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DocRob, Doctor (MD)
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Doctor & Father
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Hello, Our 15 month old boy winges pretty much constantly while

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Hello, Our 15 month old boy winges pretty much constantly while awake. Stops briefly if given things he wants, like remote controls or mobile phones, but as soon as he is bored with them, he will throw them on the floor and start wingeing again. He doesnt talk yet. Been going on a couple of weeks now. Need to know how to train him out of it. Its driving us crackers.
Any help would be very welcome.

Best regards

robertsykes :

Welcome to Just Answer. I truly hope that you will be able to benefit from my many years experience both in paediatrics, and as a father! I will aim to provide sensible, common sense help but need you to appreciate that without seeing you in person, or on a regular basis, a full assessment can be difficult.


Finally, I would be very grateful if you could rate my answer when completed; I strive for level 3 or above in this but if you feel that you my advice warrant’s negative feedback, please remain in contact with me to see if we can resolve any issues before leaving the feedback. If you still feel that my answer was poor and that negative feedback is warranted, I will then fully respect your wishes.

If you continue this conversation, you are accepting these as our “terms”.

robertsykes :

Welcome, I certainly can recall frequent periods such as this with my two girls in the past, so you have my sympathies!

robertsykes :

Has there been any illness or other change recently?


No, no illness,


He usually sleeps through the night but we recently had one bad night where he was unusually up from 1-5 am and we had to rock him to sleep, but aside from that and usual teething hes fine

robertsykes :

thank you for that information; I will come back to that in a moment - has there been any stress in the household that you can think of?


Were run our own business, and have recently renovated our house... Were both pretty much always stressed yeah. Our busy season is coming to an end now though and were looking forward to a month in thailand for a relax.

robertsykes :

Thank you again; I too run a business from home (part time), so know how stressful this can be. thank you for being patient with me, I am sure you can appreciate that getting some information from you is essential in order to frame a proper response - I will attempt that now .. please be patient whilst I type :-)


No problem, I should have started this later though, im supposed to open our shop at 10. Is it possible you can send to my email which i can pick up at work?

robertsykes :

I will switch this to Q&A mode and you can feel free to just check in at your own desire. it works in the same way but neither of us are tied in to wait for the other to respond... I will put the answer there and we can continue to chat less "tied in"

Ok, if your child is currently teething, this could be causing him distress, and certainly the "acute onset" of these problems over the last couple of weeks could be related to a new tooth eruption (check around his gum line to see if there are any sharp bits coming through). I mention this because there may be no need to actually "train" him out of anything just yet - it may be something that he just needs to get through (and you need to bear through too!) The attention craving could simply be a distraction technique - i.e. when he is occupied the discomfort is less because his mind is elsewhere...

If that isnt the case, the stress factor could be a problem, in which case simply taking a family break as you plan, where everyone is more relaxed, could be all that is required.

Finally, if you think that these do not apply, or you would still like to put some effort in to modify his behaviors anyway, here is my advice...

Babies and toddlers are essentially just little bundles of emotion and greed - they work almost exclusively on what psychologists would call classical conditioning - this is where they learn that an action has a response; where that action has a positive outcome for them, they repeat it, where the action has a negative or neutral outcome it eventually "dies" as the child learns that it serves no benefit to continue it. Obviously, negative outcomes should be reserved for older children only, and ONLY when they have broken rules or been naughty - in your case the neutral response of "ignoring the unwanted behaviour" is the usual response that will bring the results you want.

Obviously, this requires consistency and patience, and will not happen over night but by taking firm decisions on when attention must end, and sticking to it until the "mini-tantrum" (as a way of viewing it) has ended then you can condition your child into learning that screaming for attention is useless, and that they will get attention for "appropriate" lengths of time dictated by you, not them...

does this make sense to you? do you have any questions about my advice?
DocRob and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks very much,


I think our trip will definately make a difference, if we all survive the long plane trip..


Will take your advice and try to patiently ignore the wingeing and hopefully it'll go away soon. (Calpol as ever at the ready for the teething as he needs it)


Many thanks



calpol, or neurofen are excellent choices - something for his mouth may be useful such as a teething ring or even a dummy (I am firmly in the school of thought that there is no long term issue with using a pacifier!)

if you have appreciated the time and effort I have put into your answer please rate me highly.

Either way, all the best for your trip and day at work!

if you need any follow up questions or think of any more later, please just add them to this thread and I will pick them up...

kind regards