Your toddler now
Even the most cooperative, cheerful, and outgoing young toddler will whine, cling, and cry sometimes. These behaviors are your child's way of saying "Help! All systems overloaded!"
Your 19-month-old is learning new things and refining skills at a dizzying rate. Frustration is inevitable and manifests itself in different ways, depending on the child. Accept these signals for what they are: a cry for attention and TLC.
If it's feasible, respond and let your child know you can tell she's upset. Acknowledge her feelings but don't make too big a deal out of these short-lived emotional storms. If she's crying and clinging, a few hugs and then simple distraction might work. If she's whining, you might explain, "I can't understand you when you whine. Can you show me what you want?"
A transitional object or "lovey," such as a blanket or teddy bear, can buck up an anxious toddler. Not every child develops an attachment to a lovey, but if yours has one, encourage its use. Build quiet time and one-on-one play with you into your child's day, especially if she has a busy day at childcare.
These behaviors will fade over the next few years as your child gains emotional control and a better sense of her place in this big, bewildering world.
During potty training, I dress my daughter in clothes that are easy to put on and pull off, or I don't worry too much about clothes at all. If she wants to sit for just a millisecond, I keep her on the potty by saying encouraging things like 'Let's make the pee-pee come' and singing silly songs.
When you have to bring a sick toddler to the doctor, feeling lousy adds to any fear your child might have about the experience. Your 19-month-old may associate the doctor with the pain of shots or uncertainty about what will happen next.
Come to the clinic armed with a favorite stuffed animal and some books for distraction while you wait. Ask the doctor if your toddler can sit on your lap during the exam.
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