At Wit's End

Erika - posted on 08/27/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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Help ladies, please! My LO, Keiran is 9 and a half months old now, he's barely walking but I'm losing my patience every now and then already! please don't get me wrong, he's an adorable and a happy baby...always giggly and smiling a lot. what gets me is that he's soooooooo active, can't make him stay still. What annoys me the most is everytime i'd dress him up or change his nappy he'd wriggle around a lot, crawl away from me, toss and turn, sit up, stand up....sigh!and it's really pushing my patience to the limits...everytime i'd change his clothes or nappy, i'd give him something to play with or chew on (yes, he just started teething when he turned 8months old). however, despite those efforts like giving him a toy or cloth, talking or singing to him, he'd still move around so much that i end up trying to change his clothes or nappy for a good 15-20mins at least...it seems to me that he's a stubborn one if i may say so, he keeps throwing his toys and other stuff out of his playcot and keeps jumping around his crib, but of course i'd want him to grow up a good child....i'm just a new mom and i wanna be a really good mom to Keiran. I don't wanna end up snapping at him but he's just really pushing my button. unfortunately, my mom is abroad and couldn't help me out on this...hope to hear from you soon ladies...♥

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Kim - posted on 08/31/2010

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Hi Erika,
I have three kids and my youngest is now two. I totally understand your frustration :-). It sounds as though your little fella is full of energy and wants to learn everything now! The only thing I can suggest when it comes to changing your little angel is that if it's not too cold, there is no real harm in letting him run around without a nappy. It encourages toilet training(he is a bit young for that now but you never know, he could surprise you) If it is cold or you don't feel comfortable leaving him without a nappy, and he is being real difficult you could let him go for a min or two and try again.
I hope I have helped and given you another idea to try. I wish you all the best :-)

Denikka - posted on 08/30/2010

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My little guy is a little older (17 months) but I started teaching him from day 1.
Even from a couple of months old, if he hit (on purpose or not) I would take his hand and put it down by his side, holding onto it and say "no hitting, that's not nice".
Now that he's a bit older, I explain more "No hitting, that's not nice. That hurts" And then I ask him to *say sorry* by giving me a kiss.
Biting, I address a bit differently. When he was younger, if he bit, I would say "no biting, that hurts" and put him down or move him away from me. And then I wouldn't interact with him (look at him, cuddle, etc) for a few minutes (maybe 5 minutes tops). Now I still do that, and then make him say *sorry*.

I used to be a horrible biter. And not when I was a baby, but at 3, 4, 5 years old. My mom had had enough one day and bit me back (not hard enough to draw blood or leave marks, but hard enough to hurt) I would NEVER suggest that for a VERY young child, but an older one, it may work. Makes them really realize what they are doing and that it hurts.

Hope you have some luck with teaching your kiddo :)

Vanessa - posted on 08/28/2010

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Change his nappy standing up! Huggies have brought out a on the go range which lets bubs be changed standing up. Either that or for a bit switch him into pull-ups - they still absorb the same amount, he just feels a little wetter.

Glory - posted on 08/28/2010

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well, I son't have a 9 month old, but I do have a 10 month old grandaugter...My daughter left her with me for a week. Yes, when I change her diaper she wiggles alot. I always give her something to chew on while I change her. One thing I find very helpful is a schedule for the baby. My grandaughter wakes up at 7am. I make her a bottle and put the tv on for her to watch cartoons. I feed her breakfast. by 10 am I give her a bottle of juice and put her down for her nap. She wakes up two hours later and I feed her lunch. she stays up for three hours, playing , watching sing alongs ect. by 3pm I'll put her down for another nap until 5pm. I give her dinner and by 8pm goodnight. Babies, are full of enrgy.n But they also get very cranky when not enough sleep. Try to get him on a sleep achedule, play schedule, a little tv (educational ofcourse), eating schedule, ect. Even though he cries..if you get him use to a certain system everyday, you will find, that not only the baby is very hyper, but your baby will be tired and you will find a little time in between for your selve...it might sound crazy but try it..I had five kids..it worked everytime

Lucy - posted on 08/28/2010

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Ha ha, I've been there! it's a combination of the fact that he's teething, and that he is a normal baby!

I can understand you being worn down by this, but it isn't going to stop any time soon, so I would suggest finding ways to remain chilled out and keep your patience going.

Make sure you have relaxing time to yourself each day, even if it's just when your son is napping, and ensure that you have contact with other grown ups every day. I know that sounds kind of obvious, but when you are at home with your bub 24/7 it can be quite intense and you just need to have an adult conversation to keep you sane!

