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Toddler meltdowns after long days

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar dmarie 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #753988 Reply

    You’ve got a lot of good suggestions! I’d ask you what time is he waking up from his nap? At that age my son was usually ready for bed 4-5 hours after he woke from his nap…so if he woke up between 2&3, I’d aim his bedtime to be between 6&7. Being overtired is such a killer.

    #753997 Reply

    Yeah, probably your best bet here will be to focus your attention on him as much as possible, while getting him to bed as early as possible. When my daughter was that age, she ate dinner before we did so she could (theoretically) get to bed on time. I highly recommend eliminating any actual cooking on those nights. PB&Js, cereal, a supply of hard-boiled eggs, beans, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, tortillas, snap peas, apple slices- any combo of these things is a totally acceptable dinner for a toddler. Sit with him and read stories while he eats, then whisk him away for the bedtime routine. And yeah, toddlers are just hard! Mine went through an intense, several-month clingy phase around 18mo. (Solidarity- we’re actually dealing with the flip side of this now. 5yo who does NOT need a nap, but still gets one at daycare, and won’t fall asleep before 9:30-10pm!)

    #754515 Reply

    My wife and I use Sunday afternoon to prepare suppers for the week. It saves a lot of time in the evening. Just heat them up and eat.

    #754525 Reply

    My son is in daycare from 7-5 m-f and is 2.5 years. We ALL have days like this but I have a few ideas:

    1.) I meal prep most of our meals on Sunday. That is breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the whole family. It takes about 3 hours total. I also went on pinterest and found “quick, weeknight dinners” where prep is under 10 minutes. That helps a lot. I also have tried local dinner delivery and found the prices not too bad.

    2.) I make a big happy show of picking him up from day care. We have big hugs and smiles and I feel like it sets the tone for the evening. If I have a bad day at work, I use the commute to do breathing exercises and listen to podcasts that make me switch off from work to “mom.

    3.) My son and I use our commute from day care as our time. He just started facing forward in the car seat and he tells me what roads to go down or I drive by the police station or construction sites because he loves trucks. We both look and make it a fun transition time.

    3.) on nice days, we stop at the playground or on bad days the library. where we get our time and he gets a little snack. by staying out for a little while, we get time just us and I am not distracted by laundry, dinner, stuff like that.

    So if I am at pick up at 5:15-5:30, we don’t get home until 6:30 so we have time outside the house just us before my husband gets home. I actually found that with my tired toddler, he wants real interaction. He doesn’t want to cuddle, he wants me to really play with him. Hopefully that helps.

    #754835 Reply

    There are lots of great suggestions so I don’t have any to add. Just remember that toddlers get like that in the evening, especially after longer, more stimulating days. I have 3 kids (8, 5 and 2) and I didn’t really notice the dinnertime crankiness going away until kindergarten. My middle child is starting K next year and is just starting to stop having issues. My 2 year old is a real nightmare if he feels tired. He loves to tell me “I don’t like it!”

    You aren’t alone! Try some of these suggestions and remember it will eventually (although it may not feel like it) pass.

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