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14 Month Old Crying for No Reason

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My 14 month old daughter is crying for no reason (or so it seems). I have tried everything, rocking, singing, playing. She does this after her nap and she has eaten and had something to drink. What can I do? She is also not sleeping well at night.

Michelle from Des Moines, Iowa

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Recent Answers

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By jenny s. (Guest Post)11/15/2008

My son cries for no reason. He has just been going to nursery when he is their he is happy. As soon as he comes home he will cry, for no reason even after a sleep.

By Judy = Oklahoma [57]07/16/2007

Like everyone said, it could be as simple as an upset tummy,colic, ear infection, etc. Some babies do go through spells where they cry for seemingly no reason & get over it, my 2nd child did around that age.

That being said, take her to her doctor & have them check her out, they can probably give you needed reassurance. But if they say they can't find anything wrong,& she continues doing this, have them run blood tests - especially a CBC(complete blood count) to be safe.

I'm really not trying to scare you, most of the time it's nothing serious & she will probably get over this. But I want to tell you my story about a crying baby.

My 3rd child started having crying spells around 18 months of age. Usually in afternoon or evening, but not always. He cried inconsolably, sometimes loud, sometimes more of a low moaning hum, sometimes for a half hour, sometimes for hours on end. He'd wake up crying at night. Nothing soothed him except to walk the floor with him (my hubby & I ended up with severe tennis elbow from this) until he quit or fell asleep.
Of course this usually never happened during pediatrician hours, or they couldn't fit him in. When I did get him in, or take him to after hours clinic, they looked in eyes, ears & mouth & usually couldn't find anything wrong. A couple of times he had an ear infection. They said probably colic since it was afternoon/evening crying. Since he & I seemed to catch & pass to each other every cold bug his 2 older siblings brough home from school, they said maybe that made him feel bad. A couple of times it was suggested he was just spoiled & wanted to be held-even though I told them he sounded like he was hurting when he was crying.
No other symptoms (except passing that darn cold back & forth). When he wasn't crying, he was a normal,healthy,active toddler.
This continued from Sept. - Nov., with multiple visits to after hours clinic & a couple to his doctor during the day. Then early Dec., a doctor gave me a scathing lecture on wasting valuable time they could be using on people who were REALLY sick instead of wasting time on an hysterical mother. Needless to say, that stopped the medical visits. I knew I wasn't hysterical(I had 2 older kids, not much upset me), I just hoped it was colic he would outgrow, like they said.
We went out of state for Xmas. By the time we came back New Year's Day, he'd had an intestinal virus, then caught another cold. He wasn't shaking the cold & looked pale & drawn.
This time the Pediatrician took one look & sent him for blood tests, thinking he was anemic from being sick.
Not hardly!, that blood test saved his life! My baby had Leukemia, blood cancer! The cancer specialist said he'd probably had it for several months.It causes bone pain. It causes the spleen to swell, which is painful. He HAD been crying because he was hurting.
He never had any of the 'typical' symptoms. And not one single time did any of the doctors do any blood tests - or they would have known. Not once did they touch his stomach(even though they thought he had colic), or they would've felt his enlarged spleen.
The simple CBC showed he had sky-high levels of white blood cells & almost no red blood cells.
Fortunately, after several transfusions & 2 1/2 years of chemo, my son is now a healthy 12 1/2 year old getting ready to celebrate 8 years this month since he finished treatment.

Once again, I'm not trying to scare you & am sorry if I did. My point is to trust your instincts & also that if your baby continues, & the doctor can't find anything or isn't doing standard exam or testing, insist on it just to be safe.

By Lynda (Guest Post)07/15/2007

Is the "something" you give her to drink, acidic? Is her food mostly sugary? Do you combine fruit with meat? Do you feed her eggs? All of these things can cause an upset tummy.

I"d go strictly back to an all oatmeal cereal diet, and a little almond milk, along with Baby Formula Acidolphylus from the Health Food Store. It's good to neutralize any acidic condition, and even allow any stomach bacteria the baby might have picked up, to help with nausea. Try a 1/ teaspoon of Cola Syrup from Walgreens, if you have that store nearby.
I'd suspect baby food desserts/fruits sine they have so much corn sweetener/corn starch, if you were to analyze the food. After about two weeks of oatmeal with only a tiny amount of honey for sweetener and the Baby Formula Acidolphylus, and organic sweetened Vanilla Almond milk to drink, if she improves, then CAREFULLY and SLOWLY begin to introduce ONE new food/drink every WEEK to her again. If she starts up the crying, reexamine what she has just eaten/drunk. Avoid giving meat mixed with fruit, EVER, because fruit decomposes fast, producing gases, while the meat stays in the stomach/bowels up to two days, trapping the fruit gasses, causing terrible cramps. Loosen her diaper
after she eats and do NOT lie her down, but rather let her sit up for at least 45 minutes, doing most anything, until you solve her dilemma. If there is no luck with any of this, your child may need medical treatment/meds. Children are so resilient that it takes a lot to need medical care that a mother cannot solve. Keep trying a while. Avoid giving her any OTHER foods/drink until you solve it or get medical care. May God bless and help you learn what is her problem. : )

