Sometimes bath and bedtime is a loving, walk in the park, and on other nights it represents a scene out of Blair Witch Project. If there is one thing learnt from becoming a parent it is that children are unpredictable. Tantrums can come at all different times for all different reasons, however witching is usually where we expect it the most. From mum's, for mum's, this is our guide to helping with the battle that is the nightly witching hour!
Every child is different, and no matter how many blogs you read online you will not find a routine and schedule perfect for your child. The best thing to do is understand what stimulates and what calms down your little one, and plan accordingly. If they love reading but hate bath-time, perhaps baths can be done in the mornings. Plan ahead so that not only are you organised, but your child knows what to expect when it comes to a nighttime routine.
Some of the biggest reasons for little ones getting grumpy is over-tiredness or over-stimulation. For these reasons it is important to try your best to stick to a daily routine to help them be as comfortable as possible. Have they had enough sleep during the day? There are lots of guides online to help you plan out an age appropriate sleep schedule that will hopefully give them the right amount of sleep and keep them a happy little baby.
Although we hate to admit it there are a lot of distractions that can help in a time of tantrum peril! If screen time like a lullaby-driven cartoon helps then by all means, as long as what they are watching is not overly stimulating and high-energy then adding this to a routine can help them wind down. Otherwise audiobooks or reading together can help provide them with a portion of play that they enjoy, but also helps them slow down and get ready for bed.
If your little one is a fussy eater or not used to surprises then dinner time can sometimes be a challenge. If a dinner they won't eat is the stimulus for a breakdown then it helps to have a back-up of something tried and tested ready to go. Our back-up is a few frozen ready-to-go portions of yummy tomato based sauce and pasta to help get them fed and happy if all else fails.
This is the most important tip of them all, go easy on yourself! In our most sensible minds we understand that little brains can't comprehend thoughts and emotions and this is why sometimes we get the brunt of tears and tantrums. Remember that this happens to every parent and that you really are doing a wonderful job!
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