Age 2

Age 2 Behavior

Use picture books to enrich your child’s vocabulary. Reading books to your child will help with language development.

Playmates are important, so allow your child to experience playing with peers. This can be accomplished in a preschool, play group or just having another 2-year-olds over for a few hours. Do not expect sharing at this age. Arrange times for safe running and exploring outdoors.

Limit television viewing. Do not use the TV as a baby sitter or as a substitute for interaction with your child. Watch children’s programs with the child when possible. Turn the TV off during meals.

Use the computer together with your child for learning and playing but limit this activity as well TV viewing. Do not leave your child alone with the computer. See our guide to safe online surfing.

Do not worry if your child becomes curious about body parts. This is normal at this age. It is best to use the correct terms for genitals.

Discipline is very important at this age. Use a timeout when your child is not responding. Remember timeout is a not a punishment but a consequence for wrong actions. If used as a punishment your child is more likely to rebel and it will push the revenge buttons in the child. If your child refuses to sit by himself during the timeout then hold him on your lap during that time. Explain what happened and why the timeout is needed. Avoid yelling “Because I said so!” because it teaches to your child that he is not worth the explanation. You will want to raise your child understanding that there are consequences for their actions and make them understand why certain behavior is not acceptable. Discipline should be firm and consistent, but loving and understanding. Praise your child for his or her good behavior and accomplishments. Also encourage your 2-year-old to make choices whenever possible, but the choices should be limited to 2 or 3 so that your toddler won’t get overwhelmed with the decision. For example if you child is refusing to get dressed. Give him an option. “Would you like to wear the red or the green shirt today or would you like mommy to pick the shirt for you?” This way you are giving him an option to co-operate with dressing-up and if he doesn’t you make the choice. By asking questions you are making your child think and help his mental development.

Remember to have some time devoted to your spouse also. It is important that you take time for yourselves. Show affection in the family.

Tantrums?

Development

Activities your child will learn and/or do on his own:

* Climbs up steps alone, one step at a time holding the stair rail or the parent’s hand.
* Opens doors.
* Kick a ball.
* Can wash and dry hands.
* Uses a spoon and cup well.
* Asks frequent questions: “What is that?”
* Enjoys imitating adult activities.
* Selects and uses a toy appropriately (for example, feeds a doll)
* Most 2-year-olds have a vocabulary of 50 or more words, although this number varies with the sex of the child (girls speak more than boys), if the child has older siblings (who will speak for him or her) or if two languages are spoken in the house.

Feeding and Proper Nutrition

A two-year-olds appetite is often finicky and will vary from meal to meal and day to day. The child is not doing much growing at this stage so he or she does not need much food to survive. Your child will only gain three or four pounds during this year. Do not expect three good meals a day.

Your child will now be able to name foods he likes and dislikes. He may want the same thing day in and day out.

Discuss a vitamin/fluoride supplement with your child’s doctor. As well as changing to 2% milk.

Make sure your child’s caregiver is following your feeding instructions.

Sleep
In general, an afternoon nap is still required by most 2-year-olds.

The child should sleep in his or her own bed if feasible. (Discuss the move from a crib to a regular bed with your child’s doctor.) A 2-year-old’s bedtime is usually between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Certain sleep problems are common during this time, including refusing to go to bed, getting out of bed and wandering around the house at night, and night terrors and nightmares.

Your child may try the common “Stalling techniques” for children at this age at bed and nap time, such as “I have to go potty” to “I want a drink of water.”

A series of rituals works well to help your two-year-old go to sleep. This is an excellent time to read a book to your child.

Oral Health

Make sure your child is custom to brushing his teeth every day and is part of his daily routine. It is okay to use a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Check with your child’s pediatrician concerning when and how often to see the dentist.

Common colds in children

Car safety

It is very important to have your baby in a car seat no matter where you are driving. Even if the place is just around the block. Any child who weighs less than 60 pounds should be put in a safety seat every time the child is in the car. It is also a law in all 50 states. Put the baby car seat in the back seat of the car. This is the safest place for a baby to be in case of a car accident. If the car seat is in the front an airbag may seriously injure the baby. Fasten the harnesses on the car seat over the child’s shoulders with less than one inch of space. Do not put small infants in seats with rigid shields. When you are shopping for a car seat, look for the ones that are approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. For hot days you also want to make sure that the car is always kept cool inside. Check the seat’s temperature before you place your child in it. You also want to cover the car seat with a towel or blanket so exposed metal or plastic parts of the seat will not burn your baby’s skin if it happens to be a hot day.

