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Parenting

Baby Tantrums

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care

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A baby’s first tantrum can take you by surprise. Your baby can really shock you by shrieking, stamping, hitting, or making his whole body go stiff. But don’t take it personally; baby tantrums aren’t about anything you’ve done wrong, and they aren’t really about temper, either - your baby isn’t old enough for that. The ways you’ll respond to your baby’s behavior when he is older are different than how you should respond now.

Why babies have tantrums and what you can do about it

A baby tantrum is an abrupt and sudden loss of emotional control. Various factors bring tantrums on, and if you can identify the trigger, then you can help him calm down - and perhaps even avoid the tantrum in the first place. Here are the common reasons and ways to solve the problem:

Reason for tantrumPossible solution
OvertirednessSettle baby down to sleep; Provide quiet activity
HungerGive baby a snack or something to drink
FrustrationHelp baby achieve his goal or remove the frustration; Use distraction
Fear/anxietyHold and cuddle baby; Remove baby from difficult situation
Inability to communicateTry to figure out what he wants; Calmly encourage him to show you
Resisting changeAllow a few minutes for baby to make adjustment
Over stimulationMove baby to a quiet place

How to prevent baby tantrums

Often, you can prevent a baby from losing control of his emotions if you prevent the situations that lead up to this. Here are some things to keep in mind:


This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

You are welcome to reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter, provided that you reprint the entire article, including the complete byline with author’s name and book title. Please also send a link or copy to elizabeth@pantley.com. Thank you.

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© 2002-2018 Dr. Lenore Goldfarb, PhD, CCC, IBCLC, ALC and contributing authors to AskLenore.info. All rights reserved.


Disclaimer: All material provided in asklenore.info is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your physician regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.

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