The Terrible Twos and Beyond

Ahh the terrible twos. They're something everyone has heard about, whether you have a child or not! From the age of two and beyond (yes the terrible twos do last longer than one year!) your little one is going through so many changes. Not only physical and intellectual (walking and talking) changes but things like dropping down to one nap (or dropping the nap entirely), transitioning from cot to big bed, teething and so much more. During these periods, you toddler is going to have more confidence to explore their environment and do things the way they want to. You're also likely to experience bedtime battles as they begin to understand that when they go to bed, not goes to bed and they don't want to miss out on all the fun! So you can understand why they start throwing tantrums, being defiant and causing you a lot of frustration! But fear not, I've got some tips for you to help you survive the terrible twos!

Dropping the Nap

Saying goodbye to the sweet time during the day where you can wash your hair alone, have a cup of tea in the quiet or just catch up on some things on your to do list is probably the last thing you want to do! Whether it's dropping down to one nap (which is often the hardest step), or dropping the nap altogether, you need to be prepared because it's going to happen eventually! Generally at the 15-18 month mark is when 2 naps merge to form one long midday nap and when your little one is around 2.5-3 years old, the naps might finish altogether. You'll know it's time to drop your little ones daytime nap when they have trouble sleeping through the night or you're finding it harder to put them down at nap time. If you want to read some more tips about dropping the nap check out this blog post.

Teething

Teething is another complication that arises with your toddler and (unfortunately) it can go on for ages and ages. When our little ones have a tooth moving, bulging or cutting they can become cranky, clingy and have trouble sleeping. This is when teething gels, cold teething toys and analgesia can come in handy! Not to mention extra cuddles and assisted sleep. This will usually last a couple of days (throughout the day and night) and they will then experience some relief until the next movement begins. Sometime it is hard to know if your child is teething or if their symptoms are part of their normal development or a due to illness or infection. But it's important to know that if your bub seems fine during that day, they're playful, eating and drinking well but are up every few hours overnight, this is unlikely caused by teething! Here's some more tips on how to deal with a teething toddler.

The transition from crib to bed

This is another challenge that is likely to happen from around the 2.5-3 year old mark also. But it is something that shouldn't be rushed! I understand it is one of the more exciting transitions for your little one and designing their room with a big bed is hard to resist, but remember that things can go south quite quickly! It's a common misconception that if sleep isn't going that well, getting a bed will help to fix it. But this is a big no no and almost all cases of this will end up with bedtime battles and night wakings. You'll know it's a good time to make the transition when:
  • Your little one is sleeping well overnight
  • Bedtime is not a battle
  • Your little one is 2.5-3 years old (anytime before this, their impulse control is non existent)
If you can tick those three things off, then you can expect your transition from cot to big bed to be quite seamless. Just remember that nothing else really needs to change, you will still settle in the same way you always have. But if you have the space, I do recommend keeping the cot assembled as a backup if things don't go well.

Need some more support?

Remember that each child is different and your child will go through these stages at a different time to other children and that's completely normal! If you feel like you need some more guidance check out my Age Appropriate Routine Guides. These guys take the guess work out of your little one's day and offers you routines from the age of 6 weeks through to 3 years so no matter where your little one is at, there's something in there for you mumma! Plus, they're only $15, check them out here!
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