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Old 01-11-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Infant mood disorder?

Is it possible for a 12 month old to have a mood disorder? I don't have time or energy to share all the details but DD is soooo happy in the early day and grumpy in the evenings but she loses it at night (screaming, etc.) if I change her when she wakes to nurse. She cries with every diaper change (common) but freaks out if she wants something and doesn't get it. Now that I type it it sounds fairly normal but I'm worried that it's not. There is a history of mood disorders (depression) in my family. Opinions please?

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Old 01-11-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: Infant mood disorder?

Sounds pretty basic to me. Could it be that she is still tired at the night time even after nap?
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: Infant mood disorder?

Well, I can imagine how frustrating that must be and I think it's great that you want to be proactive with your child's mental health, but I will say that things such as mood disorders are really not diagnosable in infants. You should talk to your doctor if you are worried about your child's temperment but everything I have learned (special ed training) suggests that your child is too young to be diagnosed with anything like a mood disorder. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: Infant mood disorder?

I'm with the pp.... it's waaaay to early to diagnose mood disorders at this age. It's very simple... she wants something, can't have it, the only way to express her disgust at that idea is to pitch a hissy fit. Have patience because they can wax and wane depending on the situation. This is a good time to learn how to say "How's about this instead?" and when the baby throws a fit, you tell them they have a choice... this or nothing at all. Sounds like you're trying to reason with them, but in all reality, you're not having to say "no" to them all the time, but rather give them a "yes" opportunity. (does that make sense?)

Is it absolutely necessary to change her at night when she wakes to nurse? If not... just let her nurse to go back to sleep. Heck, I'm 30+ and when I wake up in the middle of the night, I have one thing to do and I get REALLY pissy if I have to change direction or something distracts me (stepping on a toy and it hurt like h-e-double hockey sticks). So that's a totally normal reaction.

good luck mama... it's good to keep an eye out for depression too. My family has a severe history of it but so far, none of my kids show signs of it. Although I'm sure I won't start seeing concrete signs until they hit puberty anyway.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:22 AM   #5
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Re: Infant mood disorder?

I'm with the pp's... sounds like normal behavior for this age. I also don't think they can diagnose a mood disorder this young.

I have a mood disorder and will keep an eye out for my kids, but as of now I know personally that there's no way that the normal ups and downs of toddlerhood could be discerned to be a mood disorder with my dd... even if it was, there'd really be no way to know for sure because toddlers are moody creatures who have good days, bad days, ok days and downright awful days. And it's normal to have all of the above in a single day.

I'd consider other factors - maybe your dd is ready for bed sooner than her bedtime and is overtired? Maybe she needs a snack - my dd always gets a case of the grumpies when she needs to eat... I believe her blood sugar gets low and it's quite normal for toddlers to have that happen... the body is designed to be fed every 2hrs or so.

Anyways, just some ideas about things that might help. This is a tough age and most moms don't expect it to be because we're all led to believe trouble starts at the age of 2. In reality, trouble starts when a toddlers mind knows exactly what he/she wants or needs, but they don't have the skills to be able to communicate what they need. As your little one gains more language skills things will improve somewhat - then you'll have the battle of the wills. But the outbursts that don't make any sense to you will greatly diminish.

It's good to be proactive about your dd's mental health, but I don't think you need to worry yourself right now.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:56 AM   #6
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Re: Infant mood disorder?

Just wanted to throw in that my daughter started reacting to food dye at this age but I didn't figure it out until around 18 months. If you are feeding your daughter anything with food dye/artificial flavors you can try eliminating that and see if it helps with the mood swings. For more info visit www.feingold.org

Otherwise it is probably just normal behavior.
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