Prepare yourself when your baby becomes a toddler
You brought a little bundle of joy home from hospital - it is challenging and little sleep but most of the time it is feeding, sleeping and pooping.
You like the idea that the baby stays where you put him/her, but you also know it will not be long before he/she turns into a toddler and bring a whole new world with new adventures and headaches to your life.
A child between the age of 1 and 3 is called a toddler. Toddlers are almost like teenagers. They want to be close to you but they also want more freedom and experience more things on their own.
The one minute they will be fine with being loved and the next they want to be left alone.
They are at the age where they want to be in charge of themselves. Learning to walk and talk and dress themselves. This can cause a lot of frustration and you need to be there for them when they need you. "Patience is a virtue..."
It is very important to know that toddlers will not always see your point of view, partly because they do not understand it and partly because it just does not interest them.
They are not little adults that can be taught to sit still for long times, nor always have the words to share their feelings and will also have difficulty sometimes controlling their feelings, so expect a few tantrums along the way.
Toddlers will say "No" very easily and refuse to do what you ask them to. They will want to do a lot of things for themselves (even if they struggle and get more frustrated) and you as a parent will have to practice some patience (which will not always be easy with a screaming 2 year old) but you need to give them a little space to try things by themselves and to determine what they want.
You can do this without spoiling them to become entitled children or putting them in any danger
If there was an easy fix for tantrums, parent's lives would have been so much easier, but unfortunately all kids differ from one another and you will get to know your child and figure out what is the most effective way to handle it.
You will never think that toddlers can have stress, because they are so young, what is there to worry about?
Toddlers can get stressed over a new baby that gets all the attention, when they are sick or have to go to the doctor, when they need to go and sleep in their own bed or go to school. These are all triggers for stress. You as a parent must make them feel at ease and be there if they need you for comfort.
Maybe a teddy or a blanket makes them feel better. Do not tell them that they are to old for that, at that moment it is what makes them feel safe. They will eventually learn to cope without it.
Speaking in a calm voice and not shouting at them when they are crying because they are scared, will help.
The more you get uptight, the more they will feel unsafe and because they can not tell you in words exactly how they feel, it will end up in crying.
You can play them some music or even a video that they like to make them feel more relaxed.
Remember that a toddler is actually still very small so even though we all expect more from our kids, keep in mind that they can only master so many things at their age.
Do not compare their development to other kid's development.
There is a general guideline for what they must be able to do, but different kids master things at different ages. The more you pressure them, the more they will either refuse to do it, or never get it right.
If there is something you want them to do but they are refusing to do it, you can always make a game out of it - use it while you can, because if they become teenagers, that one is not going to work any more..... not to scare you but it will get worse when they get older hahahaha.
There will be certain times where they just do not have a choice and will just have to do what you tell them to - even if it means some kicking and screaming. These are situation where you do what is best for them or keep them out of danger and save or teach them that they cannot always have their own way.
Never ever say to a child "If you do not do this I am going to leave you." This will give them a sense of they have to stay with you out of fear that you will disappear and that will hold them back from finding themselves and their own ways, because they will always be worried to see you and know where you are.
Some parents think it is easier just to leave and go somewhere while someone is babysitting the child, because saying bye brings tears, but rather say bye to them, they will stop crying quickly and also learn that you will come back and not just forget them. The fear of suddenly realizing you mom or dad is gone and they did not say anything is far worse than a few tears.
Having a toddler in your house can be like a whirlwind, but remember it is a very important time where they are like little sponges taking in everything you do and say, so be sure you are a good example and a parent that they can love and look up to.
When all else fails and they drive you up the walls remember they will eventually go to sleep and there is always wine..... :)