When Do Toddlers Calm Down? Here Is My Guide

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toddler crying

If you have a child two years old, you may start experiencing bouts of hyperactivity and/or emotional meltdowns.

Parenting a toddler is not easy!

In this state, your toddler refuses to calm down.

If you’re a new parent, this can be disconcerting. But, knowing how and when toddlers calm down will be your key to success.

Toddlers calm down when they’re distracted and engaged in some other behavior or activity.

But, the most important determining factor between continued drama or calming down is your reaction to their outbursts.

Remaining calm, resourceful, anticipatory, and firm is essential.

Unfortunately, toddlerhood is when a child begins asserting its individuality and instigates battles of will and wit against their parents.

Understand this is entirely normal but (somewhat) within your control.

Let’s take a look at when toddlers are most likely to calm down.

When Do Toddlers Calm Down

When Do Toddlers Calm Down?

toddler crying between legs

Research suggests that the chances reduce greatly after 42 months.

In fact, it shows the following:

  • 1 1/2 years to 2 years old: 87% of kids have regular tantrums.
  • 2 1/2 years to 3 years old: 91% of kids have regular tantrums.
  • 3 1/2 years to 4 years old: 59% of kids have regular tantrums.

This research shows that toddlers are likely to calm down after 42 months (3 1/2 years old), which is right at the end of the toddler years!

What You Should NOT Do

thumb down, no

Before tackling the terrible twos, understand there are some things you should NEVER do.

Remember, your child doesn’t yet have the same reasoning capacity as you. So, when they begin acting up and out, you must remain compassionate and positive while being consistent, steady, and firm.

  • Do not physically punish or be violent. This will never glean the results you seek and will only make matters worse.
  • Do not yell over or outdo the outburst. Avoid exerting any amount of negative energies, feelings, or attitudes. Children are very intuitive and will pick up on this, thereby worsening the situation.
  • Do not taunt or belittle the child. If the experience is bad enough, they will outgrow their terrible twos long before they forget this moment. This can have devastating effects on bonding and trust.
  • Only give medications or supplements under the explicit direction of a trusted healthcare professional.
  • Avoid a sugary diet for kids. Many problems with tantrums come from foods high in sugar, and fructose corn syrup. A spike in blood sugar will impact anyone’s mood.

For Tantrums, Emotional Outbursts; Excessive Crying

girl having tantrum

Because toddlers don’t have the capacity to use experience and forethought in their decision-making, you have to be resourceful when your toddler has an emotional meltdown.

Remember, they are in a transitory period out of babyhood and only beginning verbal communication. Since their vocabulary is quite limited, you have to interpret why they’re upset.

Sometimes, something like their favorite doll or stuffed animal will calm them down right away. But in other cases, you will have to be more stringent.

This will depend on the situation and why the outburst or tantrum is happening.

Attention Seeking

Tantrums are usually because your toddler doesn’t know how to express displeasure, can’t have their way, or wants attention.

This is a delicate matter because they could have a good reason.

For instance, if your attention is constantly on something else, your child could have a tantrum, or scream, as a communication tool.

However, they could just be hamming it up.

If this is the case, you want to acknowledge the child, but you don’t want to give in to their demands.

In some cases, this means looking at your toddler but keeping distance and in others, it means ignoring them for a brief period.

You want the child to learn there are consequences and rewards for certain actions and behaviors. Positive discipline is a much better approach at all times.

For Hyperactivity

hyperactive daughter shouting at mom

Children are balls of abundant energy that adults often wish they could borrow.

But, if your toddler has never-ending hyperactivity, this can get destructive and unpredictable in ways that you must quell or this child will run roughshod over you.

Physical Activities – Burn These Kids Out!

Ensure you provide plenty of physical activities to exhaust your toddler’s exuberance. If it’s possible, go to the park, the beach, the woods, or some other wide-open space and let them go as nuts as they like.

They will not only expend all energy (both good and negative), but they will also have a great time doing so. Exercise has been found to improve mood, therefore it is likely to aid your toddler’s negative mood.

Intellectual Activities

Use games, books, crafts, peaceful music, or logical reasoning with the child. If your child is wildly out of control, begin reading aloud or playing music at a higher volume.

Slightly ignore the toddler while ensuring it isn’t destroying things or hurting him/herself.

If your toddler isn’t being unreasonable, set up an intellectually involved game or artistic craft.

When he/she sees and inquires about what you’re doing, say you want to play but they have to calm down first. Be nonchalant and very matter-of-fact about it.

Don’t lift a finger after setup until the child brings itself to a place of tranquility.

Should a 2-Year-Old Go To Timeout?

It depends on your approach to discipline. I opt for positive discipline, which means providing good feedback when they do well.

Dealing with a tantrum is a challenge, and there are alternatives to time-out which will bring a better response.

If your toddler is looking for more of your attention (and you have given them enough already), then there is no reason not to place them in time-out if you have exhausted other options.


Of course, every toddler will be different and certain situations will require a varied approach. But the point is consistency and teaching your child about rewards and consequences as a result of behavior.

Positive discipline will build a positive, respectful child! This starts from a young age.

At the same time, you want to encourage and promote conscious and intentional use of the brain integrated with emotions.

Of course, the right to a tantrum is any toddler’s perogative! They are emotionally unstable pint-sized dictators after all.

Good luck!

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