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How do you deal with a 1 year old babies tantrums at home and in public?

My daughter is turning 1 yr old in two weeks... she has been having mini melt downs for a few months now when she doesn't get her way, but it is getting more dramatic now... especially in public. She makes her body stiff and sometimes even "plays stiff as a board" so I can hardly pick her up or hold her... she also screams super loud and throws her arms down and makes them stiff. Changing her diaper is always a challenge when we are at home... and when we are out in public, it usually starts when I don't let her hold something that she wants to play with that is not good for her. Is it normal to start tantrums so young and what do you do to handle them?

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Asked by MommyMichelleL at 12:58 AM on Apr. 14, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • DON"T GIVE IN!! I think it is totally normal for kids this age. My DD was about 16 months when she started tantrums. I think they are just learning how to handle rejection and not getting what they want. Until now, they got whatever they wanted because it was a necessity. But when they start asking for things they can't have (ie cookies at 5:30 in the morning) they don't now how to deal with that.

    First of all, don't give in. If they start to scream, walk away and ignore it. Not to be mean. This lets them learn how to deal with these negative emotions. It also shows them that you won't respond to that kind of behavior. DD would throw wild tantrums for awhile, than come find me because she needed help calming down and to be comforted. But seriously, as soon as you give in, you loose every little bit of progress.

    DD is now 22 months and rarely throws tantrums. When she does, they are really short.

    Good luck!

    Answer by jcsscfam5 at 1:05 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • it's definitely normal. my son started throwing tantrums around that age. the time out method seems to work for me. or if not i give him a slap on the hand so he knows i mean business. and the same goes for in public.. if he's acting out i'll give him a time out right there in the store. otherwise he thinks he can act like a monster when were not at home and i won't punish him.

    Answer by exxOHjackie at 2:30 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • she is just testing her will. Ignore her, use kind words but with meaning. No need to yell, they get SOME kind of attention that way & learn that their behavior gets a reaction. Don't give her a reaction. Let her learn that her behavior does not get attention. If you are in public, drop what you are doing, don't yell or give her reaction & leave. She will learn by YOUR actions that her behavior does not get what it wants. The key here is not not react. I know you want to yell & discipline, but it feeds her will. If at home, quietly put her in her room. Tell her it's not acceptable & when she is calm she can come play & talk to you. Remember that actions speak louder than words do. No need to get all huffy puffy about it, it fuels them when they get ANY reaction weather is positive or negative. Good luck.


    Answer by samurai_chica at 9:29 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Be consistent with what you do both at home and in public. Don't give in to what they're asking for when they react that way, and try to ignore the people who are watching you with patronizing looks of pity or judgment... you'll have to get used to those. They're either people My daughter started them young... at age 1 you just have to firmly move them where you want them to go. You can talk them through why you're doing what you're doing, but don't make it a negotiation.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:38 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • my daughter is 17 months and been the same way since that age!! I really dont know a great way to handle it either but wish I did! My little one can be a real drama queen!! :)

    Answer by expectingbaby1 at 12:55 AM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • I agree, be consistent. Do not give in, and do not get worked up yourself. They feed off that. If you are worked up, they will continue to get more and more worked up as well. At 12 months my DD was really into having snacks. So when I would take her shopping I would pack a little bag of special snacks. Snacks that she wasnt often allowed to have so that she'd be really excited by them. The second she would start acting up, I would say "No honey, you can't touch that, but would you like a snack" and I would pull out the snack and she'd sit in her stroller with snack and be happy. At just about 2, that trick doesnt work so much anymore. lol I try to keep my errands as quick as possible, and go at times I know she'll be best behaved which is after she has napped and had a good lunch. And remember , she's ONLY 12 months, there is still a lot she really just doesnt understand yet. So try not to set your expectations too high.

    Answer by DyperDuty at 1:37 AM on Apr. 17, 2009

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