In the toddler years, your child’s physical growth and motor development will begin to slow, but you will see major intellectual, social and emotional changes.
One-year-olds are very busy! They walk, start to run, climb, and kick a ball. They love to open and close things, to knock over blocks and to throw. They continue to mimic and start to show that they understand how to use objects appropriately. Language skills begin to blossom at this age as they learn more words. Reading to your toddler continues to be very important for their development. Hiding games are fun and they begin to understand that just like the hidden objects are somewhere, you also come back even when you have been out of sight. This understanding helps make their separation from you easier.
Your toddler will transition from breast milk or formula to whole milk and from a bottle to a cup. They will likely become increasingly picky in their diet as well (See the link below about picky eaters).
While one-year-olds are generally friendly and social, they are not always easy to live with. Their new independence can cause issues if they don’t get their way. They can throw temper tantrums and don’t share well which often leads to sibling fights. It is important to childproof their environment and set a reasonable routine in order to keep them from being overtired or hungry. (See the link below for more on behavior management).
Two-year-olds are more confident and capable little people. Their language skills and understanding have increased. They can settle down in your lap for longer periods of time. They watch chores and try to “help” as much as they can. They love to explore! It is especially important to keep dangerous chemicals or medicines out of their reach (keep the poison control phone number listed below in your phone).
Children this age often begin, or even master, potty training. They want to brush their own teeth and become better at using utensils to eat.
While the twos are not terrible, they can be difficult at times. Continue to use consistent discipline techniques. Reward the good behavior and ignore the bad. Some parents begin to use “time out” at this age. (See the link below for more on behavior management).
We will continue to see your child often for well visits to monitor their development and screen for any issues (including autism). Important vaccines are also given at some of these visits. You should bring your child at 15 months, 18 months, 2 years and 2.5 years (30 months) for a well exam.