Get to bed after midnight, up again at 3am with the munchies, and then need to sleep in all morning to make it through the day. Then the inevitable… feeling tired, cranky and hard to please. This sounds like the outcome of your average Friday night BC (Before Children), right? How then do you cope with this kind of behavior when it’s coming from when from your toddler?
Often a Toddler Hangover has a flow on effect for the household. Someone has been up most of the night with the little darling, and subsequently, is likely to be suffering their own next day blues. When this lingers on for some time it becomes like Ground Hog Day for all involved.
Factors that can cause a Toddler Hangover
- A developmental leap – put simply they have just acquired a whole load of new tricks and are keen to practice them e.g begins to wave, crawl, walk, verbalise etc (see the Wonder Weeks Ap for some excellent milestone insights). Whilst it doesn’t feel fun at the time, there is always a lovely micro milestone to enjoy on the other side of it.
- Food irritation or allergies – introducing solids is a complex and stressful time for all. Keep an out for any patterns in poor sleep and change of diet (consider this for Mum too if you're breast feeding).
- Teething – for some reason the pain of new teeth impacts babies and children more so in the evening.
- Dehydration – a lack of water can lead to headache and irritability in little ones. Pay particular attention to this when the weather is warmer. A handy from Elisa, in Little Minx Family Forum, is teaching your child “Pause-3 Big Sips”. Each time they come to you for something during the day (crayons/food/treats) ask them to have 3 big sips of water, and only then can they have what they are after. This works wonders, and set’s them up for good longer term habits.
- The Moon – nope, not joking here. There are many schools of thought that the moon plays a crucial role in defining our moods and children are not immune to it.
- Screen time – consider how much passive and active screen time your toddler has had during the day. In some case the sensory overload can disturb there sleep patterns, especially just before they go down for the night. The folks at the ABC have done significant research (and had huge community pressure) to cut kids programming from 7pm for this exact reason.
Surviving a Toddler Hangover
Apply similar logic to surviving an adult hangover including:
- Replenish with good food and lots of hydration
- Get some fresh air and sunlight
- Extend your bath time
- Lots of cuddles
- Head to bed a little earlier
Remember this too shall pass…..
Lots of love
Little Minx HQ
P.S. To be absolutely clear, no alcohol was provided to any child or baby in the making of this blog (or on any other occasion in our household). For Parents, of course, it is an entirely different matter.