What’s happening with your toddler?
By 2 years, he may have reached the following stages:
Beddy-byes: He may now sleep for about 11-12 hours at night, with a short nap of about 1 hour in the day. Night terrors may also start at this age, which are different to nightmares. He’s unlikely to have any memory of the event but they can be alarming for you to see. He may call out in distress, show signs of sweating and a rapid heartbeat. This is something he’ll grow out of as he gets older.
Co-operative play: He may now start to play with other children and not just alongside them.
Those terrible twos: Tantrums are simply defined as ‘a fit of bad behaviour’. But to you they can appear from nowhere in a whirlwind of legs, arms, tears and screams. Be comforted that they are a natural part of toddler behaviour. They give him the chance to assert himself, to release frustration and to tell you how he’s feeling. Look for ways to pre-empt and head off those tantrums and try to find alternative outlets for his frustration.
Building towers: He may now be able to build a tower of about 4 blocks high – congratulate him on his building skills.
How you can help your toddler this month
Still not getting enough shut-eye? If he’s not sleeping enough at night (less than 10 hours) he’ll be exhausted in the day and it will affect his behaviour and his levels of concentration. To ensure he gets enough sleep, be patient but consistent when you put him to bed – following the same sleep cues each day e.g. bath, drink, book. Plan your routine so that you can allow him a lunchtime nap as well as the same bedtime each evening.
Your toddler’s health
Semi-skimmed milk: Semi-skimmed milk is not suitable as a drink for children under 2 but it can be introduced from 2 years if he is a good eater and has a varied diet. (Skimmed milk is not suitable for children under five.) Now that he is over 2, his diet should be slowly adapted to be more like mum and dad’s. Aim for a healthy diet which is low in fat, especially saturated fat.
Play ideas for your toddler
Gardeners’ world: He’ll love the opportunity to help you in the garden, whether it’s raining or sunny. It will provide him with fresh air, exercise and the chance to get dirty. Get him a miniature watering can and trowel and find him a safe area where he can dig away. Talk to him about the different plants and colours, encouraging him to sniff and touch. But make sure he knows not to taste anything unless you are with him!
Your child’s development may not be exactly the same as these descriptions since all children will develop at their own pace. This is an approximate guide of some of the new skills your little one may be developing. If you have any concerns, always speak to your health visitor or GP.