Learn everything you need to know about your 29 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. This can be frustrating for the parent who prepares nutritious meals and snacks for her growing child only to have them thrown onto the floor or met with a scrunched up nose and look of disdain.
Don't feel guilty if your tot refuses the healthy food you're serving. Your child has other things on his mind and doesn't want to sit for a complete dinner. As long as your child is growing and active, how much he eats is up to him, really, so your best bet is to continue serving good foods and find what works to encourage -- not force, threaten, bribe, or cajole -- your toddler into eating well.
You don't need to become a short-order cook to please your finicky tot. He should be eating much of what you are at mealtime, but sometimes presentation is everything. Broccoli might not appeal to a 2-year-old, but what if you call it broccoli trees? Giving fun names to fruits and vegetables to make them sound more desirable.
A grilled cheese sandwich looks rather ordinary until you use your cookie cutter to shape it into stars; suddenly it's a star sandwich, and that's pretty cool. The green beans you serve are a lot more fun to eat if your child can plunge them into a bit of low-fat dip first. And fruit is extra yummy if you shake it up in a healthy smoothie.
Lastly, involve your child in meal preparation. Let him help you select the produce at the store and talk about the colors, shapes, textures, and flavors. While you're cooking, your tot can stir, wash, and mash foods. Praise your helper for a job well done. He might be so proud of the applesauce he mashed he'll forget he doesn't normally eat applesauce!
You wouldn't give your child a toy that contained lead-base paint or small parts that could present a choking hazard, but do you consider your child's hearing when looking at a toy's safety features? It's a fact often overlooked by toy makers and conscientious parents alike: Excessively noisy toys can permanently damage your child's hearing.
So how loud is too loud? As a general rule, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over a noisy toy, the toy is too loud. It doesn't have to be a continuous sound to impact your kiddo's hearing, either; a loud bang or pop can damage the ear, especially if the child is holding the toy close to his head.
Of course there's no need to eliminate all toys with sound. When purchasing toys, check the sounds before buying and look for those with volume that can be controlled. If a toy is noisy, limit the amount of time your child plays with it and explain to him how to play with that toy -- meaning he should keep it away from his face and ears.
If you're concerned about your child's hearing, the pediatrician might refer your tot to an audiologist who will ask you questions about your family's and toddler's health. Does anyone else in your family have hearing loss? Has your child suffered frequent ear infections? Has your tot had any serious infections (such as meningitis or encephalitis) or head trauma?
The good news is that often hearing loss in little kids is temporary or can be medically treated. An audiologist will determine the best course of action for your child.
There's more than one right way to parent a child, but what if you and a friend truly don't see eye to eye? Can disagreements in fundamental child-rearing methods divide a friendship?
A lot of the answer depends on how you and your friend choose to approach your differences. Of course you're both doing what you feel is best for your family, but you need to present your beliefs to each other without coming across as threatening, judgmental, or condescending.
Parenting isn't a competitive sport, so don't turn it into one. Nobody is a better mother because her child can count to 10, sleeps through the night without wetting the bed, or eats only organic strawberries.
If you find that you and your friend disagree on everything from discipline and bedtimes to day care and vaccinations, you might find the two of you begin to naturally drift apart. This might be especially true if there is a negative consequence to what's bugging you about your friend's parenting philosophy, such as her choosing to ignore a bratty tot's behavior or always bringing her runny-nosed child to playgroup even after you've asked her to observe the "sick kid policy."
Being a parent is a tough job. Don't feel guilty if you have to move on from your relationship, but do it gently and kindly. And if you and your friend can overlook the differences you have, you both might find that in the end you just want your children to be happy and healthy -- regardless of how they get there.