5 Ways to Cure a Cranky Toddler

Image via Flickr/ mdanys

Normally, my oldest little will come into my room in the morning at the speed of light with a permanent smile on her face. Unlike her mother, she is a huge morning person, as if her cheerfulness is derived straight from the sun. She does have her grumpy days, though, and I always know because she doesn't want to cuddle on those mornings.

She is glad to force me out of my warm spot and into the freezing spot my husband vacated several hours earlier, but cuddles from mom? No, lady, get away from me. It's those days I get a glimpse of what her teenager years are going to look like. It scares me.

Fortunately, I have come up with a few ways that eventually pull her out of her funk … on most days.

Image via Flickr/ kennymatic

Food is the way to my kid's heart. She's one of those rare toddlers who will actually try anything you offer her. Really, anything. She has tried black olives, guacamole, sauteed onions — things I am just now learning to like. She doesn't always like them (the black olive went in and came right back out!), but that hasn't deterred her from accepting the fork when we offer a bite. Therefore, if I offer her food, sometimes it's enough to snap her out of her grump mood. Cheerios cure all.

Image via Flickr/ Carissa GoodNCrazy

Nothing puts a smile on a toddler's face more than making a gigantic, colorful, glittery mess. You don't have to be a professional preschool teacher with a plan to turn some pipe cleaners and paper-towel tubes into a classic piece of art, you just have to say, “Here, kids! Do … stuff with it! Put some glitter on it!” Or, if you absolutely need a plan, there are a million ideas on the web and a trillion on Pinterest.

{ MORE: Sleep Tight! Sleep Solutions for Preschoolers }

Image via Flickr/ Lars Plougmann

Glorious, glorious naps. Chances are that toddlers in a bad mood didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. Maybe a dog barking kept them from getting into a deep sleep or they had a harder time falling asleep the night before. Sometimes a nap is something magical, whether it lasts 30 minutes or two hours, and it's like you get to restart the day with your normally happy child!

Image via Flickr/ cwwycoff1

When in doubt, wear them out. Chase them around the swings, race them up the ladder, have a jumping contest in the sand. Put them through the toddler boot camp of their life, and when they collapse exhausted, happy, and content into their beds at bedtime, smile with confidence knowing they will most likely be out for the night. Which, as you know, is a good indication that they will wake up tomorrow their normal, charming selves.

Image via Flickr/ Maria Grazia Montagnari

Is there anything like Mom-and-Dad cuddles?

Nope. Nothing like it.

{ MORE: Why It's Great to Have a Strong Willed Kid }

Have you discovered any special cures for cranky?

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5 Ways to Cure a Cranky Toddler

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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