Learn everything you need to know about your 21 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
What would toddlerhood be without tantrums? They're hallmarks of the age! Frustration and tension build until your child -- unable to bottle his emotions a second longer -- erupts into a full-blown, out-of-control tantrum.
Your best bet for averting temper tantrums is a balancing act: Keep your toddler's frustration at a manageable level while he still learns to handle his big feelings. This might mean helping him communicate when he's struggling to get his message across or allowing him appropriate choices to satisfy his desire for independence. Anticipate his mood and needs: Is he tired? Hungry? Bored? A comfortable kiddo is less likely to blow a fuse than one who desperately needs a nap. Of course, all of this is optimal, and emotional explosions still happen. The real question is: What's the best way to get through a tantrum?
Though it's hard when your kid is going ballistic, keep a cool head. Yelling at your child or arguing with him only makes matters worse, and he can't be reasoned with when he's upset. Sometimes if you use a very soft voice, your child might quiet down just to hear you.
Additionally, you can't reward inappropriate behavior. Even if you're in public and feeling completely embarrassed, don't give in to his demands simply to stop the kicking and screaming. You might find that simply ignoring the tantrum thwarts your tot's efforts to gain attention. After all, what's the fun in pitching a fit if nobody's going to watch?
Finally, take a time-out. If there's a lot of activity and noise, your child's senses might be overwhelmed. Find a quiet spot and let your kiddo unwind. This might even be distracting enough to let him forget what triggered his outburst and help you both cool off.
Once your kiddo is walking well, he'll feel inclined to test his physical limits and his developing large motor skills -- and soon he'll want to tackle the stairs. Even if your tot shows a lot of confidence and ability, stair-climbing is definitely a skill that requires your instruction and supervision. Learning how to navigate the stairs safely can keep your child from sustaining a fall and potentially serious injury.
As your child sets out to master the stairs, remind him to take his time. He might begin by creeping up the steps or asking to hold your hand. It's helpful if there's a rail he can use for support. Soon he'll be going down too, likely sliding on his bottom first, then standing. Remember, even a relatively good climber should only climb stairs under your watchful eye.
Your toddler needs guidance when he's on the stairs, but he also needs the freedom to play and explore on his own. He'll find a variety of ways to experiment with his toys, figuring out their functions, what happens when he pushes buttons or rolls them across the floor, or even how they taste and smell. His toys must be durable and, most importantly, safe.
Look for well-constructed toys with small parts that won't come loose and cords that are short enough they can't wrap around your child's neck. Toys should be sturdy, have rounded edges, and be large enough that they don't pose a choking hazard. Check that playthings are washable so you can get rid of smudges left by sticky fingers and pesky germs that linger on surfaces. And of course, all toys should be lead-free and nontoxic because toddlers love to put things in their mouths.
During pregnancy, breasts get a lot of attention: they're sore, bigger, and might even begin to leak colostrum. After childbirth, breasts are put to work nourishing little ones' growing bodies.
But when the pregnancy is over and the nursing is done, do you give much thought to the health of your breasts? You should!
In addition to receiving a regular clinical breast exam from your health care provider, it's vital you do a monthly self-examination. Routine self-exams help you know how your breasts normally look and feel -- meaning you're more likely to spot changes. If you find an unusual lump, swelling, or experience unusual discharge, don't panic; most lumps and changes are not cancerous. Make an appointment right away with your physician who will help you determine what's happening with your breasts and if you need a mammogram.
(Incidentally, if you need a mammogram but are still breastfeeding, don't worry. The radiation won't affect your milk nor harm your child. Just be sure to let the technician know you are a nursing mom.)
In addition to regular exams, eating a healthy diet, getting frequent exercise, and refraining from smoking are all factors that promote good breast health.
You want your breasts to be healthy, but hey, you want 'em to look good too! You might need some time to go bra shopping, but it will be a trip well worth it. Head to a store with a quality lingerie department, and if you're uncertain of your bra size (breast sizes often change after pregnancy), ask for a fitting from a lingerie specialist -- a professional who can determine what size cup and band you need. Once you know what size you're looking for, pick out a couple of pretty, figure-flattering bras that work with your lifestyle.