We are having a problem with our second daughter. She is 15 months old and lately, (the last 2 months), she has just been inconsolable and whiny despite there being no obvious underlying cause. In every facet of everyday life she is screaming and throwing her head back and straightening her whole body out like a board.

I understood this to be just a phase but it seems to be continuing with even more frequency, every diaper change, ever car ride, every snack time, every time she wakes up from a nap. She will walk up to us and whine and motion to be picked up and then we oblige and she flings into a panic. In some cases it seems that whining and screaming are her preferred mode of communication, just walking around in a constant state of frustration.

We have tried everything we can think of but we are running out of ideas. We have tried a stern objection, explaining what she is doing wrong, ignoring the problem hoping attention was the objective, and of course fighting fire with fire and yelling won't work so I don't know what else to try. And unfortunately she is just beginning to understand communication on a higher level so I think the concept that this behaviour is unacceptable is too complicated for her. I'm not sure if she understands cause and reaction.

Mostly I just want to know if anyone else has had a similar situation and how normal it is and how they overcame it or dealt with it. After 2 months of this I fear that this may become more than a phase.

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    Just my view as a parent, I think I'd first take her to be checked out by the pediatrician just to rule out that nothing is bothering her. Something might be wrong and you know she can't talk so the best way to say she's not okay is by crying. I don't think that's normal as the you explain it or put it. Never heard or seen such a situation but just to be on the safe side ,you can get her checked out first. 15 months is too young just to fuss for attention. Might be teething or Molar coming out.
    – user22314
    Jun 20, 2016 at 21:12
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    Agreed. This is just how my daughter acted when she was teething, and right at the same age too.
    – swilliams
    Jun 21, 2016 at 11:42
  • We had the same problem with our first. The second child was an angel. Now, the older is an angel and the younger a moody one.
    – Grasper
    Jun 23, 2016 at 14:21
  • The rigid body posture rings some alarming bells, for me, but it might just be behavioral. Certainly I'd consult the pediatrician about that. Aug 31, 2016 at 19:55

2 Answers 2


I know this issue is so upsetting as a parent because all we want is for our child to be happy. I would just like to know how verbal she is? Can she tell you what she wants using her words or does she rely mostly on gestures?keeping in mind I know very little about your situation and that's what I'm basing my comment on. It could be that she is getting frustrated that she can not communicate what it is she wants. I would pay attention to her verbal and non verbal communication very closely. Try to understand what she's telling you and hope it gets better as her vocabulary gets better. However if she is non verbal and continues to be at age 2 I would take her to a therapist to make sure there is no underlying issues. Most likely it's just a phase and as she is able to express what's bothering her these behaviors will subside. Then you'll just have the normal terrible 2s lol. Most important thing you can do right now is make sure you also take good care of yourself so you have the patience to deal with it. Good luck mom and dad


I agree. Please bring her to her pediatrician and request a neurological work up. Labs, maybe a head CT, and ex ray of stomach area. I'm a nurse. Most common sites of pain or invisible malady are head and stomach. Poor baby. Poor Mom... Be assertive get the work ups... if they find nothing Yippy. You can never regret that!

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    Hi, and welcome to the site! I am "a non-nurse". (I'm actually a doctor.) While I agree that a visit to a pediatrician is wise, you might be aware that the AAP and the American Board of Radiology are coming down very hard on CT scans in infants and children, so I would not suggest what the pediatrician should or shouldn't do. There should be an exam; if the exam reveals a problem (or one is suspected), it should be worked up appropriately, including a referral if needed. That is adequate and appropriate advice in this case. Aug 9, 2016 at 0:32
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    Thank you doctor. I appreciate the guidance. Nurses tend to strongly encourage self advocacy for numerous reasons. But a personal experience with a friend who's son was sent home on antibiotics for a sinus infection (without any radiological assessment whatsoever) was 2 weeks later diagnosed with paranasal sinus cancer. My father was diagnosed with pna. No cough, no fever, labs ok. Doctor ordered follow up x-ray in 6 weeks after antibiotics. He is on hospice now with lung cancer. I respect your redirection, but will always push pts to be a squeaky wheel. History has validated the need.
    – Donna
    Aug 9, 2016 at 11:44
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    If everyone with symptoms of sinusitis got sinus films, there would be dozens of iatrogenic head and neck cancers caused by radiation every year down the line. X rays are not advised for the diagnosis and management of uncomplicated sinusitis. A miss is not a mandate to expose others to unnecessary radiation. Anecdotes don't make for good medicine (history has not validated the need.) You may advocate for the squeaky wheel; I will advocate for good medical practice. Aug 10, 2016 at 1:16

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