They are called the 'terrible twos' for a reason! As any mom of a toddler knows, this can be a tough time in the world of parenting. A mom can definitely feel like she's being tested by the universe when her sweet little one is acting like, well, a toddler.
Moms might be wondering if their two- and three-year-olds are truly content, but it might seem strange to straight-up ask their little kid how they're feeling. That might not get the best results. But don't worry, there are other ways to figure out if toddlers are content with the way things are.
Is your toddler happy? Answer these 10 questions to find out.
10. Do They Take Naps?
Naps are a big part of a baby's life and when your baby becomes a toddler, they still need them in their daily schedule. This is true even if your little one is suddenly acting like the idea of taking a nap is the worst thing ever.
According to Romper, a toddler is happy when they're taking naps: "Just because your toddler fights nap time, doesn't mean he's outgrown it." There is some smart research behind that: "A study led by the University of Colorado Boulder found that toddlers who miss just one daily nap exhibit more anxiety, less joy and interest, and have a harder time problem-solving."
9, How Is Their Sleep Schedule?
Based on the above research, we can tell that a toddler is happy if they're taking naps on a regular basis and also if their sleep schedule is on point.
We definitely know how we feel when we're not sleeping... We're exhausted, for one thing, not to mention cranky and grumpy and prone to craving all kinds of junk food. We know that sleep is key for happiness and health, so it's the same with our toddlers. If we want to know if our toddler is happy, we just have to ask ourselves if they sleep properly, and we'll have our answer.
READ MORE: Why Teething Is Worse For Toddlers At Night
8. Do You Play With Them?
Baby Center says that parents who play with their kids are fostering happiness in them: "Although nonstop entertainment and ice cream for dinner may seem like every child's dream, what actually makes your toddler happiest is much simpler: you."
Do you play with your toddler? If you do, then you can rest easy knowing that they're full of joy. You're spending that special and crucial time with them where you both play and enjoy yourselves. A toddler doesn't want to play with that great new toy alone, they want you to help them. Every mom loves these sweet moments.
7. Do They Seem Caring?
All moms want to raise children who are caring. It's definitely an important personality trait to have. We look for this quality in adults, too, and making sure that our children have this is subtly a big deal.
If we want to know if our toddler is happy, we should ask ourselves: do they seem caring?
Sure, a toddler is super young and might throw some tantrums or misbehave sometimes since they're still learning about the world. But for the most part, if they seem caring and extend that to us, their other relatives, and even stuffed animals, that seems like a good sign that they're happy.
6. Do They Eat?
Romper also mentions that if a toddler is eating, then that means that they're happy. The article does take note of toddlers who aren't exactly eating kale and quinoa every day (if ever), so it's good to remember that toddlers aren't all going to eat a lot of the time. The point, though, is that a toddler is happy when they have something in their stomachs throughout the day because otherwise, they're not going to be in the best mood. Every mom can agree that when their toddler isn't eating much that day, they don't act that content or like themselves.
5. Do They Play Nicely With Others?
There is nothing sweeter than seeing a group of little kids playing nicely together. It warms every mom's heart (or any caregiver or grown-up's heart who is lucky enough to witness it).
Does your toddler play nicely with others? This is definitely a sign of a happy kid. They are able to sit quietly, nicely, and play a game with someone else, or even play with some toys individually while hanging out with their little pals. It's not only adorable but part of how they develop social skills. It's something that every mom wants to see in their little one. A content child will enjoy being around other kids.
4. Do They Get Emotional?
According to Romper, happy toddlers get emotional because they feel like they can have whatever feelings they are currently experiencing. Romper says, "Allow your children to cry when they're sad, laugh when they're happy, act shy when they are nervous. Getting their feelings out as toddlers can save them a lifetime of pent up emotions."
It's part of a healthy childhood to be able to feel that way and, as we can see from the above reminder, will help them turn into healthy adults as well. Emotional health is definitely key and it's something that we all want to have, so we know that we have to teach it to our kids as well.
3. Do They Sometimes Share?
Sharing and toddlers might not be two words that often go together... if at all. It's still an important thing to ask ourselves when we're wondering if our toddler is happy and at peace.
A happy toddler will share every once in a while because they're content. They feel safe and peaceful enough to trust someone else. They know that they'll get to play with their favorite toys the rest of the time and that it's okay to let someone else have a turn.
2. Do They Have A Big Imagination?
We all want kids to have big imaginations. It's part of what makes being a child so special, don't you think? When a toddler feels like they can explore their imagination, it's a beautiful and powerful thing. It means that they're happy because they feel safe and calm enough to explore on their own terms. They might even tell their parents everything they've been dreaming of!
It's a great sign when you see your toddler making up a game with their sibling or even when playing alone. Moms can rest easy and smile when they notice this happening. They might even want to join in since it's so much more fun.
1. Do They Laugh A Lot?
A laughing toddler is definitely a happy toddler. Moms can tell when their little one is having a bad day or bad moment when they don't notice them smiling and laughing as often as they usually do. We all want our little ones to feel like they can be themselves, express themselves, and smile. It's the hope that every mom has for their children.
If moms are wondering if they have a happy toddler, they can ask themselves these 10 questions and be content that they absolutely do. And what's cuter than a happy toddler? (The answer would be nothing... There's just nothing cuter!)