Being a Mom to a toddler can be a handful. I can testify as I have a 3years old, a very energetic 3 years old and boy, its been tough.
Toddlers are classified as infants between the age of 1 and 3 years old (APP) and this time in our lives can be the most stressful for the both of you! Pediatricians share their best tips for parenting toddlers. Here’s what they want us to know.
1. Simple Mealtime.
Put healthy foods on the table, and then don’t worry how much your child does or doesn’t eat, as long as the options are good, children do best when allowed to pick what they want to eat. My son for one nibbles happily at his meal when he thinks he made the choice himself.
2. Potty Worries.
While you might be ready for your little one to be done with diapers, she might not be there yet. Don’t worry. Potty-training isn’t considered delayed until a child is four years old! Your child will be ready when she’s ready.
3. Be Flexible With The Rules.
The toddler years are the time your child is trying to foster his/her independence, so a strict set of guidelines will only result in a power struggle. Don’t impose your will on her. Instead, give her choices. Just like you have choices each day, offer her the same opportunity to make decisions for herself. For instance, I offer my son the chance to pick between having his bath and then watching his favourite cartoons or not having his bath and not getting any screen time. This way, he has some say in what he prefers. Do this especially for meal time just make sure your child i’s getting something healthy.
4. Acknowledge Good Behaviour.
We often forget to praise our child when she’s doing the right thing, but if you compliment kids when they’re being good, they’ll be more likely to repeat that behavior. So the next time your toddler puts away her toys or finishes her meal without stress, give her plenty of verbal praise coupled with a big hug and kiss.
5. Extra Care Of Toddlers Teeth.
Your toddler might fight you when brushing his teeth, it’s worth the battle, baby teeth are holding places for adult teeth, so it’s important to take care of them. My son loves to brush his teeth himself and I allow him but give him instructions then, before he is done, I take it from him to conclude. Few times when he is not in the mood, I sing a nursery rhyme built round brushing your teeth and this breaks the barrier. Win-win for both of us.
6. Have A Sleep Schedule.
Sleep is an important part of a toddler’s health and development, so be sure to stick with steady nap and bed times. You need to schedule a set bedtime, give or take 30 minutes. Having a regular nightly routine, such as reading books or taking a bath, will help create a calming atmosphere. And while nap times might vary in length and frequency, pay attention to your child’s cues and at least get her to lie down when she’s tired during the day. Many times toddlers will fall asleep on their own.
7. Ignore Tantrums, Sometimes.
It might be hard, especially when you’re in a crowded store and all eyes are on you, but the best way to handle a screaming toddler is to pretend it’s not happening. As long as the child is in a safe place, look away. They are looking for attention and when they don’t get it, the tantrum will stop.
8. Time For Small Talks.
Small talk is the best way to maximize your child’s speech development. When you are in the car, point out different things such as cars, trucks, houses, and other buildings. You can talk about the differences in things in terms of size, color, shape, and what different things do. You’ll be amazed at what your children will remember next time you’re in the car. Also reading and singing songs with them will also teach language development and patterns. It is another way to bond with your child.
9. Cut Yourself Some Slack.
No parent is perfect, and we all make mistakes. There is always a neighbor or friend doing something differently, and that doesn’t mean one is right or one is wrong. Trust your parental instincts, and most importantly, love your children and let them know it. And when you just can’t take another minute of screaming or whining, feel free to give yourself a time-out. Put your child in safe place and then take a few minutes to cool off.
It’s not easy being a mom to a toddler so don’t sweat it just do the best you can; your children will love you for it.