Birth to 5: Growth, Development, and Adoption

1 to 2 Years

Children work hard testing and stretching their physical limits in this stage. Growing from wobbly and toddling to sturdy and steady, this age typically can say: "Me do myself." Waving bye-bye gradually turns into speaking, "Bye-bye." Two-year-olds' interest in other children grows. And they always seem to be on the run, practicing new motor skills, climbing, dancing, and exploring. Initially spilling things from containers, toddlers usually end this year filling things up.

Starting from this stage and continuing through the kindergarten years, parents can ease their children's frustration level with consistent, reliable structure at home. Use these tips to guide your child into greater -- and safer -- independence:

  • Stock the lower two shelves of a bookcase with your child's books and magazines.
  • Fill an easy-to-reach kitchen cabinet with pots, pans, and cans.
  • Satisfy curiosity about your precious possessions by letting your child explore them while carefully supervised, sitting on your lap.
  • Set limits gently but firmly. Children want to know life is not a free-for-all.

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