At around two years, your toddler may …
Begin to show signs of toilet learning readiness – This can between the ages of 18-24 months or as late as 30 months or older. Toilet training is a physical, mental, and emotional process for your toddler. The right time to begin toilet learning depends on your toddler’s physical and emotional readiness.
Have temper tantrums or meltdowns – These are a normal part of growing up. Read below to learn how you can respond as a parent.
Start to develop gross motor skills – It helps to have a safe space to run, jump, throw and kick
Say his/her name and use three to four word phrases – Help your toddler’s verbal skills with simple stories, nursery rhymes and songs.
Enjoy experiencing different textures and substances – Supply sand, water, paint or playdough to roll, shape and explore.
Seem too busy to eat – Offer healthy finger-food choices frequently. This is the time when you can switch to a low fat milk. Whole milk is recommended only until two years old.
Follow simple instructions – Interact with your child and provide simple, straightforward instructions to follow.
Each baby goes through stages of development at his own rate. If you have questions about your toddler’s development, call Early On at 1-800-327-5966.
Learn strategies for preventing temper tantrums. Almost all children will have “melt-downs” as they reach their toddler years. Temper tantrums can occur when children are tired, frustrated, or confused about what is expected of them. Communication, positive discipline and consistent limits can significantly reduce the number and intensity of temper tantrums. If your toddler is upset at being told “No,” try redirecting your toddler by explaining what she CAN do.
Consistent limits are important because her memory is still quite short and she needs constant reminders to make strong brain connections. Even subtle changes in the “rules” can be very confusing to a two-year-old. When a tantrum does occur, it helps to do the following:
- Stay calm yourself. Take a deep breath.
- Make sure your child is safe and will not hurt themselves or others.
- Be patient while the fury slows down.
- Once your toddler has calmed down try talking. Explain what you saw and restate the limit, “I saw a little girl who was very, very mad because she couldn’t have a cookie before dinner. The rule is that we can have cookies AFTER dinner. Before dinner you can have a carrot or a cracker.”
- Lastly, hold your child, cuddle, and reassure. Remind your toddler that you love them.
It may be time to start thinking about preschool. Visit the early childhood page at greatstarttoquality.org to learn more about free preschool programs available to many families in the region.
Schedule your child’s two-year well-child check-up, if you haven’t already.
Your safety needs change as your child gets older.
- Remember, a two-year-old can open doors and go outside.
- Supervision is critical outside, especially near water.
- Use safety gates across stairways to prevent falls.
- Put covers on electrical outlets
- Post poison control number by your phone:1-800-222-1222
For more information on child safety, visit michigansafekids.org.
Ask Your Health Care Provider
Ask your health care provider to verify that your child has completed all of her required immunizations. Vaccine-preventable diseases can cause serious harm to children who are not fully immunized. Call your baby’s health care provider or your local health department to make an appointment.