Meeting your toddler’s physical needs

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Thought Series : Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 3

It’s never very challenging for a mother to judge and provide for her toddler’s physical needs.

With the experience of heeding to her infant’s needs with almost 100% accuracy, even when the baby could not say a single word – mothers are often masters at watching out for cues of hunger, thirst, sleep and pee/poop.

Besides this, it’s also worthwhile to check if your toddler gets a regular dose of :

  • touch & warmth: that provides a sense of safety & security
  • physical movement/exercise: indoor & outdoor (with daylight exposure)
Universal Human Needs – For Physical Well Being

All of the above are pretty much taken care of by most parents. But, there’s one mostly unexplored territory of physical needs.

Often parents notice their toddler to be excessively clingy or cranky for no apparent reason. Here’s when you might be dealing with a – Growth Spurt

What is a Growth Spurt?

A growth spurt is a sudden peak in your child’s physical or cognitive development.

Signs of Growth Spurt in Toddlers

A growth spurt can last for a few days during which your toddler will show one or more of the below signs:

  • Your child eats more or becomes ‘unusually’ fussy about food.
  • Sleeps more or has ‘unusual’ trouble sleeping
  • Is more cranky than usual (often because of growth pains)
  • Is more clingy than usual and demands more attention
  • Could be shyer with strangers
  • Younger toddlers demand more breastfeeds.

In short, your toddler behaves ‘unusually’ – they are going through something they don’t / can’t understand, and you can expect the unease to be expressed in any of the above extremes.

The best help you can be for your child during a growth spurt, is to ‘Be Present‘.

If your child is (unusually) super clingy / cranky for a few days – it’s best to tick off any other basic needs of hunger/sleep – and then understand that this could be a growth spurt.

During this phase, provide your child your warmth and presence, nothing heals their bodies and minds better.

The brighter side to a growth spurt

The brighter side to a growth spurt is that – at the end of it – you will find your toddler having gained a little weight,
or added a few inches in height or ,
or a new tooth in younger toddlers,
or your toddler would have mastered a skill that she had been trying for sometime – like starting to speak using more words.

THOUGHT for TODAY

Have you noticed any signs of growth spurt in your toddler?

What were they?

Reminder: Have you created your self-care promise from Day2, and are you keeping it?

TOMORROW:

Before we delve deeper into the other needs for a HAPPIE Toddler, there are two things we need to deal with as parents – Our Triggers & Our Priorities.

Access Previous Days In This Series: Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 0 : Laying out Universal Human Needs
Day 1 : Healthy Parent = HAPPIE Child
Day 2 : Making Self-Care A Habit

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Author: Sharon Mary

Hi! To say the least about me, I am just a Mom trying to figure out the best way to raise my little daughter. 'Thought Symphony' is the fruit of my passion to share my learning and experiences as a ‘Mom’ to help parents like you have the smoothest ride possible on this roller coaster called ‘Parenting’.

2 thoughts on “Meeting your toddler’s physical needs”

  1. I’m convinced my 10mo son is going through a growth spurt currently. His sleep pattern is all over the place, he is super clingy and during the day he is constantly trying to stand and walk with support. So I’m hopeful that on the other side of the growth spurt, he’ll be closer to hitting those milestones!

    1. The 1st year is full of growth spurts at very short intervals, since they’re learning so many motor skills (especially) till their 1st birthday. Hang in there!!

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