How to Handle Toddler Transitions
Helping kids say goodbye to their bottle, binky, crib, and more
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
As recently as the 1980s it was believed that babies didn’t feel pain, so they were subjected to procedures ranging from circumcision to open-heart-surgery without anesthesia. Of course that seems barbaric to parents today, but what about the current conventional wisdom that it’s somehow easier for young children to adapt to overwhelming life changes than it is for adults? Because they have no choice in the matter, children do indeed adapt readily to the whims of their parents and pediatricians, but having the rug pulled out from under you every few months can make the most agreeable soul angry and resentful: It’s no wonder toddlers have tantrums!
Your role as a parent isn’t just to follow the current guidelines regarding pacifiers and sippy cups, it includes helping coach your little one to success. You may have to play the heavy, but try to maintain a soft heart while you do it. That means extra cuddle time every day during a big transition period and occasionally fudging the recommended timelines if your little one is traumatized by the shift or simply not ready to handle the responsibility.
Just remember—whether you jump headfirst into these changes or ignore the timelines and do what works for your family, no one goes off to college with a baby bottle and nobody walks down the aisle with a pacifier. No matter what we do, our babies are destined to become big kids, so hang on for the ride!
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