Infants, Babies & Toddlers

The birth of a baby is a cause for celebration. It is not without reason that we term the condition of pregnancy as “expecting”. People expect a wide range of things from the birth of a child; from fulfilment to accomplishment, a feeling of completeness, and that sense of continuation. The miracle of the human condition is so complex!

We can be so unprepared for the trials and tribulations of a bundle of total dependency, and even less prepared for the shift to self-assertion that marks a move toward independent self-awareness.

One person’s experience

Mike has been a ‘doting dad’ since the birth of his daughter. He delighted in the smiles he received at 6 months when playing peek-a-boo and the delight he would feel when she would crawl to be near him at 8 months.

He felt protective when she would become distressed by strangers at 10 months and found her insistence on doing things ‘her way’ at 14 months to be the sign of a strong and capable personality.

But at 20 months, when she would throw herself on the ground for little reason, Mike felt he had met his match. Where once a trip to the supermarket meant special time together, highlighted by a treat that always brought a smile to her face, now there was usually a demand for something Mike wasn’t always sure he understood and a frustration at not being able to maintain a pleasant time together (not to mention the scorn of onlookers as her high-pitched squeals made sure the world knew her displeasure).

While ‘the wise’ kept saying “it will pass, it’s only a stage” Mike recognised that it wasn’t passing and the stage was going on too long — you see, this was a stage of development that requires coordination between the parent and the child. Mike sought help and found that he could do things to reduce the frequency of the tantrums while ensuring a smooth transition for his daughter onto the next stage of development.

Tantrum's

  • Usually occur around 18 months of age

  • Are a sign of a developing independent self-concept

  • Vary depending on the infants temperament and experiences

  • Need a planned approach by the parent to reduce the frequency and severity

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