I would also suggest learning to meditate. it can help you to keep your cool and be a more placid person in general. I have two little ones 16 months apart and I swear by it :)

39 Comments

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Laural - posted on 09/04/2010

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Your son is behaving exactly as he should at this age. Yes, it can be pretty stressful. Hand him over to your guy and get out of the house for a few hours for some "me" time. it will do wonders for your ability to put up with the wee one's antics. And make getting out a regular habit, or you will go nuts.

Paula - posted on 09/04/2010

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congratulations yourself ! you have a great attitude to how you handle the nerve grating things that babies do. well done and good luck with baby number 2.Paula x

Lyndsey - posted on 09/04/2010

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Yes...as everyone else stated, it is completely normal at this age. My son just turned one and was the same way as yours at 9 months. If i could only get his diaper on, i would let him run with no clothes or even no diaper too at times. sometimes they just wanna run free...I feel like it somehow helps them feel like they have a little say in things too. changing time should not have to feel like torture time although at times i have to hold him down. Just take a deep breath and know that at this age they are not manipulating you they are simply babies and just need a little freedom. I am a firm believer in 'ignoring' poor behavior and praising every good thing they do. My son understands what NO means and did at 9 months too. I dont yell or scream but from 5 months old everytime he was being exceptionally annoying or difficult for me to handle i simply put my hand up and looked away and he knew that meant mommy cant listen when he acted like that. He now squeals loudly for no reason to get my attention. I either take one finger to his mouth and tell him no screaming or simply turn my back and eventually he stops and comes to me to get my attention. with diapers and clothes, when he is really being a pill i try my hardest to make it a game and tickle him or teach him one arm in the hole two arms inthe hole etc.

Granted this is my first baby and i am 6 months pregnant with number two. I am not naturally a patient person but so far i can keep my cool if i just remember he is one, and the way i act is the way he learns to act. Sounds like you are doing a great job and I hope that all the great advice you have recieved will help out.

Lisa - posted on 09/04/2010

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this is normal. he is a boy & he is teasting his limits and pushing your buttons. get used to that. Also get used to him always having energy while your energy limit drains. give him lots of attention but also things that will get him to play & explore safely by himself. this will give you time to rest, get him tired, & remember when you get stressed I have been doing this for 4 years...I take deep breaths in & out relax... Take him outdoors... this will definitely help... He's a boy w/curiosity, immerse him into everything you can. Variety is good. Music, Books, Art, Nature, Spots, etc. Hope this Helps.
Just remember to breath & try sing to him and hold his hands to clap. do peek-a-boo & show his reflection in the mirror. make faces & smile...he'll see & do the same. This should help. he may just want attention. give him attention when he shows positive behavior...things you want him to show.

Carina - posted on 09/03/2010

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I am a mom of 5, 3 of them very close in age (they are all teenagers now). I know the feeling trust me. What got me thru?? Well, I figured out going in the other room and counting to ten never worked. they follow you. I would rely on my sense of humor and try to do or say something funny. For example, while waiting in line some place and the kids start to misbehave and people start staring... I would calmly tell the kids that when we get home they are going straight back to their cages. Well, people eavesdropping would be shocked causing me to laugh and the kids to laugh as well... of course the kdis knew i was joking. OR another time when they were all acting up while cooking dinner I started talking really loud like Julia Child explaining what I was doing... the kids looked at me like i lost it (which I did), but we just all started laughing. Try to remember that parenting is stressful and extremly hard and everyone no matter how perfect you are tends to feel overwhelmed. Take time to reward yourself when you can.... If you are on here asking advice, you already are a wonderful mom!!!

Dana - posted on 09/03/2010

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Breathe. I know it can be frustrating, but you have to remember HE"S A BABY. He's acting totally normal, and b/c he's a boy it will only get worse! They have ENERGY. When you feel yourself losing patience, walk away if you can, count to ten, take several deep breaths and regroup. Don't lose it on a baby who is simply doing what babies do. He's exploring his world, testing his limits, figuring out how his body works, figuring out how he fits into his environment. Enjoy it!

Jennifer - posted on 09/03/2010

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This is normal behavior. I suggest an old tshirt and a diaper for home time. Try singing to the child or talking to keep his interest while you work with him.
I have 3 kids and this is very normal. Keep breakables out of reach and until he gets to be about 16 or17 it would probably be best to store them it they are expensive or special to you. Accidents happen. Let him explore. If you have everything out of reach he can not hurt himself and will be happy.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/03/2010

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I dont know what to tell you. My 10 month old does the same thing. If I have someone around, I make them hold her hand. Yes, she screams but there is no other way. Toys never work for her either... I usually get it done then put her in her play pen and Step outside or into the other room To take a deep breath and Cool off. Hope that helps alittle. Sorry I have no other Ideas.

