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1. Toddlers are busy little people who are all too aware of the fact that they hold an incredible amount of power over you and will push as many of your buttons as they can. Try to be mindful of this and know that you are your child's leader and will learn from your reactions. If you become reactive, your toddler will do the same too!
2. Make sure your toddler is in bed by 7:30pm, so that you can kick back and have a glass of wine or even a cup of tea to unwind for the day.
3. Be mindful that your little toddler will appear to have multiple personalities. Happy and cheerful one minute to having a total meltdown the next. This is because the part of their brain which controls emotions is very immature. So when a toddler asks for vegemite on toast and then screams because what they really wanted was an ice-cream - be prepared, be very prepared! Refer to Tip number 2!
4. Be prepared to laugh your head off when your toddler is learning to say "Truck" and it begins with the letter "F". But try not to laugh repeatedly, they only want to please you and will do it over and over and over again!
5. Never ever offer more than two choices of anything. You will open yourself up to war with your toddler. So rather than asking your child what they want and expecting them to know, offer them 2 choices and 2 only. For example, "would you like ham and cheese on your sandwich" or "would you like vegemite?". This way you are being clear to your child as to what's on offer, so they can't change their mind 50 million times and then lead themselves into meltdowns and you wishing you were childless for just a small while!
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Kellie Eason RN, RM, IBCLC
Nurse, Midwife, IBCLC, Infant Feeding Therapist, Birth & Parenting Educator, Baby Sleep & Settling Consultant