Well moms, fret not. Behaviour issues in babies this age is completely normal. Check out our guide on the challenging behaviour your 3-6 month old will display – and how you should deal with it.
1. Refusal to Bottle Feed
Now that your baby is 3 months old, you may want to get him off the breast and onto the bottle. It is no easy task to make this switch. After all, baby is accustomed to the warmth and comfort of breastfeeding. It is crucial to pick the right time and the right process to get baby started on the bottle. Firstly, you need to encourage baby without being forceful or aggressive. Forceful behaviour will only upset or anger baby, and make him flat-out refuse the bottle. Try out a variety of techniques like giving bottle in the dark while breastfeeding, making your spouse or another caregiver feed baby, and experimenting with various kinds of teats and breast-like bottles.
2. Bouts of Moodiness
Babies this age tend to be moody. She will display a range of heightened moods including assertiveness, anger, grouchiness and amusement. Sometimes, this can get very confusing, such as when your baby laughs right in the middle of a temper tantrum, and vice versa. This could be a sign of teething or a growth spurt. There’s little you can do to counter baby’s moodiness, other than chanting ‘this too shall pass’. Because as hard as it is to deal with, it is just a phase that your baby will outgrow.
3. Will bite anything
As baby starts to get his primary teeth at about six months, he will become a full-fledged biter, just looking for something to bite. Although this is normal and doesn’t last long, it can get painful, especially if your baby is biting you during breastfeeding. Nip it in the bud by looking her in the eye and firmly yet calmly saying “No biting”. If her behaviour persists, encourage her to use a teething toy.
So you thought only older kids can be jealous? Babies six months onwards have been seen to be jealous when their mother pays attention to another baby. Research has shown that “They kick and cry furiously until they have her full attention once more (Laurent 2009)”. Jealousy is a sign of bonding: baby knows who you are and wants your complete attention. The fix? Give her all the attention in the world. And as he gets older, teach him to accept it when you give attention to other children.
5. Picky Eating
As your baby turns six months old, you will start introducing solid foods. And that’s when the trouble will start. Babies tend to be naturally suspicious of new food, so go slow. Start with one food at a time and wait for about 4 days before introducing another one. This will help you to easily spot signs of a food allergy. Also, introduce any new food in the morning so that you have the entire day ahead of you to spot and deal with adverse effects such as an upset tummy. Never try to force feed – if baby is refusing to open his mouth or turns his head away from you even after a few tries, try again some other day.
Figuring out and dealing with challenging behaviour is not an easy task for any parent. After all, babies don’t come with an instruction manual. When things get too rough, hang in there. And to be on the safe side, consult your paediatrician.