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What happened to my happy, well-behaved, baby?

My son is 16 months old and for the past 2 months, has been a NIGHTMARE. Throwing tantrums, being picky with food and making it a struggle to get him to eat, whining if he doesn't get want he wants right away, throwing things, and just crying a lot more than he used to. Before this he used to be that happiest baby ever. He was the most amazing eater, and was just a breeze to take care of. Now its like nothing makes him happy. He also acts up more around my fiance and I than he does around other people, and when we are around other people, he wants nothing to do with us. Am I doing something wrong here or is this just a phase? I want my old baby back. :( Has anyone gone through this and is there light at the end of this, never-ending tunnel?

And just to put it out there, he has no signs of Autism. He is on-track for everything developmentally. Just in case someone was going to say that.


Asked by Ash9724 at 10:24 PM on Dec. 2, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (14)
  • He is at the age where he is testing his limits...Children cannot communicate their wants and needs the way WE wish they could. They act out to get a response. Mentally he knows what he wants to say but physically he's not there yet. It's a very frustrating time for the 15-36month old child because they have all the vocabulaty in their minds but they don't know exactly how to express it. As a parent it can be tiring and frustrating as well but PATIENCE and just knowing that he's not a bad kid he just does not know how to express what he's feeling. However you choose to deal with it I suggest you nip it in the bud now because if you allow this behavior to continue without some sort of dicipline your "NIGHTMARE" will get alot worse by the time he reaches kindergarten. Then you will really have a problem along with his teachers, students and other still have time.

    Answer by MomInc at 11:11 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • What went wrong?? You taught him to talk and walk. I always warn new parent no to do that, but it always happens anyway. LOL It's not only normal, but you are in for it for some time. Strap in and enjoy the ride. LOL The most important thing right now, is to NEVER give in to tantrums. Walk away and let the kid scream. 1year olds DO throw tantrums, and they DO know what they are doing.

    Answer by 3gifts.from.god at 11:03 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I hate to ask the obvious, have you taken him to the pediatrician for a full check-up?

    Answer by Olivia4116 at 10:28 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • That is why they call it they terrible twos :) it is an expression but it doesn't mean it starts at two.

    Answer by AbsoluteSelf at 10:28 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • welcome to the terrible two!! by the way it gets worse. this is only the beginning, i have a toddler and preschooler.

    Answer by piwife at 10:30 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Yes Olivia, in fact he just had a check-up a few weeks ago. He is healthy both physcially and mentally.

    Comment by Ash9724 (original poster) at 10:32 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Because when he was well-behaved, you were in alignment with his abilities and understood what he was trying to do and why he was attempting it.

    Today, you have unrealistic expectations of his behaviour, his obedience, his ability to understand and his ability to manage his emotions.

    He's growing up more slowly than you expect. Or in a different order. He is telling you with his behaviour that this (whatever 'this' is) is not working for him.

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:32 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • It sounds to me like he is acting like a normal child. He is starting to learn that he can control things himself and you need to be there to guide him and punish him if need be. It is an amazing thing when you learn that your children have minds of their own and even at a young age can start to make decisions for themselves.

    Also as frustrating as it is kids behave a certain way with their parents and differently for other people. As hard as it was when they where young, it always made me proud that they behaved for other people.

    You have to stay strong and know that this will pass.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 10:36 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Same thing happened to my baby.... we just have to wait for this phase to pass

    Answer by BrittanyD07 at 10:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • My son is the EXACT same way only he just turned 1 on Nov 24th-he throws huge tantrums and screams when he doesn't get his way, if I tell him no he will cry and cry and cry I keep telling myself that he is just spoiled and I have to stand firm but I really hope that this stage doesn't last long!

    Answer by AshleyBishop06 at 10:42 PM on Dec. 2, 2010