crying all day to get attention from you. As long as he's clean, not hurt, and not hungry I would say to go about your day, obviously setting aside time to play and pay attention to all of your children - together and separately, and just ignore the crying. Eventually, if he knows he's no better off with the crying, I think he'll cut it out.

I see too many people allowing their kids to dictate every move... I always hear things like, "My kid wont let me cook dinner unless I'm holding him" and it baffles me. I've got three aged three and under, and if they fuss while I'm cooking or doing something important, I make sure there's nothing wrong, and then I reassure them that I love them, but I need to cook dinner/finish something with a sibling/clean something/etc and we can spend time together afterward. Don't let your kids rule the house. Kids need boundaries and rules as much as they need love to feel secure :)

It's frustrating, but be tough. He'll stop :) Good luck!

Billie - posted on 05/06/2012

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Have you taken him to the Drs? There has to be something wrong, babies don't just cry.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/05/2012

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It's called colic. Talk to the doctor. I would give some advice on how to deal with it but my children never had it. But everyone I know who has had to deal with it has talked to the doctor.

Stefanie - posted on 05/05/2012

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i have autism sound like he might but it all ways good to get him check out or keep an eye on him

Sue - posted on 05/05/2012

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Could also be a developmental problem that hasn't fully been revealed--our son would wake up from naps and cry inconsolably (sp) for quite a while. Please talk to your pediatrician.

Maxine - posted on 05/05/2012

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I doubt very much its attention seeking babies cry for very good reasons an if he cries constantly it sounds more serious than that, first thing is you need to discount any health problems go get him to a good pedeotrition first if you have to wait a while to see one check what you are feeding him is suitable, try changing that, one thing at a time, is he developing normally? doesnt he have times when he is happy an smileing does he look like he's thriving? dont just hope things improve get some help, good luck hope you can improve he's life an yours.

Candy - posted on 05/05/2012

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my son did that at 3 months and he had Spinal Meningitis but no fever or any other signs but the crying, i had to take him to the ER 3 times before i got someone to check him for it them just thought he wanted attention, so i would say take him to the doctors and have them check him out for everything.

Stefanie - posted on 05/05/2012

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is he saying any words yet or playing with toys is his behavior typical in other areas, maybe you should have hiom seen by a developmently ped rule out anything wrong phycial or develompy

Kim - posted on 05/05/2012

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I would certainly have him tested.
I am no expert on behaviour problems, but I do know that can be a red flag for bigger problems. Have him tested and then you can put your mind to rest one way or the other.

Jacqueline - posted on 05/05/2012

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A baby with celiac sprue will cry a lot because their tummy hurts. Does he have very loose bowels? Irritability is a common sign. Just a suggestion.

J - posted on 05/05/2012

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I had the same issues with my daughter... in fact, her first years are a blur of crying... she is now 12... certain issues have continued - she is currently being evaluated by a neuropsychologist who suspects she has sensory problems... just my experience and something for you to cosider! But first and foremost, have him checked out for any medical problems!!!

Kim - posted on 05/05/2012

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At 18 months...I would bring him in town to get checked to make sure he isn't in any pain or having stomach problems.

Raquel - posted on 05/05/2012

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Does he cry all the time? I'm not one to rush to the doctor for anything, but I would have him checked out. Rule out inner ear infections and minor fractures - its amazing what children can tolerate. Also, pay very close attention to his responses around other people in his life. If all this turns up nothing, I would simply give it time - he'll be able to communicate more to you soon. Good luck.

Tracy - posted on 05/04/2012

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Hi there,
I had a similar problem with one of my twins. I found that he had a food allergy that was making him irritable and also blocked ears that we're corrected by grommets. Ever since correcting the issues there was a significant improvement. Having said that there were times that I had to let him have a cry while giving my other twin some special time. They grow out of their quirks and new strange ones come along. Take care of yourself too.

Tracy - posted on 05/04/2012

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Hi there,
I had a similar problem with one of my twins. I found that he had a food allergy that was making him irritable and also blocked ears that we're corrected by grommets. Ever since correcting the issues there was a significant improvement. Having said that there were times that I had to let him have a cry while giving my other twin some special time. They grow out of their quirks and new strange ones come along. Take care of yourself too.

Michelle - posted on 05/04/2012

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Take your son to the doctor's and rule out any medical problems first before you think that the boy is just after your attention. Once you have ruled out a medical condition then let your child cry for 1 minute then next time for 2 minutes and so on before you comfort him. Also I would have a day when it you spend time with your daughter while your son is looked after by his father doing something that your daughter likes to do good luck

Melissa - posted on 05/04/2012

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have you tried taking him to a Chiropractor, one that specialises in children, he may actually be in pain but not be able to tell you....good luck

Christy - posted on 05/04/2012

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See a doctor...check for ear issues. Babies cry for a reason: pain, discomfort, need of something like food, etc. Hope this helps.

Corey Rhodes - posted on 05/04/2012

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First question is this does he stop crying when you come and give him attention when he is doing his crying fits? If not then I would first take him to see the dr to make sure nothing serious is going on. If the dr doesn't think it is anything, I would make sure he is fed, has had something to drink and a clean diaper and let him cry for 10-20 mins, if still crying after that time offer another drink and check diaper again. Then walk away again and let him cry. It may take a while but if doing this he will eventually stop crying. My 9yr old son used to cry every time I'd put him down or move out of sight. He had to have my constant attention.

