Friday, December 2, 2011

Do toddlers need to be held as much?

When your baby becomes a toddler some parents begin to think they don't need to be held as much as they needed to as a baby. Mostly because they don't slow down enough for us to cuddle them.
But especially when a parent has a new baby and a young one still at home. Because they are so independent, the parent may think it's okay to tell them, no, when they ask to be picked up.

But I feel this is a large misconception.
Take them seriously when they ask for 'uppys', they aren't manipulating you, they are wanting to love you!

Try to think of life from their point of view:
They can now climb more, explore more, run around fast... which of course is loads of fun and may be scary if they crash into things and have things fall or break around this large world.
Toddlers need us to reassure them that this crazy, big world is safe with us. They may even need more explanations of new encounters they may not understand. They need to be held and nurtured as they explore this world.

Here are my top reasons you should hold your toddlers more. Even sling wearing at age 2 is common in most cultures around the world.
Hold your toddler...
  1. When your toddler is scared, nervous or upset.
  2. Toddlers need reassurance and they need to feel safe and secure.
  3. Toddlers are very young and holding is important to their emotional development.
  4. Toddler trust parents 100% and they need to know your always there for them.
  5. Holding can help calm them and help them fall asleep faster.
  6. Holding a toddler on your hip (in conversation) builds their vocabulary.
  7. Toddlers are not as independent as they may seem.
  8. They still need closeness and human connection, just like adults do.
  9. Holding your toddler creates safe bonding between parent and child.
  10. Holding your toddler will help lessen any sibling jealously.

Toddlers will sense your mood. If you hold your toddler with resentment or frustration, your toddler will feel the unwillingness and may make them feel more insecure and unwanted. Make sure your holding your toddler with compassion and desire.

Holding your toddler slows you down enough to enjoy his world through his eyes. You can become a kid again. If your child is too heavy for you, ask them to cuddle on the couch or chair with you.

It is healthy to give your child nurturing; those needs are essential to their development.

So do a 'check in' once a week and ask yourself, “Have I been ignoring or neglecting my child's request for attention? Am I too per-occupied with the new baby, work, personal life? If so remember your toddler still needs so much from you. Be that parent you want to be, not just adequate, but a comforting, caring, compassionate one.

Take pleasure in the fact that your toddler feels safe enough to ask for your attention and love.

If it feels overwhelming, remember it is short-lived and soon enough you will be with your adolescence wondering if you could get a hug out of them.

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