Toddlers cry because they’re hungry, tired, uncomfortable or need affection – just like babies.
But toddlers are also starting to develop more control over their crying. For example, a toddler might learn that if he cries when he’s put down, his mum or dad will pick him up again. This might lead to louder and longer crying next time he’s put down!
How to manage your toddler’s crying
Start by making sure your child isn’t sick or hurt. If you’re not sure, make an appointment with your GP or call your child and family health nurse.
If your child is physically OK, the following tips might help:
- Try to work out why your child is crying. If she’s tired, some quiet time or a rest might help. If your child is angry, put her somewhere safe to calm down. If she’s frustrated, try to work out a solution together.
- Try taking your child outside for a walk, giving him a bubble bath, or even putting on some kids’ music and dancing around. A change of scenery can help a cranky toddler.
- Avoid giving in to a crying child who wants something you don’t want her to have.
- This tends to lead to even more crying next time and might start a pattern of behaviour that can be hard to change later.
If your child cries a lot more with you than he does with other people, he might have found that crying gets your attention. Try to focus on showing your child positive attention when he’s not crying. This might help to reduce his tears when you’re together.