Regina - posted on 05/04/2012

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Sometimes Ignoring him would be the best cure. If he is not hungry, not wet, and not sick then I would let him cry it out. At his age he has to develop self soothing techniques

I'd suggest you ignore it and once he realizes you wont pay attention to his cries for attention he'll stop

The hardest part is listening to the crying for hours.....but if you are consistent for at least 7 days you can break him out of that......

Jolene - posted on 05/04/2012

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it is jelously by the sounds of things..The worst thing to do would be to go to him every time he cries. Be strong and tell him your busy and give him a distraction maybe give them something they can do together.kids this age get distracted quickly and as soon as he reolises your not coming he will find something else to do its just a matter of you being able to ignore the crying. Saying that theres nothing wrong with going to him and reasuring him your there just dont let him monopolise your time give him a kiss tell him your busy and give him a game to play with his big sis. hope this helps xx

Edie - posted on 05/03/2012

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II agree with Sophia. Letting him cry is extremely difficult. But sounds like it needs to happen. I have 5 kids n the one in the middle is and always has been a mommas boy. When I left the hospital hospital they all new who's baby was mine cuz Noone could console him but me. All u can do is let it run its coarse.

Nataschia - posted on 05/03/2012

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Let the baby cry a lil in a safe and simulating environment it'll teach him that mommy will be back for him and that you can't be there each moment and how to self soothe also my oldest participated in feeding and holding they are 15 months apart this will teach your oldest how to love care and bond along with responsibility one one time and doing things together are both very vital

Angele - posted on 05/03/2012

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when my second son was born 5 months ago my 15 month old son got a lil jealous and cryed for attention acted out he did everything he was not supposed to.. the only thing that i could come up with was involve my 15 month old with his new brother and spend time with them both together. it didnt go smooth at first he rebelled and didnt want nothing to do with his brother. as time went by it got smother and is now better, but he still thinks his baby brother is ewwy at times lol
so what i did was when my new born would be awake and my 15 month wanted me to play with him i would put my new born on my lap and play blocks or lego colour, play music as my now 20 month loves to dance lol i will let him help me with some baking empting the dishwasher little things he wants to help with and likes to do. I would let him help with changing his brothers diaper and burping and sometimes feeding, i think the main thing is for them to not feel left behind or replaced... as it can make them feel a little insecure having a new baby brother or sister. look for your 18 month old cues of insecure or jealousy you can see it in their behaviour as they change to the new environment around them.

Alexandria - posted on 05/03/2012

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Post a reply!
Could it b colic? My son was soo colicky and cried all the time

Heather - posted on 05/03/2012

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I wanna say autism? Sounds like it. I have recently been through the testing with my son, he is not autistic however be aware of signs such as it would be something to be tested for, talk to your doc see what they say.

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2012

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Set a timer and tell him mommy is playing with sister when the timer goes off then mommy can play with you. We had a big jealousy issue when my daughter was born. It has eased up as she has gotten older and can play with him. But he is testing his boundaries with you. Well if I...what is mommy's reaction going to be. If you cave in he knows if he cries you will give in to him. Let him cry, sometimes it's the only thing that works. Be sure to spend one on one time with him too. If you need to set the timer to get housework done it helps too. My son knew when he heard the timer I would stop what I was doing & play with him for a bit.

Desiree - posted on 05/03/2012

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My daughter is 3 now & has been doing the same thing since January. Crying constantly over absolutely nothing. I just tell her to go to her room or bed until she is done crying. Some days she's just tired but most she just cries for no reason. She usually listens well and stays in her room until she's done crying. I think that's probably just what he needs, to cry it out. I'd also take Amber's advice & make it a point to spend some one on one time with each of them separately every once in a while.

Nichole - posted on 05/03/2012

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Take him to a Dr. and demand blood work! There could be something seriously wrong with him. Prayers that isn't not, maybe it's something simple like he's growing quickly and always hungry, maybe he has separation anxiety, who knows. Start w the doc, it's the safest bet. Wish you all the best.

Crystal - posted on 05/03/2012

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depends on when it started, has he been like this since birth? my son was...never out grew it, he is 12 and has autism..cars, swings, and loud noise made it worse, I stayed in a dark room with him for months...it could be something else if this just started...I have four and he is the third...I had his brother when he was 18 months, and could not nurse my baby without him standing there crying his head off...was very stressful...he is in special school now, and we still have many issues...good luck

Kylie - posted on 05/03/2012

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If you are sure he is not unwell and there is no reason for they crying other than wanting your attention then I would let him cry it out. He needs to know that crying is not the right way to get attention. Instead wait till he is playing happily on his own, and then join in with him. It would also be a good idea to try and find some activities where they both feel included and like they have your attention. Good luck :)

April - posted on 05/03/2012

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If its only been happening for a few days it could be anything from bad dreams to attempt at habit forming behavior. Give him a hug & kiss & put him back to bed.

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