Archive | May 16th, 2012

Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Toddlers

It is normal for toddlers to feel anxious when parents have to leave, even moms and dads feel sad about it. Although it is not easy, parents can help toddlers overcome separation anxiety with a little patience and understanding. Here is how to do it.

What Causes It

Separation anxiety begins at around 6 months of age and can last until 4 years of age. This is normal and it usually goes away  as he grows older. However, there are some toddlers who experience prolonged or re-occurrence of extreme separation anxiety which can interfere with their development, social interaction and personality or worse, lead to a disorder. This is alarming so it is best to counteract it as early as possible.

Ways to Handle It


Make the transition easier by training your baby early. Leave your toddler under the care of someone you trust (e.g. babysitter or relative) babysitter for brief periods and short distances at first. For example, you can leave your little one with your caregiver while you run errands, grocery shop or have lunch with your friends.

Include other people. Look for activities that require the participation of others. If your toddler wants you to read him a book, include his siblings. If he wants to play outside, invite your neighbor’s kids. In this way, you get to train your baby without pressuring him too much. He will not even notice it because he is having fun.

Prepare Your Toddler Ahead of Time

Talk about your departure a few days before the said event. Make sure your toddler knows when and where you will be going, what you need to do and when you will be back. Let him know who is going to watch over him and what activities he can do while you are away. Remind him about it the night before or in the morning while having breakfast. If you have work that requires you to be out for a day, say “Mommy has to go somewhere for work, but you do not have to be sad since you get to spend time with your aunt and cousins and visit the amusement park. That would be so much fun don’t you think? Let us talk about your adventures during dinner, okay sweetie?”.

Have A Separation Ritual

Create a “goodbye ritual”. Instead of sneaking out of the house while he is distracted just so you can prevent the tears, wave bye-bye, hug, give him a kiss and assure him you will be back in no time and go. Rituals are reassuring as they make toddlers feel safe, loved and protected. Plus, it will not make your toddler think you might disappear without prior notice which will only make him scared and increase his separation anxiety.

Offer A Security Object

Giving your toddler a reminder of mommy and daddy may help him deal with your absence and give him solace. Each time you go out and leave him, give him something which will remind him of you. Make sure it is special – a book you read him every night, a teddy bear, your old shirt or a blanket you made especially for him.

Keep Him Busy

Provide a distraction. Engage your toddler and his caregiver in an activity before you leave. When the time comes for you to go, give your toddler a quick goodbye kiss and hug and leave. He may cry for a while but the activity can keep him entertained while you are away.

Bear in mind that your toddler is an individual and not merely an extension of you. Work on establishing your child’s independence and sense of self to help him understand that.

Posted in Parenting, Toddler BehaviourComments (0)

Toddler Sleep Mistakes You Should Avoid

Getting your toddler to sleep is a challenging job. Thus, you tend to look for ways to help make it easier. There are common toddler sleep mistakes many parents make. Read on to find out if you are doing them so you can change and correct your actions.

Mistake # 1: Sleeping late.

Admit it, making your toddler sleep at night is a tug of war. Recent studies have shown that children today get less sleep as compared to children in the 90’s. A toddler’s body gets over fatigued easily no matter how bubbly and energetic he may seem. Your toddler’s body is still immature, hence, getting a lot of hours of sleep is very essential. Do not put off bedtime to avoid battles or hope that your little one will fall asleep without any intervention. This will only make your toddler exhausted which will make sleeping even harder.

Plan his day accordingly. Do physically demanding activities in the morning and reserve relaxing activities in the afternoon. This will help prepare his body for the night to come. Set a time for sleeping (naptime and bedtime) and stick to it. Do not wait until your toddler is rubbing his eyes, yawning or whining. Put him to bed an hour before his bedtime. Read a story book or talk about your day. This will help him slow down.

Mistake # 2: No bedtime routine.

