From an adult's perspective, toddlers have it easy. Their day primarily consists of play and naps, with a few meals and snacks thrown in here and there. But when your vocabulary and your motor skills can't keep up with your ambition and you're constantly being told what to do, being a toddler can be pretty tough. It almost makes you understand why they would have a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. But if you think your little one has a more serious case of the blues, you might want to look for some of the signs your toddler is unhappy.
Like adults, it's not uncommon for toddlers to feel a little blue from time to time. But there are signs you can look for that signal something more serious happening. Changes in sleep habits, frequent outbursts, and excessive clinginess are just a few of the signs that your toddler is unhappy about something. If your child's symptoms seem to be unending, you may want your pediatrician to take a closer look. According to WebMD, if your child's sadness is persistent and seems to interfere with his daily activities, he may be depressed.
Although you shouldn't worry every time your child appears unhappy, you should acknowledge that even toddlers have real feelings. Work with your pediatrician to rule out depression or other mental illness, and do your best to let him express his emotions, even if that means a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store.
1They Have Frequent Outbursts
Feeling sad is perfectly normal. But when an uncontrollable outburst accompanies the feeling, you should take notice. If your toddler is unable to deal with his sadness and lashes out as a result, The Week noted that there may be a bigger problem.
2They Have An Upset Stomach
Toddlers can't always tell you exactly what's going on, so parents often have to watch for physical symptoms of a problem instead. Baby Center mentioned that when a routine task such as going to school causes your child to have frequent bouts of diarrhea or upset stomach, she may be unhappy.
3Their Sleep Patterns Change
Just like adults, extreme sadness can cause toddlers to sleep more or less than normal. According to Psych Central, if your toddler's sleep pattern has changed, she may be experiencing some unhappiness.
4They Are Extra Clingy
Toddlers love to use their parents as their human jungle gym, but if instead of playful fun you find that he has a tough time letting go, your toddler is probably dealing with some sadness. According to Baby Center, excessive clinginess is a sign of unhappiness in toddlers.
5Their Appetite Changes
WebMD mentioned that a noticeable change in your child's appetite — either an increase or decrease — can be a sign of depression. This may be a difficult to spot in a toddler whose appetite can change on a daily basis, but you can look for significant weight loss or gain between doctor visits.
6They Suffer From Developmental Delays
All children develop at their own pace. But if you notice that your child is significantly behind in certain developmental milestones, you should alert your pediatrician. Psych Central pointed out that significant delays in development can be a sign that your toddler is unhappy.
7They Have A Lack Of Interest
Favorite toys will come and go, but if your toddler suddenly shows little interest in play or creative activities, you should take notice. According to The Week, one of the signs of unhappiness in toddlers is the inability to find joy in activities she previously enjoyed.