Toddler behaviour tips from mums

Mums give their advice on toddler behaviour, from fears through to playtime

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Using the Sky+ box or V+ box is useful when keeping track of how much TV your little one watches

Coping with public nakedness

“My daughter had a phase where she loved being naked, so when we were out and about I dressed her in items that were harder for her to take off such as belts, dungarees and dresses with jumpers over the top. This made it harder for her to take all her clothes off and solved the problem until she grew out of it.”

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Lisa Archibald, 32, from Midlothian, mum to Carys, 3, and 40 weeks pregnant

Weaning off a comforter

“Clara had a teddy she wouldn’t go anywhere without so to help wean her off him we started doing shorter trips without teddy. We always made sure she could find him when she got back but tried to distract her with another activity if possible. After a while she got used to leaving teddy behind and is now happy just to have him at bedtime.”

Hayley Payton, 28, from London, mum to Jamie, 6, and Clara, 4

For confidence building

“William’s always been shy, so I make sure I encourage his efforts when he talks to other children, smiling and saying well done if he shares his toys or starts to play with other tots. I also hold his hand when he first meets a new friend until he relaxes, so he knows I’m there for reassurance.”

Gail Pike, 31, from Ludlow, mum to William, 3, and 24 weeks pregnant 

For toddlers who are scared of dogs

“My son had a fear of dogs after he was bitten by one. We managed it when he was younger by never letting him be alone with a dog unless he wanted to be, and reassuring him constantly that we were there. When faced with a dog staying next door to us on holiday he worked through it himself and ended the holiday rolling around the grass with it!”

Nicolette Galliers, from London, mum to Bon, 5, and Catalina, 20 months

Calming a hyperactive toddler

“My 2 year old has heaps of energy and gets overactive just before bedtime. I now take him to the park as often as I can so he can run, go crazy and use up all his energy without worrying about breaking things. He’s a lot calmer now in the evenings making bedtime a breeze.”

Louisa Jessops, 27, from Kent, mum to Rory, 2

For keeping tots calm at the dentist

“Bringing the children to my appointments from an early age helped them get used to the dentist. Before my children’s check ups we read stories about going to the dentist.

There’s also a good Peppa Pig episode where the character George takes his dinosaur to get a check up too. Jasmine now takes her dinosaur to our dentist and he checks the dinosaur’s teeth as well.”

Wendy Stanger, from Norwich, mum to Jasmine, 4, and Samuel, 2

For toddlers and pets

“Mia went through a phase of grabbing handfuls of our cats’ fur. I bought the That’s Not My Puppy… book  to teach her to be careful with our pets, and now she and the cats are the best of friends. She now knows to go easy with them, and strokes the fur of the puppy on the front cover of the book as gently as she does the real cats at home!”

Symone Darvell, 28, from Hull, mum to Mia, 22 months, and Ava, 4 months

For toddler tidying up

“Oliver has so many toys, getting him to pick them up after playtime can be a nightmare. Whenever he starts to walk off without tidying I get a bin liner and tell him every toy that I have to pick up is going to be given away. He jumps up really fast and packs everything up without another word!”

Charlotte Hall, 36, from Cardiff, mum to Oliver, 4, and 23 weeks pregnant

For toddler playtime

“My son Elliot has loads of toys but quickly gets bored, so we bought three large gardening tubs (very cheap, from our local DIY store) and filled them with his toys and games. We keep two in the living room and one in a downstairs cupboard. If he starts getting bored, we swap them around so he has different bits to play with.”

Shelley Hackwood, 24, from Oxfordshire, mum to Elliot, 18 months

“Like all children, Lucien gets bored with his toys, but I found rotating them sparks his interest back to life.

I use storage tubs and leave one tub out, but hide the other two away. I put a good mix of things in each tub, so a selection of his cars, puzzles, pens, soft toys, books, etc. When it’s time to change the tubs, I wait until he’s at nursery and bring out another tub. It seems to do the trick!”

June Aston-Godfrey, 32, from Barnsley, mum to Lucien, 3

For flying with a tot

“When we flew abroad with Joshua, I was worried about his ears popping and hurting him when the plane took off.

I gave him a sugar-free lollipop to suck on to make sure he was continually swallowing, and it worked brilliantly. He was happy and relaxed for the journey, and it kept him busy.”

Sarah Bull, 33, from Hampshire, mum to Joshua, 2

For toddler tv

“To limit the amount of TV that Joe and Sally watch, and to avoid tantrums when I turn it off, I save their favourite shows on our Sky+ box rather than watching the show live. This way when the programme finishes the screen goes blank and they realise that’s it the end of TV-watching time.”

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Emma Hunt, 32, from Lancashire, mum to Joe, 4, and Sally, 2

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