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Whining

How do you cope with a whiny toddler?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My son became incredibly whinny and clingy as a toddler. He would cry and whimper for hour on end sometimes. I initially made an effort to cater to his whims but that was giving reinforcement to this behavior. Ignoring him did not particularly help. He eventually outgrew this stage, so I would say patience was what helped.

Bola Oyeyipo-Ajumobi, MD, a mom of four- and one-year-old sons, a family physician in private practice, and the owner of SlimyBookWorm.com, in Highland, CA

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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My daughter started to whine when she was around three, after she began pre-K. When my daughter talked to me in that whiny tone of voice, I simply would say, “What? I can’t understand you when you speak like that. When you were a baby, I was your Mommy, and I could understand your baby talk. But now that you are a big girl, I need your to speak ‘big girl.”

My daughter pretty quickly realized that whining wasn’t having the desired result, and so it stopped.  Every now and again, she’ll whine, but if I consistently remind her that I can’t understand her whining, she’ll stop.

Christy Valentine, MD, a mom of a six-year-old daughter, a specialist in pediatrics and internal medicine, and the founder of the Valentine Medical Center, in Gretna, LA


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.