It is difficult being a parent. Parenting toddlers, on the other hand, is a whole other ballpark. Many times, you hear parents comment on passing the toddler years and the teenage years.
What should you anticipate for being a parent?
Feed my tummy!
Your toddler will get off baby food and start eating more regular food. It will soon resemble that of the rest of the family. 3 meals and a couple of snacks, just like everyone else. Avoid low-fat milk until your toddler is two years old. You should also avoid giving them more than 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juice each day. Your toddler needs 6 servings of grains, 2-3 servings of fruits and 2-3 servings of vegetables, and only 2 servings of protein.
I don’t like it!
Many parents worry about their picky eaters not getting enough of the right nutrition. If your toddler is growing normally and physically active, it is more than likely that his/her diet is ok.Toddlers only need about 1/4 of what adult size servings are. For example, a toddler only needs 1/4 of a slice of bread and only 1-2 tablespoons of vegetables. Encourage them to eat by giving them lots of chances to taste different foods. Toddlers like to eat what their parents are eating. Let them taste your food. Make the offer several times before giving up.
Is childproofing not enough?
Now that your toddler is mobile, you fear that childproofing might not be enough. Remember to adhere to the latest car seat regulations. Electrical outlets should be covered, latches on all cabinet drawers, smoke detectors should be in good working condition, and so forth. In addition, you should remove anything that could be a hazard to climb. You should invest in using wall anchors to keep large appliances and/ or furniture from falling over.
There are toddlers who are ready to be potty trained early on. Others take their time. There are several methods, books, videos, toys to help in potty training. Just don’t push your child or start too early because it might have an adverse effect on your toddler. Develop a strategy on how you will be potty training and then wait for your toddler to tell you he/ she is ready.
When they can’t express what they feel, want, or need, it is easy for them to get frustrated. This comes out as a temper tantrum. If you expect them, you can help lessen their frequency. Tips: Anticipate and prepare. Distract your child before a tantrum. Dont give into the tantrum once it starts.
But don’t worry. It might sound like a daunting task to be a good parent to a toddler. Yes, it is definitely challenging and at times even frustrating. But the truth is, the toddler months of your child will be fascinating. You will see firsthand your little one growing, learning and exploring the world.
To save you a bit of a headache, I have put together five tips that will save you a lot of frustration when parenting a toddler:
- Do not cave when your child has toddler tantrums.
Do you want to know the quickest way to raise a difficult, demanding child? Cave when they are toddlers. Your toddler is in the “I will test all boundaries” stage of life. Their job is to test boundaries, your job is to maintain them. They’ll do their job, you do yours.
Don’t worry, their cute little egos can handle a firm “no” – you will not crush their spirit or their love. You will foster a child who understands limits and who will respect “no” not only from you but from teachers as well. Tip: many tantrums are caused by teething pain and discomfort.
- Do not do everything for your child.
I know toddlers are scarily uncoordinated, but doing everything for toddlers will not help them in the long run. Having toddlers do things for themselves is the quickest way to improve self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.
Even if you have them do part of a task (such as pushing the button on their pants or holding their cup as you pour), their feelings of self-efficiency and will foster independent kids.
- Never baby-talk to your child. I know, I know – toddlers are super cute, but do them a favor and talk to them like they are human. When you talk to your toddler like they have half a brain, they will be slower to develop expressive and receptive language skills. If you want to grow your toddler’s vocabulary, simply talk to them like you would any other child.
- Manage your expectations. These little people are new to our world. They’ve only been here a few years, at the most! Sometimes parents place ridiculous expectations on toddlers. They are just learning to navigate their world, their bodies, and their mouths – an important thing to remember when you are disciplining them.
During the toddler stage, it is our job to teach. I often hear parents describe their toddlers as manipulative. Parents can get enraged by their toddler’s behavior. If you are taking your toddler’s behavior personally you aren’t going to survive toddlerhood (just sayin’).
Toddlers are going to push the envelope. It isn’t about you. It is about the stage. Take all the energy you would use to be angry and throw it into teaching. Set boundaries, set very short consequences and most importantly remain calm. After all, they are learning self-regulation from you.
- Sleeping with your toddler. It is perfectly fine to co-sleep with your baby and/or toddler. But, and I mean a big BUT – don’t expect the transition to sleeping independently to go smoothly. How you design the sleep habits of your young child will determine how well they sleep moving forward.
If you want your child to go to bed independently, you should stop laying with them until they fall asleep. You want to teach them how to soothe themselves and how to feel safe and secure in a room without you.
If you have no issues lying with your child for as long as they need (and this could go into the teen years for some kids) then this isn’t something you need to worry about.
Parenting a toddler is a major feat. Luckily it only lasts for a few years. Then you’ll look at those cute little toddler pictures and want to do it all over again. Mommy amnesia is a great thing. Parenting a toddler is messy. We all mess up, clean up and then mess up again.
Read more: https://www.anxioustoddlers.com/toddler-2/
What’s your best tip for parenting a toddler? Leave a comment and share with other parents. Do you know someone knee deep in toddlerhood? Share this article with them!