Learn everything you need to know about your 24 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Playdates offer your 2-year-old social experiences with other kids and grown-ups. Though your child might not play directly with her peers, she'll become accustomed to having them nearby and begin learning what sharing is all about. And if your child plays at other houses, she is exposed to new environments, new toys, maybe even new snacks!
Of course a playdate doesn't have to be a fancy, formal get-together -- it's just supposed to be fun! Your best bet is to use mom-tested suggestions for hosting a successful, (relatively!) fuss-free playdate.
Begin by determining whether you're hosting a kids-only date or if any moms are staying too. With younger kids -- especially if only one mom is there to supervise -- it's smart to keep the date relatively short. Schedule the time wisely: Hungry, cranky toddlers do not make for good playmates. If you decide to offer a snack or have the child at your house for lunch, it's a good idea to ask about food allergies and preferences.
If you're considering beginning a regular group, set some ground rules with the other parents. How often will you meet? Will you get together at homes or also in public locations? Should the host provide a snack? And how many children and moms are optimal for your group?
To prevent conflicts, take your toddler's favorite toys from the play area to her bedroom before another child latches on to them. While your little one will need to share her things, seeing someone else holding her beloved stuffed doggie or wearing a treasured princess tiara might be too much to handle. You might even want each guest to bring a toy to share or plan some activities that don't involve much sharing.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy watching your toddler develop these first friendships.
Happy birthday to your 2-year-old! It's amazing how far she has come in just a year!
During your toddler's 2-year well visit, the pediatrician will ask about certain developmental milestones your kiddo has reached or is working on. Physically your child's getting taller and leaner. In just 12 months she's mastered a lot of skills: She's gone from just learning to walk to being able to run, climb, kick a ball, and even navigate the stairs!
Have you noticed if your child prefers one hand more than the other? Next time she's scribbling, eating, or building a block tower, see if she favors a hand.
Intellectually your tot's growth has been tremendous. Your child might now sort things by shapes, colors, and category; you can test this by asking her to divide her toys into groups -- farm animals, blocks, dolls -- when she helps you during cleanup. She can find hidden items too. And her imagination is blossoming as she immerses herself in make-believe play.
Your tot's desire for independence will only strengthen as she gets older, and it might lead to increased defiant behavior and tantrums. Take a deep breath and know this attitude is typical toddler rebellion.
Your kiddo might show her spunkier side at the doctor when it's time for her vaccinations too. Ouch! It's a good idea to educate yourself on the required immunizations before your tot's appointment, and don't be shy to ask the pediatrician which immunizations your toddler needs and why. He should be happy to review vaccinations with you as well as answer any other questions about your toddler's health and development.
Your 2-year-old ... Wow! She's got a lot of new milestones to reach in her third year of life! Get ready, Mom and Dad, for another wonderful year ahead!
What family couldn't use a little extra money in the bank? Working on a budget doesn't have to seem impossible. Take an honest look at your spending and see where you can cut costs.
To lower your grocery bill, review sale fliers before you shop, use coupons when you can, and don't go to the store without a plan. Avoiding convenience foods and cooking from scratch stretch your food dollars (and you'll eat healthier too). Buying in bulk can help you save sometimes -- be sure to compare cost by weight.
Give consignment shops and yard sales a try for inexpensive (but still cute!) clothes for your quickly growing toddler. You can find lots of brand-name items in good shape and for a fraction of the cost.
Check your newspaper, the Internet, or moms groups for inexpensive activities going on in your area. Libraries often offer wonderful story hours and children's programs, especially in the summer. Your local parks and recreation center might also sponsor fun, little-kid-friendly opportunities.
One of the biggest money pits is discretionary spending (you know, those little purchases here and there). You might feel as though you're only paying pocket money for your daily java, but those expenses add up fast. Take stock of your spending habits and then pare down. Do you really need the extra cable channels? Can you wash your own car in the summer (get your toddler to help)? Try checking out books at the library instead of buying them at the bookstore.
Finally, don't forget to swap services, goods, and time with friends. This is an especially great way to save on babysitting costs (maybe for a date night with your sweetie!)
With some smart planning and dedication, you can lower your cost of living and save for your family's future.