My wife is having a real hard time with my son lately. After his afternoon nap he will almost immediately get really whiny and then go into full blown crying for hours. She is a stay at home Mum so she has to face this 5 days a week every week.

Trouble is I don't see it, the minute I get home he perks up and gets really happy and playful.

He's been fed, nappy changed, dry clothes, had a good nap and has a supply of water. And none of his teeth seem to be coming through but that is so far our best guess.

We know that he has a milk intolerance and it has all the hallmarks of him accidentally consuming milk but we are so careful with his food, I am concerned he might have another allergy. But have no idea what it could be.

There seems to be no way of comforting him either. Picking him up(even though he asks to be), putting him down, playing, singing, his favorite game/song/TV show.

The oddest thing is how scheduled it seems to be, always at the same time.

On a weekend I do sort of see it but I think he is better because I am there and he seems more receptive to my attempts to sooth him, she can do something and it have no effect whereas I will do the same thing and he might snap out of it.

He has also stopped enjoying morning cuddles with his mummy, which I think makes it worse for her. We tried sending her away for the weekend to see if perhaps he was just a bit too used to having her around. But this didn't seem to make much if any difference.

Does anyone have any clue of what might be going on? Surely this isn't normal!


I feel I neglected to update this the first time round and as he is nearly 5 I probably should!

I will be honest and say we never really got to the bottom of this, it just seemed to phase out after he started going to nursery more and getting used to being more "separated". He still has bad separation anxiety now and looking back I think this was him having an earlier, intense phase. Its come back bad recently with the death of my grandma and its something we are working through, we were lucky enough to get accepted into "play therapy" that he does at a local hospice which seems to have worked wonders even though i'm not sure what they do :). (to do so my wife did some research and contacted the hospice directly)

For anyone going through a similar experience, look into separation anxiety and find ways to gently introduce more separation. Looking back at this time, it was a hard time for us, we had not reached out to family and we never had him stay over / be baby sat by other people. It was probably after this time I discovered my Aunt and Uncle were super keen to babysit and he started staying over at their house and it definitely coincided with the behaviour more or less going away. We did it gently at first (I stayed over at there house with Archie the first time, then the next time I stayed in the house until late but left etc etc). Granted now he cries when he leaves them.

But in general now we only have to manage the actual leaving (me/mum/relatives/etc), my advice is make it fun with games, we do a rhyming goodbye game, see you later alligator, see you in the house, mouse etc).

As always consult medical professionals but sadly I think mental health, especially child mental health is not very well understood. You might get lucky though we have had some great new GPs lately who seem to have more information on outside programmes :)

  • 1
    What's your question? Are you asking: 1) Is this possibly a medical issue? 2) How to stop your son from crying? 3) How to handle the stress of a child constantly crying? Also, is your son being fed the same thing every day before his nap?
    – user11394
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 3:56
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    Hi, @Chrispepper. This isn't normal for a 15 month old. It's time to make an appointment with the baby's doctor; try to go with your wife so you both can hear what the doctor has to say (four ears are better than two). Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 5:36
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    @chris - I feel the frustration with you. You do have a strong card, though, if you're brave enough to use it: "You didn't believe us the last time, either." Said calmly and perhaps a tad more tactfully, it ought to shame any doctor worth his or her salt into investigating further. In the meantime, keep a careful and thorough food diary - every single thing that goes into his mouth. Get a cheap plastic container and bring in a fresh (one day or less, double-bagged and refrigerated) stool sample as well. Makes it look like you're being more pro-active than his doc. Hang in there! Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 10:36
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    If possible I would start looking for another doctor. If they didn't work with you the first time that isn't a good sign for this time. Make calls around and try to get a consultation visit to find a more receptive office. You might try to find a pediatrician that also has studied some child psychology. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 16:57
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    @anongoodnurse has a very good point. I am no medical professional, but I believe one the best assets a physician has is an accurate log of information and careful observation on the part of the patient. If you go in with just symptoms, they are more likely to generalize. With specifics, a journal of meals, naps, TV times, mood swings, for a few week study, both a physician and or child psychologist would have a lot more info from which to form a hypothesis. Baby's do cry, but I've found there is almost always a really good reason.
    – peege
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


Is it possible your child simply craves more interaction with others? At this age, that may be the important missing part of their day. You could try going to the library, or finding a play group, to go to after the nap - that way, there is something to look forward to.


It sounds like you're feeding him before his nap. Try feeding him something right after his nap, too. My daughter has always been somewhat sensitive to what she eats and would be cranky from the moment she woke up until she had eaten.

Assuming it is a low blood sugar thing, what he eats will have a tremendous impact as high-glycemic foods cause insulin to spike which then removes all the blood sugar to store it as fat while sleeping. A small meal (before, after, or both) of low-glycemic carbs (like whole fruit) and some protein (like meat) worked wonders for us.

Dr. Barry Sears' book "The Zone" has an excellent description of how all this works.

  • This is an interesting answer. it completely stopped over christmas while I was there, and it looks a bit like its starting again. So I thought it might have something to do with seperation anxiety but...I now wonder whether there was a difference in the family eating habits when I was there (I tend to eat a lot :p) Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 15:33

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