21 tips for coping with a toddler fibromyalgia or not

Coping with a Toddler (Fibro or not!)

This post has been a long time coming. I haven’t felt like I was coping these past few months. But we’re here, so that’s winning.

Toddlers seem to have an abundance of energy that I could only dream of. If only Nu would lend me some, maybe it would be easier.

21 tips for coping with a toddler fibromyalgia or not

The big thing for me (on the days I’m not working) is to get him active in the morning, when I’m most able and he’s not so tired either. This way the afternoon can be a more relaxed affair.

I am slowly learning that I’ll never feel like I’m coping if I’m putting too much of my energy elsewhere (like work), so my balance needs to be kept in check.

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Drawing & stickers

Here’s a few tips I’ve gleaned in dealing with a toddler:

  1. Accept help – my husband takes a turn in the morning when he’s not at work, I never get back to sleep, but it’s a break. If grandparents want a visit, give them the toddler and run away!
  2. Enjoy them – this may be the sweetest age, Nu says things like “want some mama hug”.
  3. Play dough, stickers, colouring in to keep them occupied for 10 minutes.
  4. Outside – even checking the mail and watering the garden can seem exciting.
  5. Park – even if you need to drive there, the park is a great and free way to burn off toddler energy.
  6. Routine – my son is a routine boy and we have a loose but similar routine for each night, this helped when bedtime got foggy at the sleep regression.
  7. Setting -first thing, before I get him up, I set up some of his toys seductively. This may buy 10 minutes of independent play! I also swap toys around regularly.
  8. Rest when the toddler rests (if you’re home with them) – on the days I’m home I will do Yoga Nidra before anything else when he naps.
  9. Library, zoo, beach, local attractions – there are options for all energy ranges. Nu loves animals, so we’ve been to the zoo a few times.
  10. Read – when you’re super exhausted and sore, lie or sit down (surrounded by cushions if need be) and read all of their books.
  11. Movies – my guy won’t sit through anything longer than a minute, but if this diversion works for your kids then lie down immediately!
  12. Play dates – another energetic creature can occupy yours! Mamas can chat. Win-win.
  13. Pick your battles. Save your energy for the ones that count.
  14. Consistency, set boundaries and always stick to them.
  15. Don’t forget yourself, keep experimenting and keep practicing your wellness techniques. 

The last few are the result of a thread on my Facebook page, some amazing fibro mamas gave me some advice:

17. Educational games on a tablet – lie down and rest while they sit with you and play.
18. Have a bath together – get some toys or bath paints and let them play while you enjoy the warmth on your muscles.
19. Create a toddler-proof room that you can let them free and self-direct their play, sit back and enjoy their gorgeousness (do you do that? I’ve been known to stare at my boy and just grin lol)
20. Don’t always tidy up. The toys will be back out! Sometimes let the laundry and dishes be.
21. Take time out. Go for a coffee alone. Or a massage. Or a walk. Just go!PhotoGrid_1453879893082

Mostly I think having a toddler is a bit like a newborn, in that you might need to just put your head down and push through, however there are definitely more tools in the arsenal to keep them occupied now.

Have you got anything to add to the list?


definitive edition pregnancy and fibroThis post appears in my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia along with everything I have learnt and experienced over two pregnancies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Spirited Toddler

My boy is 15 months old! I’m shocked at his growth. It seems like he is mastering new skills daily. He will babble to himself while turning the pages of his favourite books. He gets his shoes when we ask for them. His eating has finally gotten better, he is eating a lot more and more widely.

For better or for worse, there have been more than a few alarming signs that he’s turned into a high-spirited toddler:

*The plank when we try to put him into the pushchair or carseat
*The tantrum when he doesn’t get something he wants
*Only one nap
*Feeding time resembles the zoo more than a civilised dinner table – there is food on the floor, wall, table and down my sleeve
*He has more energy than me
*Toys hold appeal for about 30 seconds
*He gets bored when we go for a walk with the pushchair
*He is super excited by couch cushions on the floor

Here are some things I’ve found to help cope with a (super) busy toddler:

*Encourage physical activity – let them walk outside, take them to a park or find a cafe with a play area suitable for younger toddlers. My guy loves it when I put the couch cushions on the floor, he will throw himself on them and roll around happily.
*Take multiple things to keep hands busy when you have to go out (walks, lunches, supermarket) from food to toys.
*Preempt bad behaviour -notice what sets them off and avoid it, plan ahead and don’t give in to tantrums, even in public (we had a situation in the chemist but I held my ground and let people look while I strapped him in and distracted him).
*Have a safe zone, our lounge is almost “no free”, he has plenty of toys and there is little damage he can do while I go to the bathroom (if he doesn’t come too!) etc.
*Sensory play can be helpful. Water, bubbles, squishy balls, anything to utilise the senses.
*Take rest for yourself. It’s tempting (read: I always do) to squish the chores or things you need to get done into that blessed one hour or so of nap, but you’ll feel nicer if you rest. I also like to spend some time on the floor, letting him play around, while I read – mental time out.

Have you got anything to add to this list?