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MoonDragon's Parenting Information
BABY TANTRUMS
By Elizabeth Pantley
Author of Gentle Baby Care




LEARN ABOUT TANTRUMS

A baby's first tantrum can take you by surprise. Your baby can really shock you by shrieking, stamping, hitting, or making his whole body go stiff. But do not take it personally. Baby tantrums are not about anything you have done wrong, and they are not really about temper, either - your baby is not old enough for that. The ways you will respond to your baby's behavior when he is older are different than how you should respond now.




WHY BABIES HAVE TANTRUMS & WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

A baby tantrum is an abrupt and sudden loss of emotional control. Various factors bring tantrums on, and if you can identify the trigger, then you can help him calm down -- and perhaps even avoid the tantrum in the first place. Here are the common reasons and ways to solve the problem:

REASON FOR TANTRUM
POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Over-tiredness

Settle baby down to sleep. Provide quiet activity.

Hunger

Give baby a snack or something to drink.

Frustration

Help baby achieve his goal or remove the frustration. Use distraction.

Fear / Anxiety

Hold and cuddle baby. Remove baby from difficult situation.

Inability to Communicate

Try to figure out what he wants. Calmly encourage him to show you.

Resisting Change

Allow a few minutes for baby to make adjustment.

Over-stimulation

Move baby to a quiet place.





HOW TO PREVENT BABY TANTRUMS

Often, you can prevent a baby from losing control of his emotions if you prevent the situations that lead up to this. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • When baby is tired, put him down for a nap or to sleep.
  • Feed your baby frequently. Babies have small tummies and need regular nourishment.
  • Give your baby toys that are geared to his age and ability level.
  • Warn your baby before changing activities ("One more swing, then we are going home").
  • Be patient when putting your baby in an unfamiliar environment or when introducing him to new people.
  • Help your baby to learn new skills (such as climbing stairs or working puzzles).
  • Keep your expectations realistic; do not expect more than your baby is capable of.
  • As much as possible, keep a regular and predictable schedule.
  • When your baby is overly emotional, keep yourself as calm as possible.
  • Use a soothing tone of voice and gentle touch to help your baby calm down. He cannot do it on his own, he needs your help.





This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)
http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth





BOOKS & EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging & Pleading & Get Kids to Cooperate
By Elizabeth Pantley & William Sears M.D.

Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips
By Elizabeth Pantley

Hidden Messages: What Our Words & Actions Are Really Telling Our Children
By Elizabeth Pantley

Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry -- Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby
By Elizabeth Pantley





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