What to expect during the toddler years


Your little baby is now walking and talking, and you wonder where the past few months went. Your baby is now a toddler and she is probably seeking more independence as she explores different surroundings and new people. Toddlers need gentle discipline so that they will be safe and to understand that parents set boundaries for the good of the child. Here are other things to look out for as your toddler grows right before your eyes:

Stranger anxiety is common

As your baby enters the toddler years, keep in mind that it is common for toddlers to experience anxiety around strangers and relatives she does not see often. The best way to deal with this situation is to reassure your child that you are still going to be there with her and that you will not leave her by herself. It also helps to let her see you interact with the persons on a regular basis so that the child will become used to them.

Potty training

Most toddlers are potty trained before age 4 but before you rush into this process, it is important to figure out if your child is ready for it. Signs of readiness include not many wet diapers, predictable bowel movements, her ability to say when she is relieving herself, and her ability to undress herself properly. There are also books you can read to your child when you sense that she is ready. Demonstrate how to use the potty in front of her a few times so that she will get an idea of what to expect.

Language development

Generally by age 2, toddlers have a wide vocabulary and might be able to say simple sentences and words. Parents should talk with their toddlers on a regular basis and point out people and things to her while pronouncing them. This builds her vocabulary and speech skills. A major language milestone occurs when your toddler is able to tell you her wants and needs. Your child might also be able to discuss in simple language what she is doing.

Here comes the tantrums

A toddler just isn't a toddler without those challenging tantrums. Many toddlers have not developed the ability to express frustration and fear so the main way they express themselves is through tantrums. Remember to stay calm during the tantrums and never discipline out of anger as this makes things worse. Make sure your child is not sleepy, tired or hungry because this could be the source of the tantrum. Also give your child undivided attention as often as possible.

Good foods for toddlers

Your toddler probably has some teeth and she will be able to eat foods with slightly chewy textures. You should still be careful when feeding her to avoid choking. Some toddlers are picky eaters but if you prepare those difficult foods in a variety of ways, your toddler might enjoy them. At this stage you should wean her off formula. Include soft-boiled fruits and vegetables, whole grains and water as part of her diet.


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