While there is no magic button to calm your overactive toddler, there are a few hacks that can help settle your tot.
Being a parent of a toddler means constantly being on your feet. Why are toddlers so active, you may ask? Simply put, toddlers are often overactive because their brains and bodies are developing at such a rapid rate.
They’re like little sponges, absorbing all there is to know and learn about the world around them. While this type of behaviour is fairly common and normal (most parents will admit to having an overactive toddler), it’s not to be confused with hyperactivity, which is often caused by a medical condition known as ADHD. In this case, your child will need to be tested.
Signs that could indicate your child needs a break
If you feel that your child is too busy, there are a few things you can do to help him use up stored energy.
According to the Nemours Foundation, you should watch out for these three signs as they could indicate that your child is overscheduled with too many activities and need to slow down in order to process his day:
- Feeling constantly tired, anxious, or depressed.
- Complaining of headaches and stomachaches, which may be due to stress, missed meals, or lack of sleep.
- Older kids might fall behind on their schoolwork, causing their grades to drop. Younger kids might not want to participate in group play or activities.
Promote a well-balanced and happy environment
If you believe that your little one simply has excess energy, here are a few tips to help calm him down so that he’s well balanced and happy:
- Try and keep your toddler busy with physical activities like playing ball games, dancing, or clambering up and down a jungle gym. This should deplete most of his energy and leave him calmer for mealtimes and nap times.
- Cut down on junk food and sugary snacks. Rather give your toddler more protein-rich foods.
- Carve time in his routine for some downtime when he can relax and read a book in a quiet spot, or do some arts and crafts.
- Make time to exercise with your toddler every morning. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. You can kick a ball in the garden, or go for a walk or a short bike ride in the park.
- Have routines in place for playtime, nap time, quiet time, bath time, and bedtime. If your toddler knows that it’s lunchtime and then nap time after playtime, he’ll know what to expect and this will make him feel calmer.
- Reduce screen time, especially before bed. The blue light emitted from the television and tablet or phone has been found to reduce melatonin production which can cause your child to be more alert, rather than drowsy and ready for bed.