Some toddlers just have bad days.
Grouchy toddlers pout, scream and are generally miserable. Your beautiful, angelic child has been consumed by someone you never want to see again. But all toddlers get cranky. It happens for a number of reasons, so the best bet is to work through it and start fresh tomorrow after a good night's sleep.
1Give your toddler a nutritious snack. Or, if it's time for a meal, whip something up. Everyone gets grumpy if they don't eat, but kids are particularly susceptible. What you don't want is a tired, hungry child and a tired, hungry mama. Don't overdo it and think "Oh, we can eat just a little later today," because you will probably regret it later. You can also pack healthy snacks to eat on the go just in case you get behind. Cubed cheese, chopped fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole-grain cereal make good snacks.
2Mix up your day. If your toddler has been inside all day, go out and see some friends or explore the world. Collect leaves, walk the dog, go sledding or go to the library. A change of scenery is exciting and can set the tone for a new mood.
3Remove your toddler from an environment that is overstimulating him. He may yell and scream if you are taking him from a playdate, but if he is grouchy and just can't shake it off, you'll need to go home and address the problem. So take his kicking and screaming self back to the comfort of your home and work on his mood from there.
4Put your cranky tot down for a nap. Even if it's not nap time, he will probably perk up after a rest or a cuddle with Mom. If he is just having an off day, try curling up with him on a chair and reading books. Sometimes mommy-time is the cure-all a grouchy kid needs.
5Pay attention to your toddler. While you don't want to reward him for bad behavior, he might be acting out because he wants your attention. Even bad attention is a reward. If you've been busy cleaning or working all day, put everything else on pause and play with your toddler. This might be all he needs to feel a little better.
- Some medical conditions can make children irritable. If your toddler is constantly feeling tired and cranky, you might want to talk to your doctor.