The following age and weight guidelines will help you choose the right car seat. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions foe exact figures.

* Birth to 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds): Use an infant or convertible seat facing backward.
* 9 to 12 months (or 20 pounds) to 4 years (or 40 pounds): Use a convertible or toddler seat in the forward-facing position.
* 4 years (or 40 pounds) to 8 years (or 0 pounds): Keep your child in a convertible or toddler seat as long as he or she will fit. When your child has outgrown the seat, use one of the following:
If the car has a lap/shoulder belt in the rear seat, use a booster seat that positions the lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. Secure the lap belt across the child’s hips. The shoulder belt should not cross the face or front of the neck.
Use the rear lap/shoulder belt alone if it fits properly. It should not cross the face or neck or ride up across the stomach. the belt should fit across the child’s hips.
If no rear lap/shoulder belt is available, use the shield-type booster seat restrained by the lap belt in the car.
If no other type of restraint is available, use the lap belt. Position it low on the hips and adjust snugly.
* 8 years and older (or 70 pounds and more): You can use the car’s protection system without a booster seat.

Car Seat Buying Guide – click here

Safety

Always walk behind your car before backing out of the driveway. Also always supervise when your child is playing near a street. Remember, a child at this age does not understand danger or remember “no”; they cannot count on being aware of the outside hazards.

Pools must be gated. Knowing how to “swim” does not make a child water- safe at this age. Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, even for a few seconds. Ensure the child wears a life vest if boating.
Never leave a chair in such a position that your child can use it to climb to a dangerously high place. Be careful of items that can be left at counter level elsewhere, such as knives, scissors, cleaning agents, nail polish remover, household repair items, weed killers, insecticides, gasoline, oil, kerosene, lighter fluid and all medicines. Always keep potentially poisonous things in the items’ original containers. Never put poisons in food containers or bottles. Also be careful what you put in the waste basket … 2-year-olds love to stick there hands in the trash. Earache in children

Never buy toys or other objects that can cut or be ingested. Suffocation by plastic bags and balloons occurs at this age.

Be especially careful when using power lawn mowers and other power tools.

Never leave a child unattended in a car or a house.

Test smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly. If your home uses gas appliances, install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors.

Continue to use a water proof sunscreen on your child before going outside. Avoid the hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun is the most dangerous.

Summer First-Aid Guide

Toilet Training

Toilet training will begin. Your two year-old child will simply learn to control his urine and bowel movements when they are developmentally ready. Regardless of how hard you try teaching your child, you cannot speed up your child’s schedule and teach your child before he is ready to start learning. In fact, by over-training, you may delay the process by making them unsure, tense and overall nervous about it. This may even result in a rebellion. The last thing you would want to do as a parent is to make toilet training a one more battle to go through like you wouldn’t have other battles to choose from. You will just need to be patient and let the child learn on their own but with your guidance.

Signs of toilet learning readiness include awakening from a nap with a dry diaper, having their bowel movements at the same time each day, being able to say “wee-wee” or “peepee”, etc., knowing when they have to go, and being able to take off their clothes. Not all children have a regular bowel movement every day and if they do then your job becomes a little bit easier. By knowing your child’s bowel movement time, you may sit them on the little potty chair and wait hoping that he will go. If it happens give him encouragement with words that will send your child a positive message. If on the other hand, his bowel movement is irregular during the day, watch for a characteristic expression and posture that indicates he is having a bowel movement. When this occurs, pick up your child and put him on the potty and wait. If nothing happens in a few minutes, or if he is alarmed in any way, take them off.

Your child’s incentive to control their bladder and bowel movements is to please you, the person they look to for love. Therefore praise your child’s accomplishments and let him know you are pleased. When they have an “accident” just stay calm and don’t punish. If you show a sing of being distressed or angry when they fail, training may be delayed.

See our Growth Stages Chart

Toddlers ages 1-2 requirements in a nut shell:

* support in acquiring new motor, language and thinking skills
* a chance to start developing some independence
* help in learning how to control their own behavior
* opportunities to begin to learn how to take care of themselves
* daily opportunities to play with a variety of toys and different objects

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