Interview with dh – the toddler years

We dodged the baby bullets, moved house and reached the terrible twos…

…It was hard to go through a long phase of them sleeping well and then not again.

Hence my sleep chart

You did that for ages didn’t you?

I only stopped doing that two months ago! They got a happy face if they slept all night and a sad face if they didn’t! [I did this from just after their 1st birthday until May this year].

It was all Grace really.

Grace was a crap sleeper as a baby and Ruth was a fantastic sleeper. Then they switched and Ruth became the bad sleeper during the toddler stage.

Grace wouldn’t go to sleep as a baby. She was a really light sleeper. We always think of Grace as a bad sleeper but actually she’s been ok for a while.

We’ve had our fair share of tantrums as well. They’ve both gone through phases of being difficult, but not necessarily at the same time so it’s felt relentless. Even now, at 3 y 8mo we still get the occasional wobbler.

Not that occasional. Once a day! They’re more short-lived now.

Can you offer any advice to Dads going through the toddler period?

Try not to get drawn into their arguments and argue back. Especially when they’re having a tantrum, you’ve just got to ignore them for a bit. If it’s a civilised discussion it’s fine to reason with them, but if they’re getting shouty and crying it’s best to leave them.

I used to find them more frustrating, so I’d let them go a bit more, just so I could get them to bed and make life easier. It’s a difficult balance to find. It depends on the day they’re having and the mood they’re in, Even the time of day can make a difference. You have to decide whether to stand your ground or to let it go, particularly late in the day. Pick your battles.

Ruth is easier to deal with than Grace because if she has an all-out tantrum she just lays on the floor and I’ll just walk off and leave her there! Arguing back and shouting (which Grace does) is much harder to ignore. She’ll follow you round having a tantrum! Grace is more inconsistent, so we don’t know how she’ll react to things. One day she’ll be fine and the next day everything is the end of the world.

 

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