From Bellyitch partner, Dr. Sears:
The holidays can be stressful for everyone in the family, especially for toddlers still trying to figure things out. Parents who are prepared for tantrums are likely to handle them better, so here are some common triggers to help you cope with your toddler’s holiday stress.
Shopping – You may or may not mind standing in long lines, wading through crowds of people, or hitting store after store to snag that clearance sweater, but your toddler does. Try to leave your toddler with a relative or babysitter. You will accomplish more and prevent a tired or overwhelmed toddler meltdown. Is childcare not an option? Make as few trips as possible and plan out your list so you can be in and out quickly. Many websites offer store maps and complete sales guides. Don’t leave home without a few items to keep your toddler entertained and/or fed.
Grandma’s Jell-O Salad – You can certainly encourage your child to try new foods this season but it can take up to 10 tries for a child to even be willing to try something. When emotions are running high, it might be best to bring out some nofail staple foods that your child won’t complain about. However, not wanting to try something new is no excuse for bad table manners. Talk with your child beforehand, reminding him about his manners. Do remember that while you should make sure your little one behaves appropriately, it’s also important to make sure that your expectations are realistic.