Yes, you can enjoy holidays with a toddler, avoiding any 'Un merry outburst'!
With Christmas holidays approaching and a toddler at home, it sounds pretty great to spend it with them. Right??
To see your little one opening gifts for the first time, taking a frame-worthy photo on Santa’s lap and maybe even helping you make cookies. It is really fun!
Yes, it all could be well — except for one thing: Toddlers and the holidays don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and chocolate. I bet all mothers would agree with me on this. Let me tell you that if you aren’t careful, the hectic holidays can cause your toddler to have one tantrum after the next — including one for the ages in front of your judgmental Mom in law...;)
Thankfully, you can do these tried and tested things to limit the chances of a toddler’s un-merry meltdown, and maybe doing so, even help you enjoy a holiday season like the one in your mind.
Try to stay on schedule
Yes, I know keeping schedules with a toddler at home, especially in an Indian household where it's only the responsibility of the mother can be a huge challenge. During the holidays with outings, parties, constant visitors and trips to the jam-packed mall, it becomes even harder but it’s important to try. So, the trick is to prepare in advance and be willing to adapt. For eg, If you know you’ll be fighting crowds at the mall during your toddler’s lunchtime, bring along a snack that will appease the kid. Scheduling long drives during your child’s regular nap time is another easy fix.
Keep an eye on the sugar
Don’t let your toddlers consume their weight in candy canes, cookies and hot chocolate(spoiler alert ;)) unless you want to see your little one catch chronic— albeit avoidable —health problems. Acid reflux, cold n cough, poor diet, tooth decay, hyperactivity to name a few. Let them indulge in the tastes of the season in toddler-size quantities, but otherwise, keep them on their usual healthy (OK, healthy-ish) diet.
Beware of the man in red
Many toddlers are terrified of Santa Claus and other cartoons like dressed walking people around. They don’t care that he’s a magical man who brings toys. All they know is he’s a giant man with a giant beard who says “Ho, ho, ho” a little too loudly. If your kiddo freaks at these sights, try avoiding it OR introduce him demonstrate that he is friendly and not to be feared. But, if your kid seems wary of such walking cartoons, don’t force an interaction. You’d probably regret doing so.
Sometimes too much of something makes the pleasure unbearable
Think about your local mall during the holidays — Christmas trees and holly everywhere, flashing lights, carols blaring over the speakers. It’s a lot to take in for an adult, let alone a toddler. You should do your best to keep high-stimulation outings short, and don’t plan more than one a day.
Gifts and gifts all around!
Toddlers are so easy to spoil, especially during the holidays. Even if you somehow manage not to go overboard, the grandparents most definitely will. But to avoid meltdowns, you should let your kiddos open presents at their own pace. Don't be embarrassed if they want to rip through all the presents at lightning speed, that’s fine. If they open one present and want to play with it immediately, let them. The holidays are supposed to be fun, and there’s no rule that says presents have to be unwrapped by a certain time, no matter what your MIL might tell you....;)