You think that your little angel is absolutely perfect and then one day, without any warning, you watch as he has his first tantrum. Baby Tantrums are a bit like a storm.
One minute your baby will be playing nicely on the floor and the next minute he’s whining and screaming as loud as he can because one his blocks won’t stack the way he wants it to.
Get used to it. Babies and toddlers between the ages of one year and about three years old are prone to these kinds of tantrums without any warning whatsoever.
There’s really no need to worry too much about baby tantrums. It’s all part of your baby’s development as he learns how to deal with his frustration.
He’s starting to learn a lot more about the world around him. He’s also learning to talk, and since his vocabulary is limited he needs to find other ways to express himself to let you know what he wants and how he’s feeling.
The key to tantrums is learning how to handle them.
Stay Cool When Tantrums Hit
It’s not fun watching your baby or toddler have a tantrum, especially if he’s having one when you’re out and not when you’re at home.
There will be a lot of screaming, kicking, and pounding on the floor. He may decide to throw things and may even hold his breath until his little face turns blue.
When he’s in the middle of a tantrum he most likely won’t want to listen if you try to reason with him. In fact, if you try to talk to him and reason with him he might even react more aggressively.
It’s important that you don’t shout at him or threaten him. What you should be doing is just sitting quietly beside him until his tantrum is finished.
While some parents choose to leave the room when a tantrum is happening, this can make him feel as though he’s been abandoned and alone.
The entire point of his tantrum was to communicate something to you. You don’t need to react but just being near him is all he really needs at this time.
Hugging Out a Tantrum
There are different ways of helping your baby or toddler work through a tantrum. You’ll need to find out what works best for you.
Some parents pick up their child and hold him if they can. You can tell him that it’s all going to be okay and just talk to him in a soothing voice.
This doesn’t work for all children and they’ll resist being picked up and comforted until their tantrum is over. Some parents choose to ignore the tantrum until he’s calmed down rather than rewarding him for his negative behavior with a hug.
After you’ve worked through a few baby tantrums with your child you’ll be able to find an approach that works best for the two of you.
When Baby Tantrums Become Violent
Some children have a tantrum that works itself up to a lot of aggression that is acted out in a physical way.
If your baby or toddler is hitting people or pets or is throwing things around, then it’s time to pick him up and put him into another room where he’ll be safe, such as his bedroom.
Let him know that he’s going in there because he threw a toy at another child or because he hit the cat.
Let him know that this type of behavior is unacceptable and that if he chooses to act this way, then he’ll be removed from everyone else until he’s ready to calm down.
Talking About Tantrums
No matter how old your baby or toddler is, once the tantrum has subsided, it’s time to talk about it. Hold him close to you and talk to him about what just happened.
Tell him that you know he’s frustrated that he wasn’t able to play with a certain toy when someone else was playing with it.
Tell him that there are better ways to express his frustration than by having a tantrum and acting out. Tell him that you didn’t understand him before but that now he’s not screaming you’re able to know what he wants.
Trying to Avoid Tantrums
After your child has had a few baby tantrums you’ll be able to know some of the situations and reasons that are going to initiate a tantrum.
Try to avert a tantrum before it happens. If you know that he’s going to be upset when you tell him it’s time to stop playing at friend’s house and go home, then give him some advance warning that this is what’s going to happen.
Alerting him that you’re going to be leaving gives him time to finish what he’s doing. He won’t be surprised when you tell him that it’s now time to go home.
Your child is learning how to be independent and tantrums are just part of the normal phase of childhood development.