I had the idea to write this article months ago, when Artie first started showing signs that we were nearing “the terrible twos”. When I sat down to write I realized I was completely unprepared to write this article, I had no idea what I was doing! I’ve never had a toddler before!
Now a few months in, I feel like I have picked a few things up along the way. I hope sharing these tips for toddler moms will make those first few months of toddlerhood a little easier!
Start Using Bathroom Words Early
Start talking about the bathroom LONG before it is time to start potty training. This will help them understand and know what it’s all about way before it’s time to get rid of those diapers.
Let them know when you are going to use the bathroom. Use a specific word when you change their dirty diapers so they will know what to call it when they are ready to tell you. This potty training book featuring Elmo is a great way to introduce bathroom words to your toddler!
Read To Your Toddler
The more words your toddler hears, the more they will learn. Reading is a great way to introduce new words into their vocabulary and for them to enjoy books at an early age!
Encourage Their Independence
One of the first signs that Artie was entering toddlerhood was his sudden defiance toward anything I wanted him to do. He was especially resistant to being strapped into his high chair, car seat, or stroller.
After a few weeks of struggling and bribing (things I said I would never do), I decided to meet him in the middle. At breakfast I would let him sit at the table with me while we ate our toast and eggs. These foods aren’t particularly messy so letting him sit at the table wasn’t a problem.
I cringed when it was time to put him in his highchair for his yogurt. I showed him the yogurt and explained that if he wanted his yogurt he would have to sit in his highchair. To my surprise he didn’t fight it! Giving your toddler a little independence can go a long way!
Always Bring Snacks
Never leave your house without snacks! The last thing you want out in public is a screaming toddler and no way to soothe them. I keep a bag of travel size snacks in Artie’s diaper bag at all times, just to be safe! You can find my full toddler diaper bag checklist here!
Put Medicine In A Pouch
When your toddler is sick, sometimes medicine is the only thing that will make them feel better. Unfortunately it’s also the last thing they want. Artie was great at taking his medicine as a baby, he seemed to like the way it tastes, but when I pulled out that syringe this time, he ran away screaming.
Instead of torturing him and forcing him to take the medicine I found another solution. After a failed attempt to mix it in with his applesauce, I snuck the medicine into a pouch! Artie LOVES pouches and never leaves behind a single drop.
It’s so easy! Just pour out a little of the pouch and use the medicine syringe to inject the medicine into the pouch. Shake it up so the medicine doesn’t spill out when your toddler squeezes the pouch.
Make sure you choose one of their favorite flavors so you know they will finish it, otherwise they may not get all of the medicine. Check with your pediatrician and make sure it is ok to mix the medicine you are giving your toddler with foods.
Ask For Plastic Silverware
Most restaurants will give you a giant silver spoon for your toddler to eat their mac and cheese. This will create nothing but a huge mess and frustrated toddler. If you don’t have small silverware packed in your bag just ask for a set of plastic “to go” silverware for your little one to use. You can find more tips for dining out with your toddler here!
Some meltdowns are impossible to avoid but if there are things your toddler isn’t allowed to play with, keep those things out of sight. If there are rooms your toddler shouldn’t be in, keep those doors shut. With toddlers “out of sight, out of mind” is much easier than trying to put up a fight every time they see something they want.
And when the unavoidable tantrums do happen, just take a deep breath and be consistent. Being consistent will help them know what to expect, and learn what is allowed and what isn’t.
Get Out Of The House!
If nothing else, just get out of the house. Toddler’s don’t like to be cooped up for too long, they need to get that energy out! I have noticed Artie behaves and naps much better on the days we leave the house, especially when it involves playing with other toddlers! I try to do an activity with him every morning before his nap, even if it just means taking a walk outside. You can find ideas for toddler outings here!
Go To Bed Early
You probably heard the saying when you became a mom, “sleep when your baby sleeps”, well it’s even more true when you have a toddler. Toddlers can be unpredictable and that doesn’t stop with their sleep. Your baby that used to wake up at 8am every morning might now surprise you with a 5:00 wake up!
When you’re tempted to stay up late binging your favorite show on Netflix, DON’T DO IT! If your luck is anything like mine, THAT will be the morning your toddler is standing in their crib before the sun comes up. Trust me, chasing around an energetic toddler on 4 hours of sleep is NOT fun.
Soak up EVERY moment with your toddler! This is such an exciting time to watch them learn and explore. One of my favorite parts of being a mom is doing new things with Artie and right now EVERYTHING is new to him!
This is your chance to be a kid again! Build the blocks, jump in the bounce house, ride the waterslide! Your toddler will enjoy themselves that much more because they are having fun with YOU!
Are there any tips for toddler moms that you would like to share?! Let me know in the comments below!
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