Struggles with toddlers and the arrival of a new baby

A toddler having a cuddle with mum
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Meltdowns and emotional overloads are commonplace with toddlers. They lack the brain maturity and ability to regulate their emotions.

Common reactions are:

  • Tantrums
  • Pushing Limits/ challenging behaviours
  • Hitting
  • Screaming
  • Not engaging with parent

Now add a new baby in to the family and things are much more difficult to deal with.

For parents, this is a huge period of readjustment; now see it from the point of view of your toddler. They have gone from being the centre of attention to having to share their parents time and attention. This period is going to be confusing, frustrating and very scary so don’t be surprised if you see your toddler struggle to express themselves and possibly regress in some of their developmental milestones.

A toddlers greatest fear is losing your love and not being accepted or understood. A baby will take your attention away from them which creates many insecurities.

Here are a few tips to help..

  1. Acknowledge and validate your toddler’s mixed emotions. Reassure and connect with them emotionally, letting them know they are loved.
  2. Let your toddler know of changes in routine and keep them involved. A visual routine board can be really helpful. Velcro photographs on to a board showing what is happening throughout the day. Using Velcro means you can move things around and add new parts of the day.
  3. Fit in special 1-1 time for you and your toddler every day to focus purely on them. Play in their world of play, let them lead the activity, have fun, create memories.
  4. Be kind with thoughts towards yourself. Applaud the small achievements and the successes in what you’ve done.