My 8-month-old 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?
Baby Help Line:
Lots of Stimulation for Tantrum Baby
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!
I would say he is one of those babies who wants 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.
Secondly, try to head off a tantrum before he starts. 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. 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 time with tantrums. (You can find ideas on games to play with an 8-month-old baby here.
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 feelings of being out of control.
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!
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,
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