Two year olds get a bad rep. Everywhere you look and listen you read and hear about the so-called “Terrible Twos.” To be fair, many young tots are going through a phase of disequilibrium at age 2 1/2, according to many child development experts.
Add to that the fact that most parents are trying to potty train at this age, and Mom may be pregnant or already have another child, and it’s no wonder the 2’s can be a bit challenging.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with your toddler and even enjoy this phase!
1) Remember that a toddler is nothing more than a baby on wheels. Meaning, toddlers are active and can get into a whole lot of trouble, fast… yet they’re still so immature emotionally. That’s why tantrums are so common at this age. Toddlers have a hard time dealing with the overwhelming emotions they experience. Reading about the developmental milestones children are reaching at this age can help. I recommend Your Two-Year-Old: Terrible or Tender. This book is actually part of a series for children of every age and they are very attachment parent friendly.
2) Don’t forget babywearing. Or perhaps we should call it Toddlerwearing! Wearing your 2 to 3 year old in a soft cloth carrier, backpack or sling can still be a huge lifesaver. When your toddler is tired, overstimulated or otherwise out of sorts, wearing them will help them to settle down and maybe even go to sleep! The same is certainly true of breastfeeding. Dubbed “baby Prozac” by many, nursing can soothe the boo-boos and help a reluctant napper settle down.
3) Take care of Mom. By the time the baby is a toddler, we moms often expect life to get back to “normal”. We think that we should have it all together, be back at our prepregnancy weight, and have the house spotless like it was before baby came into the picture. This is unrealistic, especially for a mom who is expecting another baby and caring for a 2 year old! Life with a toddler is often more fatiguing because toddlers are heavier, require more supervision and discipline, and now that they’re mobile they create much more housework too!
Mom would do well to not expect too much of herself and to make sure she’s taking a break from her duties once in awhile. Most toddlers are getting closer to their Dads and Grandparents, so asking these loving people to take over for a few hours so you can read a book, exercise or nap is a priority.
Doing so means she’ll have fresh energy and perspective to devote to her favorite little person – her busy, intense and lovable 2 year old.