Mad baby!

This baby is truly mad, furious, I wouldn’t want to start with him!

Though your baby probably isn’t feeling anger the way adults do, it’s normal for her to appear angry at times.

Before 6 months, babies don’t yet have a “temper” — they usually cry because they need to be fed, held, or changed, because they’re tired or in pain, or for a similar reason.

But as your baby gets older — usually around 6 months — you’ll see new emotions emerge, including frustration. To a parent, this can translate as a hot temper, says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones.


The good news is that babies aren’t developmentally and emotionally capable of a true toddler-style tantrum, says Altmann, and it’s likely that your baby’s bad moods can be avoided or diffused.

One way is to keep to a consistent routine so your baby knows what to expect. “Keeping consistent can often eliminate temper tantrums,” says Altmann. If your baby’s sleeping or eating patterns are disrupted, it’s likely to cause crankiness.

Altmann suggests taking a look at your daily routine. At what point during the day is your baby’s “temper” rearing its ugly head? Think about what you can do to adjust your activities, and perhaps your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns, to make things smoother.

She says the late-afternoon “witching hours,” when many babies get especially fussy, can be the result of overstimulation from a busy day of running errands and having company or not enough rest.

Frustration is also likely to crop up when your baby’s trying to reach a developmental milestone, like sitting up or crawling.

“Babies may want to get that toy on the other side of the room and are frustrated that they can’t get there,” says Altmann. “It’s normal at this age for a baby to wiggle and squirm and cry because she wants to do something she isn’t capable of. Some parents may call this a temper tantrum, but it’s really just a baby showing some frustration.”

Luckily, this is the golden age of distraction. If your baby is frustrated with a particular toy, swap it out for another. If she’s frustrated because you won’t let her play with your cell phone, hold her up to the window to see what’s outside.

Still, if your baby is frequently upset or is suffering from colic, discuss her fussiness with your child’s doctor to rule out a medical problem.

This baby is one month old.

Image via Wikipedia

This is just the beginning of tantrums — the toddler years are yet to come — but looking at when and why your baby is becoming temperamental and trying to avoid it is good practice.

Pieces of your child’s future temperament are displayed during infancy, says Altmann, so you may be getting a preview of what’s to come.

English: Portrait of 1-year-old baby girl

Image via Wikipedia

“Many times a toddler who has more of a temper will have presented it early on — as young as a few months of age,” she says.

But don’t worry — just because you have a feisty baby now doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a hothead in the years to come.

Find out more about how to handle baby “temper tantrums”, see whether it’s possible to spoil a baby, or check out our Tactics for Tantrums bulletin board.


One response to this post.

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