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ToddlerCalm: A guide for calmer toddlers and happier parents Paperback – 3 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349401055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349401058
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah is a mother of four who initially studied Psychology at University. After a five year career in Pharmaceutical research she retrained as a Homeopath, HypnoBirthing Teacher and Doula - an eclectic mix of scientific and holistic viewpoints! Since then Sarah has worked with over 1000 parents; helping them to settle into life as a new family and to cope with the challenges of raising their children through the toddler and later tween years. Sarah specialises in gentle parenting methods, particularly when it comes to sleep and coping with difficult behaviour. She blogs at and writes for

Product Description


I welcome this book as a sensitive antidote to the alternatives. It is not advocating permissive or authoritarian care, it is a paean to the glorious fun and joy which can result from understanding your toddler, seeing it from their point of view, and then gently nudging them towards maturity (Oliver James)

Everything you say in the book really resonates with the way we hope we will parent (Dame Sarah Storey)

I like the fact that ToddlerCalm is written in a non-judgemental way. It offers support and guidance to parents and I find myself dipping in and out of it for advice and reassurance. I can really relate to the personal stories and love the quotes throughout.

The section on Avoiding Difficult Situations got me thinking about all of the times I dreaded 'circle time' at the various parent/toddler groups I went to. If I had read this book first I wouldn't have felt the need to persevere and my toddler and I would have happily pottered at home instead of feeling we always had to be so busy!

(Nell McAndrew, model and marathon runner)

Book Description

A new, empowering guide for parents of 1-4 year olds, based on the successful ToddlerCalm parenting classes which aim to help parents confidently enjoy the first years with their child.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
I found this book an easy read, I could pick it up and read sections in bite size chunks which could fit in round my busy life. The book covers the physiology of brain development in an easy to understand format, which helps me to relate to all the sections of the book, when discussing normal toddler behaviour. ToddlerCalm has helped me to understand that most `naughty' or unwanted toddler behaviour is actually normal and actually a good way of helping them to develop into a well rounded and emotionally receptive adult. ToddlerCalm offers an alternative to the traditional behaviourist approach to coping with toddlers and challenges the usefulness of these mainstream approaches when it comes to the long term goals we want for our children. ToddlerCalm doesn't offer quick fixes, it makes no claims too. I found the book to be a great way to introduce the concept of responding to your child in a respectful and compassionate way and helping me to understand my role when reacting to my children's unwanted behaviour as they grow and importantly the information discussed is based on research and sound evidence.
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So much better than most of the other advice out there for raising toddlers. One of the key differences is that the author really knows her stuff & isn't just pedalling "quick fixes" that generate positive publicity, it's based on understanding the psychology & neuroscience behind it all & keeping long term goals in mind rather than looking for solutions that might get short term results but can have disastrous long term implications. It encourages you to treat your toddler like a lovable human being who just hasn't learnt some of the skills required for self control etc yet, rather than treating them as an inconvenience, a wild animal, an idiot, a manipulative little psychopath, or any of the other ways toddlers are sometimes talked about!

Too many of the popular parenting authors promise miracles but in order to achieve them they require you to communicate to your child that they are "bad" if they don't comply with your behavioural standards, that your love for them is conditional, that it is only worth working hard if you get a reward at the end of it, that their parents aren't reliable as a source of comfort & security, that emotions are "bad" & should be suppressed, and that being "good" is about avoiding getting into trouble rather than doing what is morally right. Think about what kind of adult results from a child who develops those beliefs about themselves and the world.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. Barker on 25 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've just finished this and it's a real eye opener. I read BabyCalm and attended the classes, and after a year I feel like a pretty confident parent of a baby. With the toddler years approaching I felt the need to be prepared, so this is the first book I went for. What it does first and foremost is provide facts, not opinions or anecdotes, but actual scientifically verified facts about toddlers; how they are developing, why they do what they do, and how we as parents can help them along.

The science on offer is broken down and explained in a way anyone can understand, but that's not to say it's "dumbed down", it isn't. It's explained clearly and succinctly so anyone can read it, understand it, absorb it and put it to use in your life. Most importantly, it makes you think! It also, again very clearly, is lay out what is normal for a toddler; it may not be societies idea of a 'good' toddler (i.e. compliant, quiet etc) but it's just normal. Reading that is incredibly reassuring and alleviates all kinds of parental stress and anxiety.

What it doesn't do it 1) claim to know your child 2) give you a list of do's and don'ts, which if you can't achieve makes you feel like a failure and 3) set up your toddler and some kind of adversary (the impression I get from many 'child experts') who's out to ruin your life.

If you have a toddler, get it. If you have a baby who's around 1, get it. Arm yourselves with knowledge, and knowledge derived from science not habit and authority.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By reader of on 6 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Every parent has times when they doubt what they're doing is the right thing for their child. Either because the child doesn't respond positively or other people are saying what should and shouldn't be done. Parents just need non-judgemental, reassuring advice that isn't constrained by the "norm" of society.
And this is it. It's just the paper version of what all parents feel and know deep down but has been suppressed to varying degrees by society's expectations, interfering relatives and naughty-step wielding tv nannies.
Reading the book helps you to put yourself in your toddler's shoes, learn to accept "tantrums" and how to deal with "bad behaviour" (by not thinking of it as bad behaviour).
It's well-written, full of real-life examples and has a handy way to remember the different aspects of dealing with situations.
I wouldn't say it has changed the way I parent, rather it has reassured me that I'm normal, my toddler is normal and we will muddle along happily in the hope of creating a confident, independent and happy child. Bring on the next instalment, Teenagecalm?
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