Toddlers seem to be in a constant state of motion. As your toddler walks and runs around more often, you might find yourself feeling exhausted all the time as you follow them around. Not only are they becoming more active, they’re becoming more emotional, screaming with joy or crying at what seems like trivial matters. You might find yourself dealing with more tantrums, but it’s not impossible to calm your child down. In this post, we will discuss 4 toddler parenting tips to help your child manage their emotions, nutrition, sleep, and everyday life.
4 Toddler Parenting Tips
At this age, your toddler probably eats less than they did as a baby. Toddlers aren’t growing as quickly as babies so they don’t need as much food. They’re also notorious for being picky eaters and eating varying amounts at each meal. For instance, they may eat a ton for breakfast and ask for seconds — but at lunchtime, they might eat a bit of fruit and feel full.
Offer your child a wide variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, veggies, healthy fats, protein, and starches. Don’t worry about the quantity of food they’re eating at each meal, but make sure you’re offering healthy choices to support their development.
For picky eaters, don’t make a fuss about whether or not they eat certain foods. If they don’t like broccoli, for instance, offer it to them another time. They shouldn’t associate mealtime with stress — this can have a major impact on your child later on in life.
Your toddler needs about three hours of exercise a day, but they will usually get this exercise on their own through play. With their new motor skills, they’ll want to climb, walk, and run around. You don’t necessarily need a structured workout regimen for them, but you can take them to the park, beach, or other outside area to allow them to get the exercise they need.
Transitioning from diapers to toilets is a huge developmental milestone for your child. A good time to start is usually after your child’s first birthday. However, be sure that they can:
- Physically tell when they have the urge to go to the bathroom.
- Communicate that they need to use the toilet.
- Control their bowel and bladder movements.
The best motivator for potty training is praise — not punishment. Accidents can happen, but let your child know it’s OK. Stay calm and have them help you clean up accidents when they happen.
Toddlers still need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day. Without the right amount of sleep, they can be cranky and grumpy the next day, throwing more tantrums as a result. Shut-eye is an important way to help your child regulate their emotions and mood. To help them fall asleep soundly, form an evening routine that relaxes and calms them down.
Read our post on bedtime rituals to help form a routine that works best for you and your child.
Keep Your Child Happy and Healthy
These 4 toddler parenting tips will make the transition from infant to toddler more easily. Want to make sure your child is reaching their developmental milestones? Call Dr. Damaris Mafut’s office at 305-777-3505.