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Answers to frequently asked toddler questions

Updated on January 15, 2014

How to prevent and deal with tantrums?

Preventing tantrums
Tantrums are definitely not the thing you want with your child. Not with any child to be honest. Tantrums are mainly an expression of anger and frustration, and your child does not always have control over it. Anger and frustration are often caused by situations where it is not clear for the child what it should do and what is expected of him/her. Therefore the following things should be taken into account:

  • Inform your child what you are doing (and will be doing) and what you expect from him/her at all times.
  • In situations that are likely to cause tantrums, give your child something to do, such as something creative to keep him/her occupied.
  • When your child asks you a question, think about what you will answer (yes/no) and then stick with your answer. Also make sure your partner will give the same answer as you.
  • Tiredness also causes tantrums, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep when it needs it.
  • Try to keep a clear daytime and nighttime structure, such as fixed breakfast/lunch/dinner times, fixed time when your child goes to bed, etc.

How to deal with tantrums?
When your child turns 2 years old, it will discover that he/she is an individual person with its own wishes, needs and opinions. It will then start looking for boundaries in the sense of how far he/she can go, for both him/herself but also with you as parents. This can be very frustrating for the parents, but remember that this is simply a phase all children go through. The most important thing is to keep calm at all times, if you get angry or frustrated, your child will "feed" from this anger and frustration and the situation will only get worse. Should you feel frustrated once your child has one of its tantrums, then go to another room and give yourself a short break and count to 10. Come back once you have calmed down and calmly explain that you understand why he is angry/frustrated but that he has to calm down. Repeat this after a while if the child has not calmed down. Also try to distract him/her and sometimes it helps giving him his favourite toy. Once the tantrum is over, don't give it any more attention and continue the structure of the day again.

The dentist

In principle you can bring your child to the dentist as soon as it will receive its first teeth. It is also advised to do this to have your child get used to the dentist at the earliest age. Even if the dentist will not actually check the baby's teeth, it is wise to still bring your baby along to one of the appointments that you or your partner has. Around the age of 2 to 3 your baby will have all of its teeth and then it is time that the dentist checks the teeth about twice a year. Should your child be afraid, then just have it sit on a normal chair (instead of the dentist' chair) and the dentist can try to have a look. Don't worry, the dentists have experience with children aswell and will do their best to make the children feel at ease.


In the age of 1 to 12 children's feet will grow about two sizes per year. It is important that shoes fit well and have the correct size in order to prevent complaints. By wearing shoes that do not fit the big toe and even the whole foot can grow towards the inside. At a later age you might develop knee-, hip- and back problems.

What to look for when buying shoes for your child?
The shoe should have a good fit around the feet and the space between the big toe and the front of the shoe should have around 10 - 15 milimeters. A bit of space in the front of the shoe is fine, because the foot will always come a bit forward while walking, but please don't buy shoes in biggers sizes so it will "last" longer. It is also wise to have someone in the shoe store measures the feet of your child, as sometimes it can happen that a child's feet does not meet the standard shoe sizes. It could be for example that the feet of your child are wider.

Is it wise to use second-hand shoes?
Research has shown that foot problems occur the least when children wear no shoes at all, which basically means that if shoes are worn they should be flexible around the foot. Second hand shoes have been worn before and therefore are already quite flexible and in most cases function even better than new shoes. So, yes second-hand shoes are fine to use, but they should still have the correct size and should still be in a good condition (out-worn shoes are not).

Healthy body weight

One of the most asked questions is when a child is seen as "too heavy". This is the concern of many parents. In the early baby stage parents are often worried about the baby not having enough body weight and later on in the toddler/preschooler stage they are often afraid their child has too much body weight. Below an overview of the average weight a child should have, with a difference between boys and girls.

Weight children between 6 months and 4 years

6 months
1 year
1,5 years
2 years
2,5 years
3 years
3.5 years
4 years
numbers are in pounds/lbs

How much sleep is needed?

Baby's, especially newborns spend most of their time sleeping, and they also need to sleep a lot. Not only at night time but also in the day time. After the first year, however, their day time begins to get structure and they will sleep mostly at night with the occasional nap during the day. In the night children between 0 and 1,5 years old will still need about 16 hours of sleep per night. Children in the age of 2 to 4 need at least 11 hours of sleep per night. Once children start (pre)school and need to get up at a certain time, they should adjust their sleeping hours to the time they need to get up. Research has shown that children with a good nights rest perform better in school and also feel better (mentally).

Potty training

The signals
Potty training is not difficult to do, but takes some effort and patient, as your child is the main person who decides what do do when. There are however signals that you can observe from your child to see whether it is ready for potty training. Your child will show a sudden interest in the poo's and pee's that come out of him/her and go into the diaper. Also it will show an interest in the toilet or take off its diaper when you're not looking. The age in which this happens can differ between 2 and 4, so don't dispair if your child is a bit later than another child.

How to start
If you notice certain signals mentioned above, move your child onto the potty or perhaps even onto the toilet. Don't stress, if the child does not like it, leave it. Then try again the next day. If the child does not mind, try to do it more times per day. This is not meant for the child to actually do its poo's and pee's, but more to show how and where it is done.
The other way is to have your child run around without a diaper during 1 or 2 hours in the day and see how this works out. If you do this more often the child will get used to not having the diaper and also will notice that it feels dirty if it poos or pees. Then lead your child to the potty or toilet more often. Bit by bit it will learn. Once during the day it can do without a diaper, then practice for the night. This might take more time though.


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