If you’re not sure if your young child is just “difficult”, or is there something wrong, first, find out if there’s a medical or developmental problem. Start with her pediatrician, and share your concerns. Are there digestive problems? Some other medical concern? Get treatment for that first. Some pediatricians have a good “take” on infant temperament, and might have something helpful to suggest in that regard as well. You can also ask for a referral to a pediatrician who specializes in developmental/behavioral pediatrics. These are specialists who are trained to evaluate child behavior and temperament more fully. They may also be “plugged in” to a larger group of early intervention specialists who can help too.
In the process, it would be worthwhile for you to look into the early childhood intervention programs in your area to see if there is someone who can help you with this. All communities in the United States have a free program that will evaluate the development of any referred child, from ages 0-3. They will look at all domains of your baby’s development (including social and emotional development), and offer intervention services, if needed. Ask your pediatrician’s office for the name of your local agency. It’s important to know that your baby’s development doesn’t just refer to rolling over, walking, and talking. Her emotional and social skills are a crucial part of her development as well.
If this is not a medical or developmental problem, it could be a problem in the parent/infant relationship itself. All babies are different, and some have truly challenging personalities. Some parents are lucky enough to have a complementary temperament; they can “roll with” their challenging baby’s antics. But most of us struggle with frustration as our challenging babies “push our buttons”.
There are a few well-trained therapists out there who specialize in parent/infant therapy; they work with the parent(s) and baby together. They seek to understand the unique personalities of the parents and the baby involved, and help everyone cope and adjust better. This kind of therapy is extremely effective. Please don’t hesitate to try it if you need it. I also suggest that you reach out to other friends, family and community resources to help you feel supported.
If you’re not sure if your young child is just “difficult”, or is
there something wrong, first, find out if there’s a medical or
developmental problem. Start with her pediatrician, and share your
concerns. Are there... More