Mandi - posted on 09/02/2010

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well i have lived with this same type of baby now for 18 months. a doc classified him as an "active toddler" and its very normal behavior for them. i too have a hard time keeping my patience cause i didnt expect my child would be this active!!! sometimes i just have to step back and close my eyes and remove myself mentally from the situation for a few minutes. feel free to message me whenever hun hang in there

Paula - posted on 09/02/2010

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first of all you need to take a step back and take several deep breaths. Your son has just discovered the joy of movement so any chance he gets he's going to make good his escape. Try not to look at this as a challenge, make a game of it. If he crawls away catch him by the ankles and gently pull him back to you (laughing) and say "mama's going to bite you bum". Throwing toys out of his playpen is just to get you attention as is the jumping in his cot. If he is supposed to be down to sleep and he's jumping about and not crying, I would just leave him. He will fall asleep when he's ready. Does it matter how long he takes to change or dress make it fun. If you get stressed he will pick up on it and it will seem like he's winding you up. But at 9months he's not capable of relating your moods to his actions. Just take a few deep breaths or even walk into the kitchen and make a brew and then sit and drink it. Then say "mama's coming to get you" (laughing) and pretend to chase him and when you catch him blurt on his belly and listen to him giggle. I hope this helps Paula x

Erika - posted on 09/02/2010

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reading all your messages makes me smile (especially now that im nursing my flu)...about the biting, my hubby and i have started saying "no biting, that hurts" to Keiran whenever he does, and yes, should Keiran flash us a big smile or heart giggle when being told this, as much as possible we try to keep ourselves from laughing just so he'd get the message across...it's starting to work gradually, thank you...i've also been trying tthe approach of holding his hand and rubbing it gently onto my face while saying "love mommy" whenever he hits or bites me, but this one isn't paying off yet coz whenever i run his fingers or palm on my face he'd either grab it hard or scratch me... as for the diaper changing, been letting him off without his nappy for a minute or two if he wriggles/crawls/stands up/away from me...the bottle works the best for this, he won't squirm when he has a bottle with him... =) thank you for all your support, advices and encouragement...it means so much to have a support group like this...God Bless you all! ♥

Carisa - posted on 09/02/2010

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That is very normal. When my daughter turned 1, she got so bad that we had to start strapping her down to change her diaper. The biggest problem is that she is so skinny, even with the strap at it's tightest, she can still wiggle out. I'm always afraid she is going to fall off the changing table and into the hamper! My doctor said when her kids were like that, she would just change the diaper while they were standing up. I find she is more patient if she is standing. He will eventually get better about letting you change is diaper, but it may take awhile. I am sure you are a great mom...we all get impatient sometimes.

Pip - posted on 09/01/2010

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He sounds completely normal to me, I've got 6 kids and they all did that, yes it did become time consuming and a hassel but it's just a phase. He'll finish this phase soon enough and start a new one. Just hope the next one isn't so annoying. Good luck

Lisa - posted on 09/01/2010

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It's just part of his personality and I realize that's easy for me to say but some kids are more active than others. My daughter (3 1/2) has always been very laid back. My son (20 months) has always been the kids who goes nonstop on very little sleep and as short of a nap as possible. Be firm when you ask him to not wiggle, explain that he needs to get his nappy or clothes changed. When he was littler, I always gave him a Wet-One (butt-wipe) to play with when I changed him. Seemed to be the best for keeping him occupied.

Someone once told me that whenever I get ready to lose my patience with one of my kids to repeat to myself, "You're gonna miss this." It reminds to me savor the moment, reminds me how young they are, how fast they're growing and how soon they'll not need me like they do now.

Renae - posted on 09/01/2010

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Here is the good news, or bad news depending how you look at it! - All babies of his age do this. I challenge you to find a mum on here with a 9-20 month old who stays still for nappy changes and dressing. But hey just be glad he is perfectly normal.

Sometimes "special" toys work for a few minutes, mobile phone, remote control or other normally forbidden objects. Some babies can be distracted for a few minutes by peek-a-boo. After they are about 13-14 months you can get them to help by passing you the wipes, cream etc and that helps keep them occupied. Basically you just have to try anything that might work and put up with it until they are old enough to understand to stay still. At about 17-18 months you can play "statues" which goes "ready, get set, 1, 2, 3, STATUE!" in a really playful voice and teach them that statues stand very very still - they will usually hold the statue pose long enough for you to do the nappy up or get their arms in their jumper. If he doesn't need nappy cream, the pull on nappys are easier once they are standing, but with cream it gets smeared everywhere. Hope this helps. Just remember he WILL grow out of it eventually (or rather grow old enough to learn to stand still) and all babies do it.

