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  • Post last modified:July 7, 2022
  • Post comments:5 Comments

If an 8-month-old baby throws tantrums, can it be considered normal? How should I act as a parent? Let’s take a look at this intense situation here.

8-month-old baby throws tantrums

Mom’s Question:

My 8-month-old baby throws tantrums (balls up his fists, throws his head back, and screams at the top of his lungs) if I’m not constantly holding him AND walking around. If I hold him and sit down, he just continues his tantrum. What do I do?


8-Month-Old Baby Throws Tantrums – Some Ideas!

Sounds like you have a very determined little boy! Which is actually a great thing even if it is hard to handle. It is very frustrating for a little one when they can’t talk and tell you what they want, and he is communicating in the best way he knows!

Tantrums and Personality

I would say he is one of those babies who want to be in on all the action and wants to get stuck into life. He also clearly wants to be with you, so in general, try him in a backpack so you can get on and do things while you chat away to him. That way he can see and learn and be a part of everything you are doing.

Lots of Stimulation for Tantrum Baby

Some babies need heaps of stimulation – some babies are more content to sit and play quietly or just watch the world, but your little boy I think is a baby that needs lots of stimulation.

Play lots of games with him, rolling a ball, peek a boo, stacking blocks.

Prevention is key

Secondly, try to head off a tantrum before he starts.

Try to figure out in what situations or at what time of the day the risk of him throwing a tantrum is the biggest. And make sure to act so a tantrum is not triggered at all. Maybe it is more important to carry him and cuddle in the evening than when he wakes up in the morning? Then practice playing on the floor at that time of the day, for example. 

Attention when happy

It is much better to give him lots of attention and stimulation when he is NOT throwing a tantrum so he doesn’t start to figure out if he chucks a tantrum, Mom will pick him up and walk around, which is lovely and comfortable and interesting. You don’t want him to associate Mommy’s time with tantrums. (You can find ideas on games to play with an 8-month-old baby here.

Distraction and Empathy

I don’t believe in leaving a baby to cry or throw a tantrum. Tantrums are actually pretty scary – the frustration of not being able to communicate, not getting what you want and not understanding why, and then the overwhelming feeling of being out of control.

This is also why it is important that you stay calm and handle the situation with empathy and without anger. Your baby is acting out strong emotions that he can’t handle. This is not because he is spoiled or trying to manipulate you. If you stay calm and try to find ways to soothe him, the tantrums will pass sooner. 

Distraction is usually the best option at this age, rather than giving in if it is something they can’t have. Make the distraction really interesting and exciting by using your voice, even if it is just a cardboard box!

Separation Anxiety

He is also at the age where you disappearing out of sight is scary, he has no concept of time, and that you will come back. So having him with you as much as possible, and peepo games will help him get past that stage.

Your little boy with go far, he is not going to sit back and let life control him, he is going to jump right in and make sure he gets the most out it!

Have lots of fun with him, he will get past this stage,

All the best,



Find comments below.


Read Next About Temper Tantrums and Anger in Babies

Research References

Temper Tantrums

To have and to hold: Effects of physical contact on infants and their caregivers


Who else has an 8-month-old baby that throws tantrums? How do you handle the situation?

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hands full

    These are great comments… I have an 8-month-old adopted son who was born premature and who fusses whenever I am not holding him and walking around. Sometimes I can play games with him, but even that doesn’t last long. I can’t stand to hear him cry, but I also have a houseful and other responsibilities. If it weren’t for nap times I would never get a thing done, but even as it is, I have little time for my other, older children because he is awake from when they get home until bedtime. Any insight as to how long I should expect to have to give him so much attention? I don’t mind, but I feel bad about “neglecting” the other people who need me, too!

    1. mommi

      Well I can tell you, I first commented on this about a year ago about my daughter… and a year later it is much better, I don’t have any other kids but honestly, at the point, she is at now I think it would help because when other kids are around she could care less about me anymore, lol.so hopefully once your kid is old enough to get around good on his own he will like playing with his brothers or sisters and give you some time to yourself. my daughter is still definitely very clingy to me, she’s a momma’s girl no doubt about it, but now she can walk to her toys and play with them by herself, and stand beside me and pretend to do what I do, so I do get breaks from holding her now….it does get better. sometimes it seems like its too much better, lol, there are times when I wanna cuddle she wants nothing to do with me. but other times when i am doing something important, she can’t get enough of me, so it’s gotten better, but they’ll always wanna be the center of your attention if they notice they are not at the moment I think. and no, I really don’t think you can spoil them before a year, i felt so bad thinking i was spoiling her…but now she is a pretty well-rounded kid so far. she plays well with others and trusts others easily.I think if I would’ve tried to not spoil her before a year she wouldn’t be so well with her daycare teachers and friends, and others who have to watch her from time to time because she wouldn’t have learned early on that people are there for her when she needs them. now she knows she’ll be okay if i do have to leave, she doesn’t always like it, and will cry a little as i leave, but as soon as i’m gone she realizes everything will be okay, and i’ll be back, and she has a blast other new people. just wait till he is up and running on his own and it will get better (at least in that regards, of course then there are a whole other set of problems, with them getting into everything they shouldn’t)

    2. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      With an 8-month-old baby acting like this, there may very well be two things in play; frustration over not being able to get where he or she wants to on her own, and separation anxiety. Hence the strong wish to be close to mom all the time AND being carried around all the time. Unless the baby is also really scared of strangers – something that is also common at this age heading outside for some fun activities (find tips on baby activities here) can be a great relief for both the baby and mom. Even the most frustrated 8-month-old may forget being angry if meeting other babies, riding a swing, splashing around in a swimming pool, or something equally funny. So don’t just stay in the house and try to endure this tough month; it makes it seem endless. Invest in a good stroller where your baby sits comfortably or a baby carrier or sling for older babies and head outside. Your baby is likely to nap and sleep better then too.

      Good luck!

  2. Liza

    I have been trying to “research” this. Half the things I read say my son is “spoiled” and to try and get him on his own more frequently. The other half says you can never spoil a child under a year and to give him as much attention as possible. It is just so difficult! I hate hearing him cry with big ol’ crocodile tears streaming from his face. He legitimately seems like he’s afraid. Obviously I want my son to learn how to comfort himself and spend time on his own (trust me, I would love to have the comfort of some quiet moments to myself) but also I do not want to traumatize him. I have come to think that he is just my little SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) and I love him all the more dearly. I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving babies varying amounts of attention. I think the sensitive ones need a little more to feel secure in this world and my little guy can be more loving than a lot of other babies I’ve seen, too. I’m sure they will be fine as they get older and just need security now. I don’t think anyone except a parent of these children understands what it’s like. I have tried putting him down and extending the amount of time I’m away from him, but it is very unsuccessful. Sometimes little ones just need lots of love, I think. They are, after all, so new to this world.

  3. mommi

    Wow, Paula, thank you for the advice! I have an 8-month-old little girl who is the same way. It is very frustrating when you are trying to get anything done, laundry, dishes, dinner. It is almost impossible. Anytime I talk to anyone all they can say is aw, sounds like shes just spoiled rotten. I get so sick of hearing that, it just makes me feel like there is something wrong with her, or something wrong with the way I have raised her so far, I mean, nobody wants a little Veronica Salt. I really appreciate your take on it, the fact that someone can actually see it as a different personality, and that she isn’t gonna turn out to be totally rotten when she is older. It makes me feel a little better to hear that at least one random person in this world doesn’t think I have already screwed her up.