Learn everything you need to know about your 33 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Brothers and sisters have been fighting and jockeying for the position of top dog in the family since the beginning of time -- so don't be surprised when your sweethearts start competing for your attention and create discontent between themselves, or when your toddler suddenly acts out of character around his baby sister. Sibling rivalry teaches kids about conflict resolution, negotiating, and compromise, but it's still no fun and pretty much impossible to stop completely.
If your toddler has an older sibling, you might go through stages that have you intervening in battles so often you need a referee's whistle. While you might be tempted to step in when kids are arguing, many experts say you should try to allow the kids to work out their own problems. Give them direction if needed to help them resolve disputes, but avoid taking sides when possible. Trying to figure out who did what usually gets everyone even more riled up and puts fuel on the fire. Compromise is a good goal.
Perhaps your children aren't yet old enough to fight, but you see the difficulty your toddler is having with a younger sibling. This is likely because your kiddo feels his position in the family has been threatened -- he now has to share all of your attention and affection with somebody else who gets the cuddles he desires for himself. If your toddler is experiencing these feelings, he might become physically aggressive, so keep an eye on him around the baby in particular. He might also cling to you more, showing babyish behaviors. When this is the case, continue to support and show plenty of attention to your toddler, and reassure him that you'll never abandon him and that you love him more each day -- and you always will.
Whether your kiddo takes to water like a duck or views bathing as a wet time-out, he's going to get messy and dirty -- and you've gotta keep him clean! If your tot isn't a fan of the tub, perhaps he's not having enough fun! Bathtime is the perfect opportunity to experiment with shampoo mohawks, take a toy whale deep-sea diving, paint with soap crayons, or make bubble creations.
Of course the real point of the bath is to get your toddler clean. Use a kid-friendly soap and washcloth to gently scrub your tot's face, hands, and body (leaving his cute little behind for last). A no-tears formula shampoo works great for washing hair and behind the ears.
Keep in mind that the bathroom is inherently dangerous for toddlers, and you need to minimize those risks to make getting clean a pleasant, safe experience. The No. 1 rule is to never leave your child alone in the tub, even though he's getting older and can sit and enjoy independent play.
Always check the water temperature before your tot gets into a bath or shower. You can help prevent scalding both during bath time and when your child is washing his hands by setting your home's water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Additionally, the tub faucet can get very hot while you're running a bath, so remind your child that it's a hands-off item. (You might even want to purchase a cushioned, insulated faucet cover.)
Slippery tubs and floors aren't safe for anyone. Try using non-slip decals or a bath mat to prevent dangerous falls. A rug by the tub cushions your knees as you bend over to wash your child's hair and makes getting out of the tub safer and more comfortable for your family.
Are your eating habits less than stellar these days? Does your family rely on processed convenience foods and order frequently from the pizzeria down the road? Taking care of a family -- including a little kid who's on the go -- requires a lot of energy, and if you're not getting the proper nutrition, you might not be feeling up to the task.
Eating nutritiously can be a challenge if you're cooking for a picky eater -- whether it's your toddler, an older child, or even (gasp!) your husband. You have to get tough and decide that you're not a short-order cook. When you plan and prepare a healthy meal for everyone, your whole family will benefit from nutritious foods, even if it takes them time to warm up to the idea. (True, your tot might snub green beans, but eventually he might give them a try, so don't give up!)
To boost your nutrition, plan meals and snacks each week. If you know you've got a full schedule ahead, take advantage of healthy frozen foods such as fruits, vegetables, and even prepared meals. Buy easy-to-grab snacks that are good for you and pack a couple in your purse for times when you need a bite. Checking food labels for calorie, fat, and sodium content will help you make better choices.
Eating healthier doesn't mean deprivation and misery. If you're doing a good job of getting the nutrients you need, treating yourself to a frozen yogurt or having a slice of a friend's birthday cake once in a while isn't a big deal. Remember, moderation is the idea.
Overall, keep in mind that you're serving as a role model for your child. He'll imitate your good habits, and that's great motivation to take care of yourself and, in turn, your toddler.