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Our adopted baby screams all the time
Q: My 11-month-old son has screeched and screamed since he found his voice several months ago. I call him my Advil baby because I have to take painkillers just to be around him. We tell him, “No” or lift his lower jaw to shut his mouth, but he’s too young to understand. When I feel my blood boiling, I put him in his cot—not as a punishment, but as a time-out for me. How can we curb this behaviour? He’s adopted, and we received him when he was 3 months old. I know that there was no gentle caring from his birth mum.
A: In adopting this child, you and your husband have provided him with two loving parents and a family. That’s wonderful. However, when there is no gentle caring at birth and during the months that follow, babies can become emotionally unsettled. Therefore, I’d recommend you consult a child psychologist. Your pediatrician most likely can suggest someone.

This may sound drastic, but just consider what has happened, and what is happening. This little boy got off to a bad start in life. He didn’t receive much care, and his birth mother rejected him. Now this little boy who needs tons of attention is not able to get all the love and nurturance he needs because of his screaming. This situation could have consequences in the years ahead. Now is the time to get help. You need to know how to manage this behaviour, and you need to determine whether he’s having trouble bonding.