Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

17 Mo Old Tantrums

DD is 17 months old and throws nonstop temper tantrums. Getting dressed for daycare, putting her coat on, wiping her nose, not letting her raid the kitchen cabinets, etc- all examples of things that set her off. If there's something she wants she has learned to raise her hand, but if we don't understand or give her what she wants a full on tantrum ensues. Let me add that she does not behave this way at all at daycare. Also she now has a baby brother as of 6 weeks ago and I do believe the fussiness has increased. To gain attention I assume. How do I react to the tantrums?? I find myself giving in to whatever she wants as I'm so exhausted from the newborn but I know I shouldn't. Do I ignore the behavior? By the end of day she has torn apart the kitchen bc I just open all the cabinets to make her happy. She's like a little tornado that tears apart the house! Please give me some advice on how to manage her tantrums. Sincerely, Mom of Tantrum Toddler and Fussy Newborn in 2U2 Hell

Re: 17 Mo Old Tantrums

  • My DD also likes to take apart cabinets. I generally don't stop her unless she's playing with something that could harm her or she's damaging something. I figure it's all a learning experience for her. Eventually she gets tired of that activity after a couple of weeks and will move onto something else. If I've already picked up an area for the evening and I don't want her into something, I will block her off with the gate so she can't get to it.

    With tantrums, I tried to address the underlying issue first. If she's hungry, feed her, etc. Otherwise, I generally ignore the tantrums. I let her get it out of her system.
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  • we've been going through this lately as well. They're mostly in the morning when DD (17 months) wakes up. She usually just sat with us, wandered around the house, drank her milk. The past week or so it's been scream, cry, throw herself on the floor...won't take milk etc.

    She seems to escalate quite easily and sometimes will calm down jsut as easily. I get a weekly newsletter from the hospital that I delivered at and it addressed these tantrums a week or so ago. It pretty much said that the best way to try and de-escalate was to use different methods of distraction. This morning when she launched into her tirade I let her yell and cry for a few and then scooped her up to look for dogs out side walking on the street. The distraction seemed to help The other day I brought her in a different room and we looked at books. If the distraction doesn't work, I let her cry it out and in 5-10 minutes she seems to forget what got her upset. But, man..they do suck!

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  • My DD was 19.5 mos when DS was born and there was a definite increase in tantrums.  I don't think it's necessary for attention but just because she is overwhelmed and confused by all of the change.  At that age it's due more to lack of communication skills and inability to process what's happening.  

    I understand how frustrated and exhausted you are because I was there too but it's best to not give in when you can.  I would continue to let her tear about the kitchen.  Try not to focus on the things that don't really matter.  Your house will not be clean for the next month or so and that's ok.  Just make sure her needs are met and ignore.  And then when she is ready hug it out and move on.  It will get better and easier.  Good luck.  
  • DS is 18m and I feel all this is a phase. DS has gone through phases of major tantrums and being destructive, but then it gets better. Redirection works for tantrums. For a while, he was fighting me all day with everything - getting change, diaper change, putting sock on, shoes on, jackets on, getting into car seat, getting inside house etc. I felt worn out and exhausted as he was just fighting me. I SAH and some days it really gets to me by end of the day. I don't know what happened but lately he is better and more cooperative. I do give him advance warning of everything we are about to do... That helps with transitions and he knows what to expect. GL! 
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  • Thanks everyone. I feel like I would be able to handle these tantrums better if I wasn't so sleep deprived from my newborn (who has a cold already ughh), but DD is just wearing me out and my patience thin! I now it's just a phase but I'm ready to move on past this phase :-)
  • I was told to just ignore the tantrum. If it gets really bad I do a 30 second to minute time out (where I sit with him) just to get him to calm down.
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  • MrsLeleMrsLele member
    You're not alone! My DD is a pistol when she gets her mind set on something! And DD#2 will be here in 2 months, so I don't see it getting any better. I follow all of the above advice. Also, make sure DH or other family don't give in to her demands either. My husband gives my daughter whatever she asks for and I feel like it's added to the problem. Hang in there!

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  • lana22lana22 member
    lots of good advice here. my son was 16 months when #2 was born and i noticed an increase in tantrums. DON'T GIVE IN. especially once you decide it's a battle you're going to fight. try to choose carefully and only fight the important battles. when dd is in full on tantrum mode just ignore, even walk away and leave her in safe place. try to give extra attention when baby is sleeping, let the dishes, laundry, etc. go a bit. my son did lots of things for negative attention and i learned quickly i had to ignore or they escalated. it will get better, but if you continue to give in, she will never stop crying/tantruming (is that a word?), b/c she's learned that it will work.

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  • I would ignore the behavior & make sure she's in a safe place. If you always give in then she's manipulating you. You need to show her who's the boss. Let her melt down - you can't always rescue her from her feelings, she needs to work it out & learn to deal. You could redirect her to something positive to do instead & if she still melts down, walk away & remain calm.

    The frontal lobe is not developed at that age which is why small children are irrational. They go with the first feeling they get. A book you can read is The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

    Unfortunately, these meltdowns will continue onto teenagerhood too, so stand your ground!
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