My Secret Strategy For Calming a Toddler


Despite our busy lives: the hectic role changes, the coffee juggling, the car swaps and the muddy outings, I’m always careful to keep a calm household. It’s important that our children find comfort and security even when we are going at 100 miles an hour.

Sometimes I get asked how I manage it all…. Truth is I don’t, not totally, but I have a few tricks when it comes to calming my youngest, and I wanted to share one of our busiest days with you along with the different techniques I use to ensure his needs are met, even with two other children.

(That not to say that I neglect the other twos needs just that this post focuses of his)

7am It’s Wednesday morning and I’m tired, I was up late working last night… I then watched an episode of Being Human to wind down a bit. If I don’t veg for half an hour after work, I get racing thoughts at night… it’s crap, but it also means I’ve only had 5 hours sleep. The youngest nestles in a cuddle, if he has to jump right up he tends to get disorientated and grumpy: this chill time ensures he can wake up slowly in the best possible mood.

7:10 Scott heads downstairs with the offspring and makes me a cupa coffee I slowly get up and get dressed, these few moments alone are lovely.

7:20 I head downstairs, H and I start chatting about her plans for the day, I grab my coffee and help Roo get dressed, Nerg comes over to check in. Having to share me is hard for him, hes the youngest, he has a five min drink of milk from his beaker on my lap because he knows I’ll be consumed by the school prep routines for the next hour. It also means he doesn’t notice too much when Scott leaves and is hes happy to play by himself until it’s his turn to get dressed.

9:15 We go to toddler group and help set up, Nerg plays independently for an hour,

10:15 He finds me for his dummy because he’s tired, lots of people have arrived and the noise is a bit overwhelming. This soothes him  enough that he is refreshed and excited to join in with the songs

12:30 Nerg falls over on the way back from the car to the house, he asks for a cuddle and it’s enough to stop the tears instantly….. three mins later he is laughing

1:00 the boys play happily while I clean the kitchen and make lunch but then they fight over a toy, Roo had it first and instead of a big tantrum, Nerg is perfectly happy to hug his blanket for 5 mins instead….phew,  crisis averted. I can quickly grab my stuff for work and we play for bit after lunch

2:15 I head to work in the car with the boys, swapping with Scott in the city…I won’t be home until the 6pm train but they boys are content, there’s very rarely any shouting in our house…. Calm is key

6:20pmMhome, and Nerg runs to me for a kiss, he’s missed me. He spends a fair amount of the evening playing and checking in bringing me toys to show off….he’s glad I’m home and my interest reassures him that I’m not going anywhere.

7pm he goes to bed, happy… If he wakes in the night, he reaches for his dummy because it helps him settle and calmly fall asleep again.


Now, replace all those instances in pink….with breastfeeding and tell me again that my child is too old for it….. That breastfeeding beyond babyhood is spoiling him and for MY BENEFIT only.

There are some (many many) evenings, where I want to sit, chill out, without a nearly two year old climbing onto my lap every ten mins….. Where I wish I could process my own busy day….. Where I pray for a full night sleep… But, breastfeeding is so much more than nourishment….. It’s the Swiss Army knife of parenting.

Do you or would you refuse your child a kiss? a cuddle when hurt? a glass of milk when tired or a blanket to hold at night? Their dummy? Because he is too old? If you continue to offer these things do you worry he will never learn independence?….or like me, do you see with perfect clarity that it is these moments, these aids and these techniques which empower him and enable him to venture out alone.

With life busy, overwhelming and loud is it wrong to offer a safe haven? Regardless of what form it takes.

2 Responses to “My Secret Strategy For Calming a Toddler”

  1. I was reading this and the whole time I was thinking I’m sure they breastfeed, how odd that she hasn’t mentioned it… And then at the end it all made sense! Haha I’m slow to click on! Great way to illustrate the point! I only stopped feeding Mabel so I could get pregnant with Greta and then I stopped feeding Greta at 15 months because she was doing my nut in haha. Hats off to you because I don’t have the patience to breastfeed a toddler, I was getting really resentful towards it and that’s how I knew it was time to stop. She was hard to wean at that age though. Who knows what will happen with Ernie… If Carl won’t let me have another baby I will probably be less inclined to stop feeding him (Ernie that is, not Carl) Xx

    • The last one is so much harder to wean…. H was weaned at 14 months, no issue she just cut down then stopped. With Roo I developed nursing aversion and he self weaned at 20 months, 4 weeks before Netg was born. I’d like it if he night weaned soon, we aren’t far off… I feel quite resentful too which is why I don’t understand the ‘selfish mother, can’t let go’ logic, some people apply to extended boobing

Leave a Reply

Instagram Feed

Splash Image Footstapes Image