What are tantrums?
Tantrums tend to start between two and three years old, although they can start earlier. During a tantrum, a child will often shout, scream and cry. They may also kick, hit or bite. Tantrums are very common and almost all young children have them - some more than others.
Why do they happen?
Tantrums occur because young children are not able to express themselves easily. Toddlers can also want independence and become frustrated when this can't or doesn't happen. Tantrums tend to decrease and/or stop after four years of age as children are better able to understand the world around them and communicate their needs and wants.
What can I do when my child is having a tantrum?
when you child is having a tantrum:
How can I prevent a tantrum?
Not all tantrums are preventable since this is a normal phase that toddlers go through. However, it is useful to have a predictable routine for sleeping and eating in order to prevent your child becoming overly tired or hungry. Ensuring that your child spends time outdoors being physically active can also help. Talking with your child about what you will be doing that day can prepare them for what is going to happen. Let your child make small choices about their day when this is possible. Distraction may also help if you sense that your child may be about to have a tantrum - keep a small toy nearby (in your bag) or point out something particularly interesting to your child.
What can I do if I need more help?
If you are struggling to cope with your child's behaviour, talk to your health visitor or GP.
What is it?
Separation anxiety in children is common and very normal. It tends to occur between the ages of six months and three years although it can crop up at other times in response to stress and change. Your child may not like being held by other people or may get upset when you leave the room. They may also cry and protest when you go to new places or leave them with other people, for example, at nursery.
Why does it happen?
Separation anxiety begins when a child starts to understand that they are dependent on their caregiver but this person/people are separate to them and can leave. This can make the child feel worried and insecure.
What can I do to help?
It is important to understand that this is a normal phase for your child. Although some children struggle with this phase more than others, it will almost certainly get better in time. Here are a few things you can try:
What if I need more help?
If your child is extremely distressed and this does not improve over time, contact your health visitor to discuss your concerns
For more information click here.
How much sleep should my child be getting?
For age specific information on sleep please click here.
below are approximate guidelines that are suitable for most children to feel rested:
Age & Sleep Requirement:
0-3 months - 14-17 hours
4-11 months - 12-15 hours
1-2 years - 11-14 hours
3-5 years - 10-13 hours
6-13 years - 9-11 hours
14-17 years - 8-10 hours
18-25 years - 7-9 hours
Why is my child not sleeping?
There are many reasons why young children may have difficulty sleeping including:
For older children, bad sleep habits, too much caffeine, too much screen time, worries, stress and mental health problems can all contribute towards poor sleep.
If you need further help and support, speak with your health visitor and/or GP.
For more information:
What is fussy eating?
Many pre-school aged children can be fussy about what or how they eat. It is not uncommon for children to refuse to eat certain foods, eat a very limited range of food or refuse to eat at all.
The following things may help:
If you need further help and support, speak your health visitor and/or GP.
Up to the age of 5 years, wetting the bed is normal. It
usually stops happening as your child gets older without the need for any
Bedwetting happens when your child makes more pee at night
than their bladder can hold; unfortunately, young children often don't wake to
the feeling of a full bladder, which means that they wet their bed whilst they
are sleeping. It can run in families, and boys are more likely to wet the bed
The good news is you don't need to wait until children grow
out of bedwetting - treatment is now available and recommended from the age of
What should you do?
If your child is under 5, you don't need to see your GP about
their bedwetting unless:
Other practical tips include giving them their last drink of
the day no later than 90 minutes before they go to sleep and encouraging them encourage
them to pee as the last thing they do before they go to sleep. Ask you health
visitor or school nurse for advice if you are worried.
For commonly asked questions and excellent practical information
about the treatment of bedwetting, click here.
When to start?
Most children are ready to start potty training between 18 months and 3 years of age. However, all children are different and it is important to wait until your child is ready. You might feel your child is ready to start potty training when you notice the following:
How to start?
Night-time potty training
Night-time potty training might take longer than daytime potty training. If your child's nappy is dry or very nearly dry in the morning, they may be ready for night-time potty training. Make sure that your child uses the potty just before bed and then make sure it is nearby in case they need to use it overnight. Use a waterproof sheet and have clean bedding and pyjamas to hand. If things aren't going well, stick with nappies for a little longer and try again later.
What to do when there are problems?
If after you start potty training, it appears that your child was not quite ready, go back to nappies/pull-ups and try again in a few weeks. If you have any other concerns about potty training, talk to your health visitor and/or GP.