Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Daisy | 2009/10/22


Tantrum or More?

Dear Dr,

My LG of 20months is turning me very grey, very quickly. She screams herself into a choke for her father to pick her up the second he walks in the door! She then wants to be carried around by dad the whole time! The constant crying / tantrums is driving us insane! She does not do this with me at all. When the two of us are alone, or out without daddy, she’ s the sweetest little angel. We have real conversations, we play, she keeps herself busy, we just function normally. Bliss. But when daddy dearest walks in the door she turns into a little crying monster. My husband leaves the same time in the morning and arrives about an hour later in the afternoons. He spends a lot of quality time with her, is at home with us every weekend, and also baths her at night. This has been her routine since she was born. Nothing changed recently. She wants nothing to do with me when daddy’ s home. She even started pushing me away, almost trying to hit me when he’ s home and I try to give her or him any attention. She still wakes up at night, and then only wants her father. If I go near her bed she has a tantrum right in the middle of the night. The only way she settles down is if her father gets up, pat her back and get back into bed again. The paediatrician confirmed that there’ s absolutely nothing wrong with her not sleeping through yet, after a whole set of tests, and that this is just a bad habit, as she suffered from reflux, and is still sick quite often with ears / sinus / allergies. Ph-probe confirmed no more reflux. But we’ re used to the no sleep. The screaming for daddy to carry her around at all times is the problem. I’ m not sure if this is just plain normal pain-in-the-behind toddler behaviour, or something more. What do I do? Or rather, what do I do wrong?

Thank so much.

Expert's Reply



You have done nothing wrong. This is a very common situation and is just a stage that your little girl is going through. She really loves you that is for sure, but for the moment it is Daddy who is No.1.Your baby is healthy so you can relax on that score as well.If you want to break the night problem where her father has to keep going to her you may consider using the controlled crying technique. This takes strong nerves to get through but will have the desired effect if you go through with the programme. You will find information on this forum and on Google.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Jules | 2009/10/22

As a single parent, this is just me, don' t know of others out there, but my child does not throw tantrums. He tried it once, i ignored him, left him crying and performing in the kitchen while i sat in the bedroom and he never did it again. Kids are clever they know when they can get away with their tantrums its up to you as the adult to nip it, don' t wait for them to outgrow it.

Reply to Jules
Posted by: R | 2009/10/22

It will pass. Remember to always be firm. Do not pay too much attention when the tantrum begins. This is age they are learning and absorbing, and your reaction will tell them exactly which buttons to push, and may become a problem for longer. But also remember toddlers at creche also dont the the chance to release their frustrations during the day. Try to see when it is naughtiness, and when its real frustration they need to release. My 26mth is getting better, as we establish rules, and I give him undivided attention when I get home from work for at least 10-15 min. Imagine how more difficult for single parents. Good luck

Reply to R
Posted by: Megan | 2009/10/22

Dear Daisy,
Im sorry to hear about your problem. I hope that Dr has a solution for you.
Could you please tell me more about the reflux / allergies / sinus as this sounds like my 14 months son...

Reply to Megan
Posted by: Jesse | 2009/10/22

Hi Jesse,

I am so glad to hear we are not the only parents sufferig from this behaviour. Our little boy are exactly the same age 20 months and are behaving exactly the same. Although he only wants mommy instead of daddy. Also not sleeping through only wants me at night time and when i get home the tantrums starts. My husband actually told me last night why dont i just stay at work cause the moment i walk into the door he turns into a little monster. This is also putting a lot of stress on our relationship cause the fact due to that is that i cant cook or do nothing at night cause the moment i put him down the screaming starts. I cant wait to hear what he pead say about this behaviour and what the outcome will be for a solution. Just know you and your husband are not alone.


Reply to Jesse

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