I have a 10-month-old nephew, who NEVER stops screaming and crying, no matter what. I’m talking ALL the time.
He is very large for his age, almost as tall as my 2-year-old, and his parents have been feeding him full with adult food for a few months now. His dad brought him over the other day and said he shouldn’t be hungry because he just ate a cheeseburger! Sometimes I feel as if maybe his stomach is messed up from all of it.
He also does NOT play with any toys. I have a huge amount of toys (I have a 2-year-old myself), and I have tried to sit with him and play with all sorts of different stuff, but he never does. He has been at my house regularly and I have never seen him play with a single thing. His parents say he is just a crybaby and needs to learn to man up, this bothers me ALOT.
He is contented most of the time when he’s held, but not always. I just don’t feel like the crying all day without stopping is normal, nor is the fact that he does not play with ANY toys, nothing at all catches his interest, not toys, music, tv, us trying to talk and play with him while sitting next to him. Any ideas?
10-Month-Baby Never Stops Crying
It is really tricky when you are concerned about a child that is not your own. You really don’t have any control over how he is being raised. I have to say I agree with you, I would expect a 10-month-old to be playing with lots of toys – or at least with interaction with an adult. And calling him a crybaby is really not the answer. A baby cries for a reason.
His diet may well be causing him discomfort – a ten-month-old can have adult food, but not if that adult food is junk food. A taste of a cheeseburger occasionally maybe, but not a whole one! Vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, cereals, yogurts are great for a hungry baby, but his main calories should still be coming from milk at this age. Adult food – especially junk food – contains a lot of salt, which can be harmful to him at this age. A baby’s kidneys are not prepared to take care of a lot of salt. (Read more about foods to avoid before the age of 1 year here.)
He shouldn’t be crying all the time and I too wonder if he is uncomfortable. Maybe he is fed all the time whenever he cries. You didn’t say if he was overweight as well – he is obviously a big child if he is as tall as a two-year-old and will need lots of good healthy food. But I suspect he may not be getting the right kind of food. He could even have allergies.
I don’t know how much you can talk to the parents, but I would find out if they are getting regular checkups for him, and if they have talked to a Pediatrician. Are they readers – would they read a baby care book? Good idea for a Christmas present, if you think they would appreciate it!
Could it be that this little guy is suffering from severe separation anxiety? This is quite common at the age of 10 months (Read about 10-month development milestones here.) If he is, then putting him down and expecting him to play will not work. Holding him, holding him, and holding him will eventually make him feel safer and ready for new adventures. Carrying around a big 10 months old is of course very heavy in the long run, so a tip to his parents is to either sit with him in the lap a lot (even while eating if necessary) and let him sleep in their bed if he is sad at night. There are also hip carriers that one can buy, to save the back if carrying around a heavy child a lot.
Bottom line is, anyway, that a 10-month old baby cries for a reason. Figuring out what it is and mitigating the problem is what helps; not just thinking that he is a crybaby that shouldn’t be spoiled. You can’t spoil a baby by carrying him around. The more he is carried the faster the separation anxiety will disappear.
You are in a tricky situation, you want to be able to support them but not get them offside or have them feel you are being intrusive. The bottom line is, he is their child and they have to decide the best way to raise him. You can only show them a good example and offer advice gently.
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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.