You think your little one may not need it but consistency is very important to toddlers. They need to know what to expect and what to do next, otherwise, they will do as they please. Having a series of peaceful, pleasing activities before switching the lights off is imperative. A bedtime routine serves as a sleep clue that will help your toddler wind down. This might mean giving him a bath, changing into pajamas, talking, cuddling, reading a story and a hug and kiss. Do this in the same order, the same space and at the same time each night.

Mistake # 3: Inconsistent Sleeping Area

This is a common sleep mistake parents are guilty of. Allowing your toddler to sleep in your bed or crawl into bed with you every time he wakes up in the middle of the night teaches your child to stay awake or worse, turn your bed into a “family bed”.

Doing this is okay especially when you have to comfort your toddler after he has had a terrible nightmare. But, once he has settled down, bring him back to his room so as not to intercept the routine.

Mistake # 4: Relying on strollers, car seats and swings.

Using motion to get your toddler to sleep is not beneficial. The constant motion decreases quality of sleep and keeps him stimulated instead of attaining deeper levels of sleep which toddlers need.

You may use these gears to calm your toddler after a busy day. Once he has fallen asleep, turn off the swing and keep the stroller motionless.

Mistake # 5: Over stimulation.

What you surround your toddler can affect his sleep. Noise, lights and toys can cause distraction which will only keep him wide awake. Maximize sleep by keeping his room as dark and noise-free as possible. Use a nightlight to keep his fears at bay when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Sleep plays a big factor to your toddler’s development. So it is essential that you make sure you steer clear from these sleep mistakes to ensure your toddler gets all the shut-eye he needs.

Posted in Health, Toddler SleepComments (0)

Ways to Make Brushing Teeth Easy For Toddlers

Is brushing teeth a constant battle for you and your toddler? Are you looking for ways to get your child to open up to it? Here are some creative ideas you can try out.

Buy Him His Own Tooth Brushing Utensils

Children love pretending to be a grown-up and like mommy and daddy, your toddler would definitely want things of his own. Make brushing easier by giving him his own tooth brushing gear. Get him a toothbrush specifically for toddlers. Make sure it has soft bristles and a long, non-slip handle for a better grip. His toothpaste must contain a small amount of fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel and it must be safe to swallow. Giving him a cup with his favorite character printed on it will sweeten the deal even more.

Let Your Toddler Choose His Toothbrush

Erase your little one’s fussiness by allowing him to pick a toothbrush of his choice. It makes tooth brushing more fun and exciting knowing he took part in choosing the color and design. The next time you make a trip to the grocery store, tag your toddler along. Let him decide which brush he likes based on the cartoon characters on it. He will truly have a blast holding his Elmo, Spiderman or Batman toothbrush.

Also, why not try buying several brushes in different colors so that he can choose the one he wants when it is time to brush. An electric toothbrush is interesting especially at this point when he is still exploring things with his mouth. The buzzing motion can also help soothe your baby when he is teething.

Let Him Watch You Do It

Model good brushing habits. Encourage your toddler to brush his teeth by brushing your teeth in front of him. Make it look fun and you will surely have a toddler gear to brush his teeth like mommy.

Allow Him to Do It On His Own

Let your toddler put toothpaste on the brush. Let him brush his teeth. Even though he probably will make a mess, the fact that he gets to enjoy it makes brushing teeth a whole lot easier. Commend him for a job well done. Your support will encourage him to continue doing it.

Do It Together

Another way to get a child more interested in brushing teeth is to have one toothbrush for mommy, daddy and for your toddler. Make brushing teeth a part of your bonding time. This will make your toddler realize that tooth brushing is not so bad.

Assist him. With each of your hand on the handle, begin guiding him. Gently start brushing his front teeth, crevices, gums and tongue.

Turn Brushing Into A Game

Games can add life to an otherwise boring activity. Have your toddler brush the teeth of his favorite toys first and then brush his teeth. Counting while brushing is another fun way to make the process less dull and more exciting.

Tooth brushing is an important hygiene regimen, so see to it you incorporate entertainment so your precious one does it on a daily basis minus the stress.

Posted in Health, Toddler Dental CareComments (0)

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