Top five tips for preventing toddler meltdowns during the holidays

It’s common during the holiday season to spend a lot of time outside the home, spending time with family and friends, surrounded by people. Noise, lights, presents and sound can be more than stimulating for toddlers. Other factors contributing to meltdowns include varying your toddler’s normal routines.

The excitement of the holidays and stress can also contribute to temper tantrums and meltdowns. Your little one can feel the excitement in the air, as well as the stress – both good and bad – that comes with the holiday season.

Given this, it’s no wonder your toddler has more meltdowns than normal. Even grown ups become more prone to meltdowns and fatigue during the holiday season. Fortunately there are several steps that you can take to help minimize the odds of temper tantrums not just during the holidays, but during any busy time of the year.

Follow these five tips to help your toddler cope during busy, stimulating times, when schedules run amok, and tantrums seem inevitable.

Prepare a quiet place for your toddler

This may be a spare bedroom, or a corner away from noise and people, where your toddler can zone out. A spare room is ideal, even in a stranger’s home, where your toddler can rest and play away from people, sounds, lights and other distractions that are likely to create too much sensory input for your little one.

Bring snacks for your toddler

If you plan to visit people during the holidays, your toddler’s meal time may be disrupted. Remember that children are not as adept as adults at dealing with changes to their schedule. This is particularly true of mealtimes and nap or bedtime routines. Bring some snacks with you to help your toddler in the event he or she is hungry.

Plan ahead

Try to stick with your toddler’s normal routines and schedules. If you normally put your toddler to sleep at a particularly time, keep this in mind when planning to visit with friends and family. If you know you need to fit nap time in, but plan to be visiting during this time, find out if there will be a quiet place your toddler can rest. Missing key times during your toddler’s schedule will always result in temper tantrums and meltdowns.

Stay calm

One of the worst things you can do is overreact to your toddler if they are having a tantrum. This may seem more difficult during a special event or holiday party. However, like normal, the best thing you can do during a fit is to wait it out sometimes. If your toddler sees that you are not reacting, your toddler will calm down much faster than if you are reacting to their tantrum with stress.


Sometimes, you do have to leave a party, event or festival. Typically, this is only in the most extreme cases. But if you have a worn out, exhausted and overstimulated toddler or two, perhaps the best thing to do is get home to rest.

You know your toddler best. Watch for early signs and symptoms of wear and tear, so that you can be proactive in addressing your toddler’s needs. This can help you address your toddler before a tantrum happens.

As your toddler gets older, he or she will become more able to vocalize their needs, rather than demonstrate their problems or concerns through temper tantrums. That’s the good news! Children also become more accustomed to coping with the holidays. Enjoy your year and your toddler, and use these tips as a means to help you and your little ones plan a healthy and safe season.