It may seem like the past two years have sped by, and you are right. Your child has grown and matured at an amazing rate. At two years old, he is making connections to the world around him and developing new relationships. It’s a time some call “the terrible twos” but it really is a time for him to stand up for himself as an individual.
Your Child and Eating: Don’t get too concerned if your independent little eater gives you problems with meals. Sometimes you feel that he may not be getting enough to eat, but over the course of a week the two-year-old’s diet balances itself out and he will get all the nutrients he needs. At this time, you can move to 2% milk but keep the intake to no more than 24 ounces in a day. Shoot for a daily diet of two servings of protein, four servings of fruits and vegetables and four servings of breads and cereals. A good gauge of portion size is one serving is equal to one tablespoon for each year of age. If you have questions about anything related to diet, please call us and we can help you form a balanced and healthy eating plan.
Your Child and the Potty: Potty training may be getting closer for your two-year-old. If your child wakes dry after a nap, can start to alert you to dirty diapers and begins to strain after meals, you may be ready to start the process. First begin by getting a potty seat and making your child comfortable with it. Let your child see you and other family members using the bathroom and explain the process of going potty as you go along. Teach your child the words for bodily functions and reward him for any success he may have through praise and encouragement. Make this a learning experience and not a battle.
Your Child’s Sleep: Your busy two-year-old does not like to miss anything going on around him so he may fuss at bedtime. Be firm and consistent and stick to your routine. A child this age will still need a nap of one hour per day and 12-13 hours of sleep per night.
Your Child’s Motor Skills: Coordination takes a huge leap in this second year. Your child is walking and running and climbing quite efficiently. He may be riding a bike and can stand on one foot. He is learning and insisting on dressing himself so if he leaves the house with two different socks, don’t discourage him. He is learning to draw more clearly and the use of a preferred hand is quite obvious.
Your Child’s Communication: Your two-year-old is now expressing his emotions through words and not just tantrums. He will most likely be able to talk in simple three- or four-word sentences. He can start to name things and be descriptive of objects. Your child is starting to understand rules so help him by clearly and simply spelling out what you expect of him.
Safety and Your Child:
- Never leave your child unattended. A two-year-old is a natural explorer and is not able to understand what may be dangerous to him.
- Continue to put your child in his car seat and explain why it is important to be securely fastened in.
- Keep the poison control number close by. 1-800-222-1222
- Keep all medicines and cleaning supplies well out of reach and explain to your child why they are dangerous.
- Keep all firearms tightly locked up and ammunition stored separately.
- Avoid any cigarette smoking near your child and keep matches and lighters well away from his reach.
Your child may give you a run for your money in the patience department right now but the process of becoming more independent has some bumps along the way. Start giving your child responsibility around the house and he can become a great helper. Be firm and consistent in your discipline and allow your child a lot of playtime with other children. At this age, he will play side by side and not directly interact but will learn to form healthy relationships.