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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.

How To Talk To Your Infant or Toddler About Race

How To Talk To Your Infant or Toddler About Race

It’s been a difficult, often painful week in the United States. Not for the first or last time, our national tension around race has come to a head, setting off events we still don’t know the outcome of. It can be hard to know what to do as a parent, especially if your child is under 2. You might be processing your own feelings, or you might worry about how to protect your baby. You might feel that your little one is simply too little -- can’t they learn about race when they’re older?

Yes, it’s too early to talk about George Floyd, or more generally, America’s long and fraught history of racism. But it’s not too early to talk about race. Studies show that by 6 months, babies begin to notice differences in skin color and hair textures, and prefer to look at people of their own race; one study found this preference in babies as young as 3 months. 

Yet few families start talking about race early and often, especially those who are less likely to feel its effects. Many parents fear that talking about it will somehow bring racism into their home, or that they’ll say the wrong thing -- that it’s better not to bring it up at all. It’s an understandable fear, but it’s better to set a positive message about race from the start. That way you can be sure they’ll learn from you, and not from the biases they see in the world around them.

Okay, so: how?


Start With Visuals

If you’re still social distancing (and you probably should be!), begin with your home: buy books, toys, art, and media that showcase a wide variety of people and cultures. In particular, look for materials that feature people of color as a part of everyday life -- not just in exotic or historical settings.

Once it’s safe to stop social distancing, make sure your baby gets real-life exposure to many kinds of people. Try to find playgrounds or playgroups with a diverse mix of families. Take your baby to family-friendly cultural events. If your own neighborhood isn’t especially diverse, visit different areas to give your baby a positive experience of other cultures. 

Celebrate Difference

Talk about differences in general. Race isn’t the only way people are different, and focusing too much on it alone probably won’t send the right message. Teach your child that we all have similarities and differences: things that bring us together and things that make us special. Isn’t it great that we’re not all exactly the same?

Be Mindful

Your baby learns everything from you, so take a moment to think about your own relationship with race, without guilt or judgement. How do you interact with people from different races? If you don’t have a diverse social network, how can you develop one? What assumptions do you have about people of different races? It’s okay if the answers to these questions aren’t “perfect.” The goal isn’t perfection! The goal is challenging yourself to become a more socially-conscious person -- so you can teach your baby how to do the same thing.

It may feel awkward and uncomfortable to start talking about race -- but as with any routine, the more you do it, the more natural it will become. More importantly, it will teach your child important values right from the get-go, and prepare you both for the day you have to start teaching much more difficult lessons.

AND… If you need some inspiration to get started, check out some of the books below:

Babies LOVE to look at pictures of babies, and these three books deliver! Each features babies of all races and ethnicities, with slightly different focuses: Global Babies showcases different world cultures, My Face Book is full of feeling words, and Two Eyes… teaches all about (no surprise) facial features.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes This book by Mem Fox also lets babies look at babies -- this time illustrated ones -- and notice how similar they are, even when they’re also different. 

Baby Dance Set to “Hush Little Baby,” this sweet, simple little rhyming book challenges stereotypes about fathers of color and their babies.

The Snowy Day This book is a classic for a reason, and a must-have on any parent’s shelf.

Happy In Our Skin A lovely story about a diverse city neighborhood and the many different kinds of families that live in it.