Tara - posted on 08/31/2010

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Hi Erika, I hear ya on the frustration. Unfortunately there isnt a ton you can do at this age because they just dont understand yet. I have a 2 year old that i went through this with and I have been babysitting my 15 month old nephew since he was 12 weeks. So i just recently went thru this with him too. I didnt have near as much of a struggle with my daughter as i did with my nephew. When he first started in with the kicking and wiggling I would get really frustrated. All i had to do was get his attention so he would look at me and firmly (but not intimidatingly) say "thats enough". (I try really hard not to use the word "no" cause i dont want it thrown back at me when they learn to say it :0) lol) anyway it took a week or 2 for him to figure out that I meant it and he gave up. I give him a toy and when he starts to try to get away I just say "thats enough" and he stops squirming till i am done. Hope that helps you!

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Both my twin girls do the exact same thing. When I start to get angry I just tell myself I am the adult and I owe it to my children to keep it together. I also think about what a good friend told me when the twins were little and I wasn't getting much sleep... she said, "Don't wish it away, it goes by so fast. I guarantee you'll miss this time of your life." That was about 6 months ago. My girls are only 10 months but I can totally see what she meant. I can't believe how quickly they have grown. Won't belong before my babies are toddlers!

[deleted account]

My son just turned 1 and he's the same way. It's normal, especially with boys. My daughter wasn't quite as squirmy. Try changing him on the floor instead of a changing table. At least then he can wriggle around a little bit and you don't have to worry about him falling off the table. And believe it or not it's actually easier to dress/change them that way because you're not preoccupied with keeping him on the table.

Mala - posted on 08/31/2010

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Just be patient. My son is 17 months old are he runs, walks, crawls, get into his temper tantrums, I have to chase him around to get his diaper on and his clothes.. All kidz go thru this. Just make it into a little game when changing him, give him a favourite toy to hold onto or his bottle.. Have fun with ur child, he will soon be old and not need us anymore to do these little things.. Enjoy..

Brandi - posted on 08/30/2010

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trust me he is hearing you.. you just have to keep it up. It will get better.. my son was a little like that..but he did get better.. when you get frustrated set him somewhere where he is safe..and take a break.. keep up the good work..

Ginny - posted on 08/30/2010

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Oh yeah as for biting, just put him down on the ground and look him in the eyes while you firmly say "No biting." Then turn away from him and do something else. This is something they do for attention, and if you put them down it's the opposite of what they want. He'll get the message. It's the only thing you can do at this age.

Ginny - posted on 08/30/2010

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Trust me, this is totally normal behavior for his age. All three of my kids have gone through it, and they do calm down after awhile. Some kids are more "spirited" than others, and you just have to have patience. When you find yourself getting short on patience, put him safely in his crib and just go do dishes or something that won't take you long but needs to be done. It will give you both a little break. If he cries and throws his toys, no big deal, as long as he's safe. He's just trying out all his new abilities. My youngest is 11 months old and the only time she sits still is when I nurse her. Just make the house really safe and let him have a long leash (figuratively, of course) so he can move and explore as much as he wants. As far as diaper changing goes, just learn to do it quick! As long as I can get my daughter's diaper on, I just follow her long enough to shove her in the rest of her clothes when she takes off.

Erika - posted on 08/30/2010

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how do i make him understand what's right from wrong? whenever i try to talk to him he'd either just smile, laugh, jump around, wiggle/turn away from me...we can't even make him say Momma, all he says are dad, dadda, daddy, hey, next, yum, and bad! i know it may be that that hard for most of you, but for me it's starting to be frustrating. he's advanced in a lot of things, but this time around i just wish he'd listen. wish i have my mom with me to guide me through it. i've been trying hard, really.

Brandi - posted on 08/30/2010

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Heres the deal. Yes he is a baby but now is when we teach the right for wrong. I sure hope you let him know it was wrong to bite. Bitting can turn into a big problem if you don't let them know its wrong. He isn't to young to learn no at his age. Teething he maybe but its still no reason to let him get away with bitting, because next time it may be another child.

Liesl - posted on 08/28/2010

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Lots of good nappy advice, I think the biting part needs a little more attention.

They are right, it is part of teething, but it IS important to let babies know when they have hurt you. When my kids would hurt me, I would gasp and say "That owies momma!" and act like I was crying a little. Show them it hurts. You have to use language they understand, if they see your pain and sorrow in your face. They learn. Then they don't think it is funny and such.

