Learn everything you need to know about your 25 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Your child is no longer a baby -- but is he still using a pacifier? You'd probably love for him to be pacifier-free, but some habits are hard to break, and you're worried about sleepless nights and tear-filled days.
There are plenty of good reasons to wean your toddler from the pacifier (or see if you can get him to go cold turkey). Perhaps one of the best reasons to say goodbye to the pacifier now is that it could affect your child's speech development. Your kiddo is having an explosion of learning new words, but it's hard for him to speak clearly to you if he's always got something in his mouth. He might slur his speech or even be reluctant to speak, limiting his communication.
If your tot is a serious pacifier addict, the habit could cause jaw misalignment or crooked teeth (though this might be more of an issue with kids who suck their thumbs or fingers).
Even hygiene comes into play; unless you're fanatical about keeping it clean, the pacifier comes into contact with a lot of germs and might deliver these straight to your little one's mouth. Yuck!
Talk to your child's pediatrician for helpful suggestions on getting him to give up the pacifier (or thumb-sucking if that's your little one's comfort habit). She might suggest you wean him by having him use it only during naptime or solely at night. Or, you might want to try having a goodbye ceremony for the pacifiers as you box them up. Some moms even begin snipping the ends of the pacifiers until they are no longer fun to suck.
However you choose to handle the separation, don't belittle your child's attachment to his comfort object and be sure you offer him plenty of support and understanding.
Perhaps the best way to prepare your toddler for a full night of sleep is to implement a consistent bedtime routine. This might mean a bath, a story, then a good-night hug and kiss. To foster your child's growing desire for independence, allow him to choose whether he wants the truck pj's or the football pj's, or let him select a bedtime story for you to read. (He might choose the same one night after night -- toddlers love repetition!)
Be sure that your tot isn't relying on external cues to help him fall asleep. If you rock him each night as he dozes off, he's not learning to fall asleep on his own -- and when he wakes up and you're not there, it might be hard for him to drift off again.
If your toddler was previously a good sleeper and his reluctance to stay in bed has come on suddenly, check to see if he's not feeling well. Once you've determined that he's not hurting, you can proceed with figuring out just why he doesn't want to snooze. Consider his current nap schedule and how much total sleep he's getting -- is it possible that he's just not tired? (This might also be a factor if your child is consistently waking up too early each day.)
If your tot is experiencing nightmares or night terrors, comfort and calm him. You might need to reassure him there are no monsters under the bed. (Perhaps give him his own bottle of "monster spray" if needed!) Don't get into the habit of getting into bed with your toddler or letting him sleep with you, however; that's going to undo all the efforts to get him sleeping on his own in his very own room.
It's an exciting prospect to add another little member to your family. If you're pregnant again, congratulations! You're a veteran at pregnancy, but things are different now that you're caring for a toddler who doesn't want to slow down just because Mommy does!
One of the biggest challenges of pregnancy -- especially if you're experiencing morning sickness and fatigue -- is getting through the day. Of course, your child still needs your watchful eye, so you can't just snooze while he's running wild throughout the house. Instead, nap when he does and get to bed at a reasonable time to help combat fatigue. If a friend offers to take your tot for a playdate, take her up on it and use that time to put your feet up and relax. (Throw in a load of laundry first if it eases the guilt of ?not doing anything.?)
If lunch for you is nibbling while your toddler eats, change your mindset and make an effort to eat well. Not only is a healthy diet important for the baby, but eating nutritious meals and staying hydrated will help you feel better.
If your kiddo is rambunctious and demanding of your attention, try leaving him with Daddy or a friend for longer ob-gyn appointments. You need time to discuss the pregnancy, your health, and your baby-to-be's development with your physician and have your questions answered without interruption. (Oh, and while you're there you might want to ask your doc about whether it's okay to pick up your toddler during pregnancy.)
Overall, take care of yourself, and if the house is a little messy or you need to heat up a frozen pizza for dinner once in a while, give yourself a break. You're growing a baby and raising a toddler; that's plenty of work for anyone!