Let’s Talk About Toddler Transitions


Let's Talk About Toddler TransitionsOver the past month, my child-related Google search history has looked like this:

  • ‘creative ways to get toddler in car seat’
  • ‘how to get a toddler to take a bath’
  • ‘how to get a toddler to get out of the bath’

Can you relate?

While I know the simple answer is that I use my parental authority to set healthy boundaries, I need help getting there. I am in desperate need for creative, helpful ways to make these daily routines easier on all of us, and I hope some of you are too.

After much internet research, here are a few practices I am going to try:

1. Utilize a timer to help your toddler know what to expect and when.

This tip is extremely popular and can be helpful for sharing, dinnertime, bedtime, potty-training, etc. According to Parents, “There’s a comfort and security and feeling in control. So setting a timer and saying that when the timer goes off, it’s time to pick up toys or go get ready for bed or eat dinner or whatever, they know what they are doing next and when it is going to happen. They can use the time to mentally wrap up what they were playing with before.”

2. Create rituals that help your toddler know what is coming next.

This tip can be especially helpful when the transition involves separation. We currently struggle with the daycare drop-off too, so Parents had a great tip for this. Do the same thing each time before the separation occurs, such as give your child three kisses and they give you three kisses back. This will reinforce the action and allow your child to know what comes next, which will help minimize their anxieties.

3. Whenever possible, offer choices to make your toddler feel involved in the process.

Ask leading questions, such as ‘It’s time to put on your shoes. Do you want to wear your blue or black tennis shoes?’ This is something I need to work on. I have a bad habit of asking my son if he wants to put on his shoes (spoiler: the answer is almost always no). Asking for his opinion in a way that supports the transition can help make your toddler feel a part of the decision-making and transitional process.

4. Get on your toddler’s level.

This is not referring to their emotional level, but their physical level. Kneeling, looking your child in the eye, and talking in a calm voice can encourage participation by your toddler.

Those are a few of the most popular ways to smoothly transition toddlers from one activity to another. Fingers crossed that we find something that works for our little ones and have smoother days ahead.

What tips have you used to ease into transitions? At this point, I’m willing to try anything!

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Caitlin Darras
I am a local public relations professional by day, but my most important titles are ‘Mom’ to my rainbow baby, Clayton, and ‘Wife’, to my high school sweetheart, Louis. I have worked at McGhee Tyson Airport in the public relations department for the past ten years. I manage the airport’s website and social media accounts, but what I love most about my job is the ability to help passengers have a safe and enjoyable experience at TYS. After becoming a mom, it became even more important for me to share travel tips and ‘mom-hacks’ that make traveling with children seamless, stress-free, and maybe even fun! As a born-and-raised East Tennessean, I am a fan of (orange!) all-things Knoxville. I love seeing our area continue to grow by offering unique, memorable experiences for all ages and interests. When I’m not singing a Blippi song that’s stuck in my head or kicking around a soccer ball with my son, you can find me traveling, reading, or reading about travel.


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