Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hip + Urban Mom: The Terrible Twos

Terrible twos?  More like terrible one and a half.

It’s that time. That dreaded moment when a baby becomes a toddler and that toddler becomes a vessel of tantrums. My son isn’t even two years old yet, and already the terrible twos have started.

When I spoke to my mom about it, she told me that the terrible twos seem to start a little closer to one and a half. And boy was she right! It seems to come out of nowhere, one day your baby has his schedule and eats well and is easily distracted then the next day it’s as if everything has changed.  
With our son it started with tantrums. He suddenly cried every time we had to take something away from him that wasn’t a toy or any time he couldn’t do something. I asked for a little bit of advice about this and a cousin of ours said to pick our battles and use time outs. It’s simple but effective.

When our son started getting into things that he shouldn’t or did things that were bad, we took him and sat him down on the floor out of reach of whatever he was doing. He cried for a few minutes and then came to us for a hug. As far as picking our battles went, that’s something we are still working on.   It can be a bit difficult to keep consistent with your partner. My mom also suggested trying to distract our son from one thing with another to get their attention away from what he was doing.  This has been a bit of a hit or miss solution.  

We also made sure that one of the words that our son learned was “help”. This is a great word for toddlers to learn because if a tantrum was related to his inability to carry out a certain task he would be able to say help and we would know what was going on.

The other thing we noticed happen was that out of the blue our son refused to go to sleep at his usual bed time. We went back to our basic strategy of using the ten minute rule.  Well, the ten minutes went by and our son was still crying like the world was ending but smiled as soon as we went into his room. So we checked some mommy forums online.

We noticed that plenty of other mothers were going through the same thing. Many suggested following a bed time schedule and some suggested changing their baby’s bed time. We already had a bed time schedule in place, complete with changing into pj’s, getting a bottle, watching a tv show and singing the bedtime song. So we tried putting our little guy down about a half an hour later than usual. So far this seems to be working. He is usually a bit more tired in the morning, but that just means he’s also tired before bed.

Fortunately, the terrible twos come with some perks too! All of a sudden my baby is using new words quicker than before and even creating more sentences. He also figures out problems and answers questions.

My little baby is a little boy who is soaking up knowledge like a sponge. Of course we’ve had to resort to spelling certain words so that he doesn’t get excited about going to the p-a-r-k when we don’t plan on going until after dinner. But he is this bouncing ball of energy and enthusiasm and language and does some very adorable things.  

I wouldn’t change the terrible twos at all. --- Lisa Wlodarski

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