Tips for Raising a Toddler

Tips for Raising a Toddler

It’s common for first-time parents to have a lot of questions about their child’s development. Children will go through many changes between the time they are born and when they turn three years old. Every child is different and will reach certain achievements or benchmarks in their own time, but there are a few milestones to be on the lookout for.

Between 1 and 2 years, children should be able to:

  • Walk unaided
  • Stand up without assistance (from parent or furniture)
  • Go up and down stairs
  • Speak a few recognizable words
  • Point to objects of interest
  • Understand and follow two-step directions
  • Build towers of four or more blocks
  • Throw a ball
  • Recognize themselves in pictures or mirrors

It’s important for parents to remember that they are their child’s first teacher. They might not be learning from formal “lessons,” but they are watching those around them as they are cared for, protected, and guided as they grow into independent individuals.
So, what can parents do to help their children develop during their toddler years? Here are a few ideas.

  • Read to them daily.
  • Promote verbal skills by naming objects and body parts.
  • Encourage pretend games like playing house or restaurant.
  • Play matching games, sorting shapes, and puzzles.
  • Foster their independence by letting them help with dressing and feeding.
  • Refrain from scolding them using inappropriate words.
  • Let them get plenty of physical exercise outdoors daily.
  • Encourage them to explore and try new adventures.
  • Start teaching them letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.

Additionally, be sure to child-proof the house. Pay attention to potentially dangerous areas such as stairs and pools. Keep sharp and dangerous objects out of reach, including medicines and cleaners, and place plug covers over unused electrical outlets.

When to worry

Though all children will develop at their own pace, there are certain red flags of when there may be a developmental problem. These include if your child hasn’t:

  • Started walking by 18 months
  • Doesn’t speak 2-3 words
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions
  • Doesn’t understand the use of everyday objects
  • Has trouble seeing or hearing
  • Isn’t expressive of his or her feelings
  • Loses skills that he or she previously possessed

If any of these signs are present, it’s recommended that you speak to a doctor.

Transition to the toddler room

Assuming that your child has normal development from the infant stage to toddler, you’ll be preparing for the transition to the toddler room at daycare before you know it. This time can be nerve-wracking for parents as they experience new worries, such as how their child will keep up with the older kids and how they will get along. These worries are common and can be dealt with by staying in close communication with the daycare teachers. Ask any questions you have on your mind. Some useful ones might deal with nap time, snack and lunch, what the changes in schedule will be, and how the curriculum will change.
Remember that you have others on your side to do what’s best for your child. Don’t be afraid to accept assistance.

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