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Preventing Meltdowns: 4 Tips on How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

Preventing Meltdowns: 4 Tips on How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

Around 23-83% of toddlers aged 2-4 years have temper tantrums. These outbursts are due to their still-developing neurological abilities and their limited vocabulary.  

Yet, that doesn't mean you have to endure screaming and destructive behavior. You can learn how to deal with temper tantrums.

Here are 4 tips on how to prevent toddler meltdowns. 

1. Know Your Child's Limits

Us adults are experts at doing a little too much. We are used to squeezing in one more errand. We are accustomed to the feeling of doing too much.

But your little toddler isn't. Be considerate of your child's limits. If she has missed a nap or is hungry, it's not a good idea to go shopping or to run an errand.

Dealing with toddler tantrums is easier when at home than when in a large and loud space like a grocery store checkout line.

2. Be Prepared 

The best way to prevent a temper tantrum is to be armed and ready for whatever you need to do.

This means bringing along an interactive book or toy and a few snacks. Note that offering extra screen time can lead to more tantrums.  Avoid handing over your phone. 

Toddler meltdowns are typically the result of being denied something. By having your own tools at the ready, you can distract and prevent temper tantrums.

3. Give Plenty of Warning

A toddler meltdown often takes place during a transition. Like when it's time to leave the park or friend's house.

Young children like to know what comes next and when. They don't like abrupt changes.

The easiest trick for how to deal with temper tantrums is to prevent them. Whenever there is a transition, give your little one specific details about it.

Five more minutes doesn't mean much to a child. Instead say something like, "after five more turns sliding down the slide, we will go home." 

Make it fun by counting up or down and get your toddler involved. 

4. Offer Choice

Your child is desperate for control. You might be surprised at how happy he or she is once you allow more autonomy.

Instead of telling your toddler what to do, offer a choice between two options. Would you like to have a bath or brush your teeth first?

Would you like to listen to music or a story in the car on the way to Grandma's?

By offering choices (within limits you have set) you allow your child to develop a sense of control on their environment. 

This also avoids the "no" fiasco when you ask your child to brush their teeth. Their growing young minds can't comprehend that "no" is a choice. Most of the time, they will make a choice. 

How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

As you know from experience, it is harder to diffuse a screaming toddler than it is to keep one content. 

Use these tips to prevent a tantrum and before you know it, your child will have passed the stage of tantrums.

Check out more of our blog posts to keep you informed about raising children. 

 

Baby Communication: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Baby

Baby Communication: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Baby

Babies don't usually talk until well into toddlerhood; the average child can start to string together sentences between 18 months and 2 years old.

There is nothing as sweet as the baby phase. Soon those gentle little coos will turn into adorable words, but for now, you're stuck guessing what your baby needs. 

While they won't be able to ask for milk or a diaper change just yet, if you pay close attention, you'll notice that there are trends in the way your baby communicates their needs. 

Besides facial emotion and body language, there are also distinctive types of baby cries that can alert you to whatever the problem is. Remember that each baby is unique, so it'll be up to you to recognize the cues.

This baby communication essential guide will help you understand just what it is that your baby is trying to tell you. 

The Building Blocks of Baby Communication

Touch, sounds, and meaningful glances; the beginning of your baby's life is full of communication. 

From the moment they enter the world, your baby is paying attention to everything around them. Through their senses, they are able to absorb new information all the time. This constant stream of knowledge and awareness will help them gain the ability to communicate. 

Make sure to talk to your baby, imitate sounds, and aid them in this communication journey. 

Crying 

Babies are born with the ability to cry. But what does their cry mean? Do they have a dirty diaper, are they hungry, or are they tired?

As your baby grows, they'll acquire new skills to communicate with you, but in the meantime, the cry may be the only way they can get their point across to you.

An upset cry may sound choppy and high-pitched, while a hungry cry might be a bit lower and short. 

Pay attention to their cries and what actions soothe them. Over time, you may recognize patterns in your baby's crying. 

Gestures

A reach up to your breast can mean that your baby is hungry. A nuzzle can signify that they are tired.

Use the sounds that accompany the gestures to best decipher what your little one is trying to say. 

When Should I Get Help?

If you hear a painful sounding cry or an unusual cry, make sure to get medical attention right away. It could be nothing serious, but crying is the major way your little one is going to communicate with you. 

Another thing to pay attention to is new sounds accompanied by odd behavior. If your baby is eating less, has fewer bowel movements, or is seeming less active than usual, call your doctor for advice. They could be sick or have a food allergy

Wunder What Your Baby's Saying? 

At Wunder, we are here for every step of your little one's adventure. From baby communication milestones to the best ways to feed your toddler, we cover the A to Z's of parenthood. 

On the go? Be sure to check out the Wunder Baby Tracker App to help keep track of every important moment you encounter on this beautiful journey.

The Science of Wunder, Part 1

The Science of Wunder, Part 1

What are Developmental Milestones?

This is the first in a series of planned articles about the scientific principles behind the Wunder platform. We want you to know why we built each piece the way we did, and why they matter for your child.


You’ve probably been hearing about developmental milestones since the day your baby was born, or maybe even earlier. You talk about them with your pediatrician or parent friends, you use Wunder or another app to track them, and you probably do some Googling on the side. But what are milestones, really? Why are they important? And why did we pick the ones we did for Wunder?


A developmental milestone is fundamentally the same as any other milestone: an event, or a personal checkpoint, that shows growth or positive change. Some milestones for adults are big, like graduating college or having a baby; some are smaller, like passing the first exam of the semester. Some usually happen around the same time for most people, while others may vary. 


All of this is true for babies, too. Most children tend to achieve most milestones at around the same time, but others have very wide windows. Everyone knows the big milestones -- walking, talking, and so on -- but some of the others might leave you scratching your head. They all mean something important, though: your baby is growing up. And by following their milestones, you can learn a little more about how they’re growing up.


For example, let’s take one of those more puzzling milestones: at around 6 to 9 months, most children will look for an object after you drop it on the floor (though not necessarily in the right direction). Why does that matter? Because those children are demonstrating two important emerging cognitive abilities: memory, and an understanding of cause-and-effect/sequencing ‘Mom dropped something from up there, and now it’s on the floor!’. 


(By the way, if you ever want an explanation like this for another Wunder milestone, try tapping it! Each of our milestones has a detail page that explains:

1) why it’s important and

2) what its typical age range of achievement is.)


Now, there’s not just one list of milestones out there. Every major child development organization has their own based on child development research they’ve conducted or sourced, and curated depending on what they think is most important. To build the Wunder curriculum, we started with the gold standard in the United States: the CDC. From there, we consulted several other sources from the US and abroad, including high-quality developmental assessments and early childhood education standards documentation. 


We wanted our milestone selection to be rich, full of educational opportunities for you and your child, but still logical and relatively easy to follow. Since then, we’ve been working on improving Wunder to make sure understanding your child’s progress is as easy as opening the app.


Next time… Developmental Domains!