The best way to deal with toddler tantrums? Stop them before they start! One key to preventing tantrums is knowing your toddler’s tantrum triggers. Though your toddler’s triggers may be as unique as they are, there are some typical triggers that tend to knock children off balance. Here are the eight most common avoidable tantrum triggers.

Tantrum Trigger No. 1: Fatigue

Many kids get ornery if they miss their nap or sleep poorly at night. Here is how to figure out the ideal bedtime for your toddler. And, if your toddler fights bedtime, try these tricks for getting a toddler to sleep.

Tantrum Trigger No. 2: Hunger

We all get a little cranky when we are hungry, and some kids get fussy if their meal is even 30 minutes late (the result of low blood sugar). To keep your child from transforming into a hangry beast, stash emergency snacks—like crackers, fruit, or nuts—in your nappy bag when you are out and about. 

Tantrum Trigger No. 3: Caffeine and Stimulants

Many kids bounce off the walls after having caffeinated drinks (cola, iced tea, chocolate milk). In addition, too much sugar or decongestants in cold medicines can also be monster-makers.

Tantrum Trigger No. 4: Being Cooped-Up

Toddlers thrive on outdoor play. Little cave-kids who do not get to roam the jungle (your backyard or the park) two or three times a day often get unbearably grumpy. Try to make time for outdoor play (even if it is a quick walk around the block) every day.

Tantrum Trigger No. 5: Being Ignored

Toddlers often act up when we ignore them for too long. That is why feeding the meter by playing the boob and giving time-ins—several times an hour—can miraculously reduce your child’s need for time-outs. 

Tantrum Trigger No. 6: Being Overtempted

If you live in a house with lots of attractive breakables, your little one may just not have enough self-control to keep his hands off things. (So maybe put that super-tempting glass trinket out of reach…) 

Tantrum Trigger No. 7: Unexpected Changes

Shy or sensitive kids may go bonkers when they have to deal with unexpected changes. You can sidestep problems with these little 'princess and the pea' people by reviewing your next day’s plan, mentioning any changes in routine that might occur. (Learn more about establishing toddler routines at every stage.)

Tantrum Trigger No. 8: Tension and Violence

Keep the peace in your house. Many toddlers model the violence they see on the telly, online, or when their parents fight at home.

View more posts tagged, behaviour & development

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.