“Let’s Read a Story!” and Other Ways to Deal with Toddler Tantrums

Newborn sleeping

Has your baby started to babble? Are you responding to their vocalizations? If so, it won’t be long before you’ll begin to recognize what they’re saying. In the meantime, responding to your baby shows them you’re listening, which really makes a difference as they develop, and yes, when they reach the terrible twos.

Babies usually begin to produce speech-like sounds when they are around 7 months old. This is also known as babbling. Some parents may attempt to imitate these sounds, while others will respond with regular speech. Since most parents instinctually respond to around 50% to 60% of their baby’s vocalizations, this helps babies know someone is there to care for and respond to them. In addition to creating a feeling of safety and trust, it also assists with their brain development and language acquisition.

Another way to stimulate your baby and toddler’s brain development is through reading aloud to them. If you’ve saved your favorite childhood books, now would be the time to take them off the shelf. Since you know your baby best, you will know when they like a particular book. Besides, just the sound of your voice will be ale to soothe them when it’s close to bed time, especially if you’re also rocking them while you read.

By the time your baby has his or her first birthday party, their brain will have more than doubled. At this age, they may point at individual images or colorful illustrations in their favorite books. This is a fun and exciting time when your baby begins to repeat the words-even if they still sound a bit like babbling!

Once your baby is able to scoot, crawl, or toddle to the book basket or shelf, they may point to or grasp a book they want you to read. As they enter the terrible twos, your child may throw a series of terrible twos tantrums if you don’t honor this request. If this happens, many parents may not realize that their child has actually developed a fondness for certain literary works.

After your child calms down, you can ask them to pick out the book they’d like to read. This is also a great way for you to discover when they are able to recognize visual images and patterns-even the outlines and shapes of words.

Since sleep is so essential to your child’s health and well-being, it’s important to help them calm down before bed. When they are calmer at bedtime, your child is also more likely to sleep throughout the night. A 2010 study published in Child Development reported that for children 12 months and older, calm bedtimes combined with a good night’s sleep, can actually enhance their skill development.

Reading to babies and older children can assist them with calming down at night; so, too, can singing and rocking. If your baby or toddler is fussy at bedtime, stroking their head or back can also create a state of calm. Since you have been observing them from birth, chances are you’ll know exactly how to handle these fussy nights.

If you’re experiencing toddler screaming tantrums at nap or bedtime, the promise of a favorite story may quell those on occasion. Since terrible twos tantrums can be frustrating for both you and your child, it’s important for you to remain calm throughout their outburst. If your toddler has an irregular nap or bedtime, creating a consistent schedule may help with this, as children of all ages tend to benefit from structure.

It’s also important to continue reading to your child throughout their twos and beyond. This is known to stimulate their imagination, language, cognitive, and even social skills. When faced with terrible twos tantrums, remember this behavior is a normal part of their development. Terrible twos tantrums may be over and done with before you know it.

While some children may never throw a tantrum, others may just throw a few. If you’d like other ideas on how to deal with toddler tantrums, it can help to create a playgroup so you can have the support of other moms.

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