This helpful post on how to keep your toddler from screaming in public is a sponsored post written on behalf of SocialStars for Playskool, as part of the #PLAYSKOOLCREW ambassador program.
We’ve all been there. You put off your errand-running as long as possible, hoping you can get a chance to do it sans children. Eventually you can’t put it off anymore and you have to run a few errands with a toddler in tow.
Toddlers are a mystical creature. One minute they’re as happy as can be, and the next minute they are furious, even though literally nothing changed in those 60 seconds. Getting anything done becomes at least ten times harder with a toddler. It’s like sweeping the floor with an upside-down broom while wearing a blindfold. And of course they don’t go with the flow very well, so if you change up your plans or get stuck in a long line or traffic, cue the tantrums.
[bctt tweet=”Getting things done with a #toddler is like sweeping with an upside-down broom while blindfolded.”]
But there’s a better way! I’ve put together my best tips on how to keep your toddler from screaming in public. Sure, some people will say, “Just be a good parent! You have to start when they’re infants! Don’t spoil them! Teach them boundaries!” Those people were blessed with magical toddlers who behaved. I have tried every different parenting technique, and after having four children, I can tell you that even if you’re a good parent, you might still end up with a Todzilla. (That’s a toddler Godzilla, FYI.) So, for those of us who didn’t luck out with well-behaved toddlers, here are my five tips for keeping their public meltdowns at bay.
Tip #1: Bring any and every comfort/security item. Sure, it may take up the entire back seat of the car, but just bring it all. Blanket, stuffed animal, pacifier (yes my one year old hasn’t given it up yet), your left shoe, whatever. Anything that brings your toddler comfort while at home or during nap time, always have it with you just in case. If they usually bring it with them anyway, but they somehow forgot, it’s going to be your fault, so just bring it.
Tip #2: Bring snacks and drinks. Don’t you dare leave the house without a fully-stocked bag of snack foods and a sippy cup of watered-down juice. Your toddler’s favorite and least-favorite foods can change at any moment, so make sure you have a variety of foods to choose from. Even though she ate a granola bar the morning, she might suddenly hate that exact same type of granola bar while you’re at the bank, so be prepared.
Tip #3: Explain every detail of the experience. Give your toddler very specific details about where you have to go and what you have to do. Don’t leave anything out. You may want to include directions as well, so they know you’re not taking a wrong turn. They may forget after a few minutes, so you’ll have to remind them where you’re going and what you’re doing every 1o minutes or so.
Tip #4: Make it a game. Games are never boring, so make up as many games as possible during your outing. Games like “How many items can mommy get in the cart before you start throwing the groceries on the floor?” or “How far away from the bathroom can we get before you need to use the potty or get your diaper changed?” Not only is it fun for the toddler, it’s fun for you too!
Tip #5: Bring a good travel toy. A travel toy is something that is super-engaging, packs up easily after you’re done playing with it, and fits in your diaper bag or purse. One of our new favorite travel toys is the Playskool Roll ‘N Gears Car. Make no mistake, my little girl loves anything with wheels, and this toy has already saved us from a few meltdowns.
The Roll ‘N Gears Car is a great 2-in-1 toy. Closed, it can be rolled around like a car should be. Open it up and there a 5 removable, movable and stackable gears, and 9 different places to put them. When you’re not playing with it, the gears are stored inside, so they don’t get lost in your bag, or in the abyss of the car floor.
I love it for keeping us both occupied while running errands – let’s not lie, we play with the toys too – but it’s also great for traveling as well. The worst place you want your child to be upset is on a train or plane, where you can’t immediately scoop them up and run away, so having a travel-friendly toy that can keep them entertained will save you a lot of embarrassment. I can’t promise you zero embarrassment though, especially if you have a talkative toddler who occasionally blurts out inappropriate things.
The Roll ‘N Gears Car from Playskool, plus my tips above, will help keep you and your toddler happy at the grocery store, on a plane, in the doctor’s office, or anywhere you need a little help with your little one!