If they hit, I would again say "That owies Momma!" (I probably wouldn't cry with that - just the bad things like the biting that REALLY hurts) and then take their hands and run it softly down my face and say "Be soft for momma." Same thing for new babies tell the older hitting toddler to be "soft for the baby" and run their hands softly on the baby. You have to find a way to explain things to little ones in a way they understand.

Brittany - posted on 08/28/2010

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Sounds like a normal baby!my son was walking by 10 months &was all over the place.he is also very hyper-active and he is now 17 months.Im sorry to say this but it gets worse .Enjoy this age now bc when he starts walking you wont be able to sit down and there into more things as they get older.but i just tell myself patience he's just curious:)

Erika - posted on 08/28/2010

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it's nice to know that my li'l boy is normal, such a relief...i thought he's hyper-active already...i'm starting to try out your suggestions about letting him at it when he wants to wriggle around or crawl/walk away during nappy/clothes changes so as to prevent those frustrating nappy battles...good thing about it is i get a little less stressed since then...until...he bit my left cheek and neck earlier!!!!gawd!!!it hurts like hell!!! i was changing his nappy and he wanted to stand up, he went up to me and gave me a little hug and drool-y kiss, then next thing i knew he sunk his teeth (2 upper incisors & 1 lower incisor) deep into my cheek! i was fuming mad then he gave me that giggly smile and hugged me again before i can even move away a bit, then he bit my neck again...goodness! wish i could tell him and make him understand what's right from not... =(

Medic - posted on 08/27/2010

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Ummm....he is a baby, thats what babies do. You should not get frustrated because your child is acting like a normal child.

Moni - posted on 08/27/2010

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I think it started about that age when I began wondering why babies didn't come with velcro, so you could at least keep them still long enough to change a nappy :) Like a pp said, I moved straight to the floor for nappy changes and some days, we had a 1/2 dressed or naked baby until she was still enough for me to get her dressed. It calmed down for awhile, but we're back to nappy battles again (she's 21 months now)...great thing is when they're this age I can reward her with a Dora sticker (gold to her) when she is calm and helpful during nappy changes. If it gets to be too much, take a mommy time out. I really don't agree with any sort of tapping or hitting a child at that age, they really can't comprehend why it's happening. I would give myself a 1-2 min time out to just breathe and collect myself again, friends of mine shared they screamed into a pillow in a closet to release the frustration.
Are you in play groups? Any indoor/outdoor play areas for him to get some energy out and for you to meet some other moms? I found my daughter's play group at about 7 months and it was great for her to get energy out and for me to get tips and suggestions from other moms. Sometimes it's just enough to know that you're not alone in your trials and frustrations. HTH.

Leah - posted on 08/27/2010

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Not too much you can do in that kind of a situation, hun! I too have a almost 10 month old and diaper and clothes changing get's harder every day! Unfortunatly, at that age, they don't really understand the word 'NO!' or "Lay still!". If it is really getting to you and you feel like you're about the snap (like I feel sometimes!), let him go naked! I change my little guy on the floor of the living room (the change table makes me waaayyy too nervous these days, since he moves around so much) and if he's wiggling around too much for me to get him dressed, I just let him go in the gated off, 'safe' section and then come back later and try again. Don't fret too much sweetie. Who cares if he crawls around in his 'birthday suit' for 15 minutes. I'm sure your doing a great job, just remember he's not pushing your buttons on purpose. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I hate to be a one tpo say it lol but it doesnt get any easier as far as activeness and destruction. my 3 yr old is still that way only now shes into make-up and other things she never cared about before. Stay firm! Dont be affraid of the word "no" and a little love tap might be needed every now and then as a reminder. When you feel like the world is going to come crashing and you cant move anymore sit down for a second and remind yourself how blessed and lucky you are to have happy, healthy children who are "normal" and can get into things and drive you crazy! Much better then a child who cant ever reach those annoying milestones! keep your chin up we will all make it!

Amy - posted on 08/27/2010

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Im a first time mom too and my son is 10 months and he is just like yours he is advance in everything and walking around and climbing up everything and especially diaper change time he is all over the place once in awhile hell b still but that is rare....I just hold him down and get it on as fast as I can but I do know that A LOT of kids are like this and they will eventually calm down sometimes if he starts wiggling to bad I let him go for a minute then go get him again and try it to get the diaper on again good luck I know its rough but you will definately make it through if you start to get mad walk in a different room and calm down then go back! youll make it through i promise!

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