We would love to welcome our guest poster, Suzy, editor of SureBaby.com. Suzy has written a great article for us about Celebrating the Holidays with Your Toddler. Be sure to check out her site SureBaby for a great community filled with helpful articles and an open forum for moms, and moms-to-be!
The holidays are exciting times for a toddler, and you’re likely looking forward to watching them delight in all the season has to offer. But there is a fine line balance between fun and fuss, as the excitement can turn into an anxious rush and your little one will begin to protest this frenzied change to their happy routine. For a holiday to remember, take a few parenting tips that will help you and your toddler get the most out of the fun activities, events and atmosphere that come with the holidays.
1. Indulge in moderation. As you know by now, your toddler is interested in activities that bring instant gratification. A truckload of gifts will likely confuse and frustrate your child rather than engage them, so limit the quantity of gifts you buy. A few well-chosen presents will hold their attention better than many gifts. On the other hand, you can use this time to teach them about sharing, as well: gift giving is a great activity to teach important social skills, and participating in a simple act of kindness can generate a sense of compassion for others. Of course, consumerism isn’t the only form of holiday excess. Between holiday drop-ins, seasonal baking and rushed dinners, your child’s diet can become severely disrupted. One of the most useful parenting tips for the holidays is to try to maintain a healthy balance by keeping plenty of fruit and veggies cut up and ready to go in the fridge. Not only will you have convenient snacks, you’ll also have the ingredients to prepare a quick salad or stir fry on those extra busy evenings.
2. Keep them calm by avoiding sensory overload. The holidays are full of colors, sounds, smells and tasks that keep the house whirling with excitement. However, your toddler can only take in so much at a time, and they can get overwhelmed if you rush through activities and preparations. Slow down and let your toddler relish the sparkling decorations as you dress the tree, let them help decorate your sugar cookies and take some time to read them your favorite holiday storybooks. If you want them to calm down, you need to calm down. The holidays can be very stressful, and your toddler will pick up on your stress. Sit down and relax for 10 minutes, or take a moment out of your busy shopping day to share a hot chocolate. And don’t forget how refreshing a breath of winter air can be – take advantage of a fresh snowfall and work off some extra energy by crunching through the snow together.
3. Keep them engaged with a few simple activities. The holidays are busy, and the visits with friends and relatives can get exhausting for a toddler. Too much traveling will likely frustrate them, and constant visits to strange houses can leave them bored and grumpy. Be sure to bring along a favorite activity wherever you go, and pack some movies and books that fit the season along with a cozy and familiar blanket or stuffed animal. But new places can bring new experiences, so try to explore the different decorations, sights and smells as you visit shops, festivals or friends’ houses. Celebrating the holidays with your toddler could be as painful as your pregnancy symptoms, however if you follow our tips, you should have a smooth and fun time this holiday season!
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