Stop Tantrums In Their Tracks

They don’t call them the ‘terrible twos’ for nothing! Though two year olds are notorious for their temper tantrums, children much younger (and much older, for that matter) can experience tantrums. The Hatch helps you avoid baby meltdowns with these mom-tested and -approved tips.

crying baby

Avoid a tantrum

Tantrums are more likely to occur if your baby is overly tired, frustrated or stressed out but cannot yet fully express his feelings. To avoid a tantrum, don't skip his nap if you can help it and don't bring him into overly stressful situations. If you sense your baby is getting frustrated, encourage him to talk it out (as best he can!) to get to the root of the problem before a full-blown tantrum occurs.

Don’t buy in

If your child starts a tantrum, don’t buy into his behavior or overreact. And don’t try to rationalize with your child once she’s in tantrum mode. Stay cool and simply wait it out. Move your child to a safe place in her room at home. If you are out, relocate yourself and your child to a private/quiet spot (like the corner of an airport or the restroom in the grocery store) until she calms down.

Stand your ground

If your child is throwing a tantrum because you said no to his request for a cookie before dinner, for example, don’t give in once a tantrum starts just to calm him down. Giving in to his request after you’ve already said no sends a message to your child that his tantrum behavior will result in him getting what he wants.

Give your child a choice

If your child is on the verge of a meltdown, give him a choice. This puts your child in charge of the situation, which is very comforting for babies and young children. If your child is about to have a tantrum because he can’t have that pre-dinner cookie, calmly present a choice: “You can have a cookie after you finish your dinner or you can skip a treat today.” This puts your baby or toddler in the driver’s seat but you don’t have to succumb or come out looking like the bad guy.

More on baby behavior

Should you let your toddler watch TV?
Taking folic acid during pregnancy may improve toddler behavior later on

Parenting boys and girls: Does gender affect behavior?

Tags: baby behavior

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