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Parents of toddlers play a crucial role in shaping their child’s growth and development. This phase of a child’s life is filled with rapid changes and milestones, which can be both exciting and challenging for parents. As a child begins to walk, his/her environment needs an update to safety which wasn’t applicable for an infant. Consider corner guards or bumpers to help protect little heads from bumps and bruises on sharp furniture. Anchor heavy furniture to walls to avoid tipping. Small objects should be moved out of reach of curious fingers. Stair gates should be securely fastened at the top or bottom of stairs to prevent inquisitive climbing. Use childproof locks or latches on cabinets and drawers, but consider leaving one drawer for the toddler’s playthings to be stashed. There are also locks for the potty, to thwart your would-be toilet fisherman.
After child-proofing, parents should understand the importance of providing a nurturing and stimulating environment for their toddlers. A safe and loving home environment encourages exploration and curiosity, allowing children to learn and develop at their own pace. It is essential to create a space where toddlers can freely engage in age-appropriate activities, such as playing, reading, and imaginative play. By offering a variety of toys, books, and art supplies, parents can stimulate cognitive, physical, and creative development. Consider a wipeable plastic mat to corral artful messes and keep the wipes handy! Don’t forget to read to/with your child daily, to encourage language development (and quiet time!)
This is a great age to begin to establish routines and boundaries. Toddlers thrive on predictability and structure, as it helps them feel secure and to understand the world around them. Parents should begin to teach clear boundaries and rules to expose their toddlers to social norms, respect, and self-discipline. This helps to develop a sense of responsibility and prepares them for future social interactions. “Mine!” is a normal reaction at this age, but sharing should be encouraged! Setting consistent mealtime and bedtime routines can provide stability and promote healthy habits. A nutritious and balanced diet is essential for optimal growth and development. Offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins helps support their growing bodies and cognitive function. Don’t forget milk for growing bones! While it’s tempting to offer a handful of goldfish to tame an outburst, try to avoid behavior-modification with food. Regular physical activity is important, as it promotes gross motor skills, coordination, and overall physical development.
Remember that each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. Comparing your toddler’s progress to others can create unnecessary expectations for any child at this age. Provide lots of love and encouragement, because your toddler is unique and amazing!
For more information, click on the orange Symptom Checker on the right side of your screen to see daycare, development, discipline and more!