Learn everything you need to know about your 23 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Some toddlers are content in their cribs while more mischievous tots start scaling the rails, jumping up and down on their mattresses, and even make the launch to freedom! If your kiddo spends naptime planning his next get-out-of-the-crib adventure, it's time to transition to a big-boy bed (before he really hurts himself with a fall).
The first step -- even before you shop for a bed -- is to be certain your toddler's room is safe for those times he's exploring during naptime. Cover your toddler-proofing bases: Are all outlets covered, potentially hazardous things put out of your tot's reach, blinds and curtain cords secure, and furniture safe from tumbling over (especially if your ambitious child uses the drawers as a ladder)? You might need to install a safe, sturdy gate at your child's door in case he tends to wander at night.
Make the transition during a time when no other huge events are going on in your child's life. If you need to put your toddler in a bed to make space for a sibling, do it well in advance of the baby's arrival so your child doesn't feel as though he's being displaced.
Allowing your youngster to help pick out new sheets and fun pillowcases can make sleeping in his bed less scary and more appealing, and don't forget to tuck in your tot's teddy with him so he has a nighttime companion.
Your child craves your attention and might demand even more of it to get himself through the switch from crib to bed. Continue a comforting bedtime routine with your toddler and don't belittle him if he?s nervous about his new accommodations. Plenty of encouragement and love will help him on his way to sleeping in his very own bed.
As a baby, your child went through a rapid growth phase. While he is still developing his skills, his physical growth -- including his height, weight, and head size -- is finally slowing.
Your toddler's pediatrician uses a chart to track your child's growth. On it, she plots your youngster's height and weight during his well visits, showing a curve of how your toddler is growing over time and in comparison to other kids his age. The doctor is looking for significant changes in the percentile rating to see if your child's growth rate is consistent. Your tot's upcoming 2-year appointment is a good time to ask questions about his growth.
Just as you faithfully take your toddler to his checkups with the doctor, you also need to make sure he's seeing the dentist to keep his adorable smile healthy. The dentist will ask you what dental hygiene routine you follow with your tot. You should be using a soft, small toothbrush to gently clean your toddler's teeth twice a day.
Once you've done a thorough job brushing, hand over the toothbrush to your child so he can begin taking responsibility for keeping his pearly whites healthy and clean. If he's not interested, use your parenting ingenuity to make dental care more fun -- let him pick out a brush he likes, sing a favorite song while he brushes, or brush your teeth at the same time and make faces at him in the mirror while you're up to it!
Your toddler won't need fluoridated toothpaste until he's 2 (almost there!) and even then, he'll need only a pea-size amount. Ask your child's dentist about fluoride -- which strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to harmful acids and bacteria -- and whether you need to be concerned about the amount your child is getting.
It's often said that having children will change your life. How true! It can also change your friendships. While you continue meaningful relationships with old friends, it's also good for you -- and your toddler -- to have mommy-friends with children close in age to yours. After all, who better to commiserate with over potty-training, ear infections, and tantrums than another mom whose tot is going through the same stage?
Sounds good, but how exactly can you go about finding mommy-friends and cultivating friendships with them? Start by going where the mommies go! Surefire bets include structured environments such as mothers' groups, mom-and-tot exercise classes, or storytime at the library. Hitting the park on a sunny day is likely to help you find plenty of moms and toddlers too.
You don't necessarily have to have your kiddo in tow to meet mom-friends. A weekday Bible study group or neighborhood game night might be just the place to connect. Online moms groups can serve as a springboard for finding mommies in your area who are also looking to meet.
Being around other moms isn't enough; you have to make contact with them too. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with a potential mommy-friend. It might seem a bit awkward -- kind of like trying to pick someone up for a first date -- but you'll have to summon up the nerve to make the first move. If you find that things feel natural between the two of you after talking a bit, ask if she'd be interested in getting together for a playdate or even just going to grab lunch with your kids.
You might make a few new friends before you really connect with someone, but it's worth the effort!