By Cyinda [214]07/14/2007

You gave us very little information, Like: Is she healthy the rest of the day? Do her symptoms change when she eats different things? When she wakes up from her nap is she grumpy or is she "fine"? Does she poop regularly, or is she constipated? Can you distract her & stop her crying with a bottle & a video, or does she STILL continue to cry? If we had the answers to these questions it would help

Most kids are grumpy when they first wake up, but you can usually stop their crying at this age with a bottle or the breast & at the same time, reading them a book or putting a kiddy video on the TV. If you can't distract her to stop her crying, then THAT'S when I'd start worrying... & then she needs to see a Doctor!

---> I assume if you haven't taken her to a doctor yet, then she must be "normal" the rest of the day? Am I right or wrong?

By Holly [350]07/14/2007

Could be lactose (milk) intolerance. Symptoms can show up some 5 hours later.
The cure is a dairy free diet or use Lactaid pills. Ask pediatrician because the cure via diet rather than pills may be recommended at this age.
Could also be an allergy to wheat and other foods.
The pediatrician may suggest an elimination diet. You omit a food group for a week, then see if symptoms come back when it is re-introduced. Must do careful bookkeeping of what was eaten and the time.

By Maryeileen [76]07/14/2007

Take her to her pediatrician!

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)07/14/2007

Children and animals do not cry for no reason. You need to have your child checked by a pediatrician. If the doctor cannot find a medical reason for the crying, it may mean she just needs to be held. Holding for psychological reasons is important. I am saying that holding is important enough to be done in and of itself. (grin) All children need to feel love and this is one of the few ways a young child can understand it.

Best wishes,

By Linda (Guest Post)07/14/2007

WHY WASTE TIME ASKING US? Take her to the doctor.

By lesley [1]07/14/2007

Sounds like tummy trouble......definitely a trip to the doctors. She may be swallowing too much air when she is drinking & eating. Try cutting her food into much smaller pieces and see if she will drink thru a straw. And if she is a mouth breather (watch her when she is asleep > she will breath only through her mouth and not her nose > she may also snore) she will definitely be swallowing a lot of air. Hence when she wakens, she will have "gas" pains in her tummy. These may be some things you may want to consider. Definitely go to the Doctors though, and have her checked from stem to stern.
Take Care.

By (Guest Post)07/13/2007

I had a similar problem and it ended up being her ears. Every time I took her to the doctor she would throw a fit about having her ears checked so he never pushed for it. Finally when I was at my wits end I just held her down and her checked her ears. She needed tubes and her ears were so blocked with wax and fluid that she has only hearing at 40% capacity. She never had a fever or exhibited any other signs of ear infection. (The doctor called them silent ear infections.) anyway she got tubes and has been fine since. Don't know if your child is the same but it is worth a check. It took me 2.5 years to figure out why my child wouldn't sleep or take to a regular schedule. Don't let the doctor push you around-your instincts are telling you something is wrong so push for him to figure out what it is.

Good luck.

By (Guest Post)07/13/2007

take her to the Dr. to make sure there is no physical reason for this. She can't tell you what hurts.
She may have trouble digesting foods, or she may be constipated, or nauseated. If the dr. says no to any physical ailment, then perhaps is it a phase of adjustment she is going through. I hope it all turns out o.k.

Tinah

By Karla07/13/2007

Does she primarily do this after she eats and drinks? She may have gastro-enteritis and may need an antibiotic. People can pick this up from the ground and animals (pets).

It may also be possible that she has an ear infection? This sounds a lot like what my daughter used to go through and it would make her very irritable.

Both are pretty common among children. If it is something new for her and not the way she normally acts, I would look at a medical cause and check with your pediatrician.

By mum [2]07/12/2007

Hi Michelle,

I hope things have improved by now, it's terrible to not be able to help a child that is upset and it can be really frustrating too. I know, I've had three children and understand how upsetting it can be.

I assume you have taken her to the doctor for a check-up, sometimes a baby with an ear infection won't show any sign other than being irritable. or maybe it's something else that needs looking at.

If you've been down that route and it's been a week and still no improvement I would bring her back for another check-up just to be sure.

Babies cry for so many reasons but it wouldn't usually continue for more than a day or two without some explanation so I can understand your worrying.

Please let us know how she is today.

Mum

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