photo by Senjuti Kundu via Unsplash
A Guide to Keeping Up with Toddlers
by mikkie mills, guest contributor
Parents across the globe inevitably agree on one thing; nothing is as tiring as a rambunctious 2-year-old. Toddlers, while adorably cute and hysterically funny, are in constant need of action and amusement. They resist sleep, can’t be bothered to eat, and have little to no attention span. That being said, parents of toddlers are on duty 24-hours a day.
A parent's job is never done. They entertain, cook, clean, bathe and more; activities that require loads of energy and unending endurance. Parents must take proper care of themselves to meet the needs of their young children. Following a few simple steps will keep you spry and give you enough stamina to keep up with your kids.
Eat a balanced Diet
There’s nothing like a greasy breakfast or heavy lunch to zap your afternoon energy. Therefore, make it a point to eat small, balanced meals throughout the day. This routine will keep you alert, active and able to withstand a day full of toddler shenanigans. Further, try to incorporate healthy fats and antioxidants to combat fatigue and keep sluggishness at bay.
Coffee and dietary supplements are wonderful for an extra boost. A cup of java cures the morning blues, and prebiothrive reviews keep your gut functioning properly. Healthy digestion is an important factor in overall health and wellness, so be sure to get enough fiber and prebiotics to maintain gut microbiome health.
Get Enough Sleep
“Sleep when the baby sleeps,” experts say. Parents of toddlers understand that following this adage isn't always easy or practical. However, sleep is an incredibly crucial aspect of parenting, and it is something that should never be overlooked. To match the energy of your toddler, you should strive for the standard 8 hours of shuteye per night.
Additionally, small children should sleep anywhere from 11-14 hours per day to achieve peak brain development. If your child refuses to sleep, consult your pediatrician. Oftentimes he or she can recommend an appropriate sleep training method that works for your family. Prioritizing sleep gives you the energy you need to keep up with your toddler and be the best parent possible.
Establish a Routine
Young children thrive on structure. Even the wildest of toddlers flourish when a schedule is established, and parents love the predictability that an organized day provides. Everyone wins when a routine is in place! Allow your child to set a schedule based on behavioral cues. Chances are, he or she gets hungry and tired at the same times daily, so structure your day around these patterns. Knowing what comes next boosts a child’s confidence and makes for a more adaptable disposition in the event of a schedule shift. Further, the ability to anticipate bedtime tends to lessen sleep anxiety and make nights easier and more enjoyable.
Whether it's sticking to a schedule or teaching polite manners, toddlers master the principle of cause and effect. Therefore, it is important to maintain your set of rules and follow through on pre-discussed punishments. Otherwise, children believe their behavior is acceptable, and bad habits ensue. Fickleness is normal from time to time, but attempting to remain as consistent as possible leads to a much more harmonic relationship.
Take Time for Yourself
As much as you adore spending time with your toddler, it is essential to periodically make time for yourself. Use the opportunities alone to recharge and reset. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to take a solo vacation or hire an expensive babysitter. Moments by yourself can include anything from taking a warm bath during naptime to reading a good book in the quiet hours of the early morning. No matter how small or short the endeavor seems, it will refresh your mindset and restore the energy your toddler demands.
As wonderful as they are, small children can tire even the most active adults. With proper nutrition, daily organization and a little self-care, parents everywhere can find the energy it requires to keep up with their toddlers.