Sophie's terrible 20 months

by Laura
(Argentina)

Sophie used to be a very sweet, very easy going little girl, even as a baby. But this last two weeks have been a nightmare, she's crying all the time, whinning, repeating again and again and again what she wants until you give in. We try to be strong and stand it but she can be so persisting that sometimes she wins... One of the most terrible things is that she is still breastfeeding and we are trying to stop. But Sophie is absolutly determined to keep going... Sometimes she can spend 4 to 5 hours crying until she gets her way, and at night too!!!

We are really tired and on the other hand we don't like to see her suffer. We would appreciate any advice!! Thanks a lot.

Dr Maud Answers:

First of all, Sophie is just doing what toddlers of her age do - exerting her independence.

Congratulations for breast-feeding her this long. It is understandable that you want to stop and she will just have to learn. It might be helpful in the first instance if there is someone else to look after her at a meal time so you can not be there so she will know she can't have a breast feed.

Then you can just refuse to give her the breast and just offer her other food. you might find that she is very stubborn and just refuses other food. Don't give in. She'll be fine and eventually will give up trying for a breast feed and just have the other food offered.

The most important thing is that you don't give in. If you give in just once, Sophie will believe that if she tried hard enough (so cries and whines on and on and on) she will get her way. You will have to put up with her crying and whining for a little while but believe me, if you persevere, you will have success.

If you give in, it will be harder the next time you try.

Good luck. You are not alone - toddlers all over the world are being just as difficult as Sophie. :)

You may find "Talking to Toddlers" audio course helpful. It has great strategies for dealing with difficult toddlers and the same strategies will work when Sophie is a teenager. To read more on Talking to Toddlers, If you prefer to listen than read information, then you can hear about great ways to change your child's behavior and avoid the terrible two's with an audio course called "Talking to Toddlers" - click here.

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