The world suddenly changed, seemingly overnight. 

 

Are you feeling more and more..like a stressed-out mom to your toddler?

Consider this a toolbox of resources for parenting toddlers through a crisis, like the current pandemic. 

Read on for support with

  • how to help you and your child feel calm when anxiety levels are high

  • ways to make the most of being at home with your child and set up for potty training your toddler

  • what are some easy fast foods (that also help with the poop if your child is poop withholding due to the anxiety in the air)

  • simple ways to connect with your child amidst all the social distancing

Move

Move around. It'll help release some of the worry. Dance parties in the kitchen. A walk by your house. Or do some yoga with the kids while sheltering in place .   

Connect

Stay connected so you and the kids don't feel isolated.

Facetime with friends.

Penpal a note to Grandma. 

Hug the ones you're with.

Be Imperfect

Let go of expectations that you'll be able to do it all like nothing has changed. Give yourself some time to adjust to the unknowns. 

Mood

Anxiety goes up the less we feel in control. Toddlers will sense that and react. Consider a mindset shift on food if that's a family stressor for you now.

5 Podcasts to help Moms feeling Anxious

Check out these podcast episodes by Jamie Glowacki, author of Oh Crap I Have a Toddler.
We also love Sparkle Stories for kids about why we're sheltering in place.

Thinking about Potty Training your Toddler While You're Stuck at Home?

1.

Mental Health

 

This episode speaks about mental health as self care. We can't show up for our kids if we're feeling worn out, drained, and on edge. Jamie shares practical tips for how to deal with mild anxiety as well as how to know if you need more help. 

2.

Psycho Mom

Even if you're trying to be the most gentle, conscientious mom, Psycho Mom can come out if you don't find ways to release that steam.This podcast shares practical tips to avoid losing your cool with your kids, and how to fix it if you do.  

3.

They Just Won't Listen

Do you feel like your toddler doesn't listen to you?  In this episode, Jamie shares why it feels that way (how a child's brain processes words) and how to speak to help your toddler follow directions. Break the pattern of you trying to get your toddler to do the simple stuff (feeling like you're saying the same thing over and over.)

4.

"Bad" Behavior

When our kids are acting out, the behavior is a form of communication. What we're seeing in light of this crisis is an uptick in behavior..but don't assume your child is just being difficult. Especially now, behavior is more likely rooted in some level of anxiety around all the change and stress around them. This episode also shares tips on how to avoid the epic meltdowns. 

5.

Connection

If the endless lists of resources, online teaching tools, and activities you can be doing with your child while at home (possibly filling in as teacher) have you feeling overwhelmed, listen to Connection. Because connection is what our kids need most. 

Bathroom Tiles

Slowing Down at Home Helps with Potty Training

It's true that staying put at home is the ideal setup for the early days of potty training. Here's what to expect and why slowing down helps with potty training your toddler.

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But Keep Out the Pressure Vibe When You Start Potty Training

Because of the stay-at-home orders with the coronavirus pandemic, you're not looking at a deadline with getting potty trained in a matter of days before going back to school or daycare. But there's another pressure that can come in...that pressure to get things right, which can lead to potty resistance.

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What if you Start to See

Big Feelings from your Toddler?

There is so much that is tough about this crisis and so many feelings that kids may be feeling. Anxious, sad that they're missing friends, disappointed that their birthday party or baseball lessons are cancelled. There are a lot of feelings to be feeling right now. Here's a look at how to help your child with those big feelings

Speaking of potty training and poop...it's easier when you add in foods that help your child poop!

Here are a few foods (healthy full fats are best) that prime the poop
to make it easier to catch a poop in the potty:
  • coconut milk
  • avocado
  • olive oil
  • butter
 
Below you'll find a few favorite easy-to-make recipes for toddlers and your family by Amy Palanjian of Yummy Toddler Food, that use these helpful poop primers as a core ingredient. Snacks and meals that are easy to make and help avoid toddler constipation! #winwin

Favorite Preschool Books to Help in the Pandemic

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What are germs?

Here's my favorite book for talking to kids about what virus germs are, why it's so important to wash your hands, and why we're social distancing at home. And What Are Germs is a lift-the-flap book which helps keep kids interacting with you.

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All About Feelings

We're all feeling a lot of feelings right now. And this book helps preschoolers and school-age kids name and chat about feelings. It's a little bit easier to act and find a solution when we can recognize what we're feeling. What Are Feelings is another favorite. 

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When Sadness is at Your Door

This book is a sweet, honest look at how sadness can feel, and helps children relate to this big emotion in visual ways that don't feel scary. Good for readers who are 3 or 30. Right now there are so many things that may be sparking sadness, or your child may even see sadness in you. Every time I read this book I feel a little lighter. 

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Lunch Lines

We all need a laugh and this joke book is fun for meal times (or any time) you want to get some giggles from your toddler. 

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Baked Carrot Fries With Olive Oil

Click here for recipe

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Butter Chicken

Click here for the recipe

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Click here for the recipe

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk

Click here for the recipe​​

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How to Freeze Milk

Find Amy's tips for freezing any kind of milk for kids so you can have at the ready for your toddler. Plus, Amy just shared a podcast with advice on picky eating, grocery shopping, and food fears in light of the coronovirus pandemic. 

 

Recipe photos posted with permission, all by Yummy Toddler Food

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Favorite cool activity online:

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

There are educational screen time options right now that really hit it out of the park, and this one's our favorite. Mo is hilarious, beyond being a super talented artist and author. We've been doodling as a family thanks to these Lunch Doodles with Mo!

Free Book to Talk to Kids about Covid-19

by Manuela Molina of Mindheart Kids

Manuela created this short book to help parents and teachers reassure and support young kids, in talking about the current crisis and the emotions that arise out of it.