However, through this journey of sleeplessness, joy and mania, I have found a few pearls of wisdom that help me navigate toddler behavior. Below are some more tips and tricks on toddlerhood.
For Those who missed the first part to this post, click here to read 31 things every parent should know about their toddler.
30 More Things that Every Parent Should Know About their TODDLER:
Toddler Behavior :(For more on toddler behavior, click here to see my previous post)
1. If you believe that imitation is the best form of flattery, you're in luck. Toddlers imitate, a lot. Not only is it a sign of affection but it's a sign that we have to watch everything we do because sooner or later your little one is going to do it too!
3. You will wake up one day to your baby chattering non-stop, and asking questions about everything. Eventually taking you to the point where you will reminisce about the days of gestures and sounds and no speech. So try and be in the moment, no matter how old your little one is. It's just a matter of time.
4. Not only do toddler's love to control what they do, wear or eat - they also like to control it for you. While I put on my sunblock and make my hair in the mornings, my son opens my shoe closet and picks out my shoes. And yes, I have stepped out wearing orange shoes to work and his school, because if these little things make him happy (and more compliant), then it's okay to roll with it. (Though I have drawn the line at wearing mismatched shoes!)
|Sometimes the box is as fun as the toy
6. Hairwashing is torture. For you though, more than them. Because of the screams and the head shaking, the struggle to keep the soap out of their eyes and even running away inside the shower. Whether or not the shampoo says no more tears the process is more likely to bring tears. So save it for the end of bath time, and then proceed as quickly as possible. Don't bother with the caps and visors because your child will probably not want to keep those on either. Also, once in two/ three days is adequate unless your baby is rolling around in mud.
7. I recently had a successful hair washing session: a rare gem! We put on the music (shower speakers) and danced inside the shower, and then I used my baby's hands in his scalp to teach him to rub his hair. The more you involve your little one the less likely they are to resist.
8. My toddler gets two baths a day. Because he loves the water and because he sleeps better when he has bathed at night (and I sleep better when I get to bathe him in the morning). It is not the most practical thing though so feel free to suit yourself and do it when is most convenient to you and your baby.
9. Yes - bath books, toys, balls, stickers, alphabets, they all help!
|Storytime with dad
10. Toddler climbing - home made obstacle courses may help your baby get some of his urges out and also tire him or her a little..However, vigilance is key, as they will still want to climb up on the couch, chair, closet, and ofcourse - on you!
11. Are you down to one nap yet? Unfortunately, that will happen. But you can move your baby's bedtime a little earlier or expect them to sleep in a tad bit longer in the morning, when it does. This usually happens around 16 to 18 months, but if your tot has always hated to sleep like mine, you may be fortunate enough to receive this gift (repeat: shocking gift) sooner.
12. Potty training is supposedly easier and quicker for girls than boys. While most literature tells you to wait until your daughter is close to two (and even later for your sons), there are things you can do to start preparing even around 1. When your baby goes to the bathroom (in their diaper), use the word poo and make a hand action (preferably one that is not obscene). Do this consistently and you can eventually ask them to do it when they poop. Or ask them if they have done (hand action), and you will reach a point where they mirror the action or respond to you.
13. Closer to 18 months, your child is likely to be more responsive about whether they have to go to the bathroom or not, and may even show you the hand action. Do not force them to sit naked and wait but if they indicate they need to go to the bathroom (usually done first for poop than pee), put them on a baby pot and sit with them and wait, talk, encourage... and cheer! when the deed is done.
|This is the only age when you can go to the toystore, play, and not have to buy anything.. (cause they still cant ask)
14. If your child has not gotten toilet trained by the time they are closer to 2, then you can start keeping them bottomless (for boys, girls need protection as they are prone to urinary infections), after they wake up and after meals, and periodically place them on the pot to see if they need to go. (Note, baby pots are better than the toilet seat inserts as the squatting position helps get things moving....)
15. Yes, one year olds refuse food. Even their old staples. Try not to be too quick to offer a yummier alternative, unless you are prepared to keep a back-up option at every meal. Instead, involve them in the process. Tell them what they are going to be eating, show them how it's going to be made, and show them how much you love eating it too.
16. If they are still refusing their meal and you have to offer an alternative. Let them off the high chair for a few minutes and then back on with the new meal (so that the new meal is not positive reinforcement for the dismissed one).
17. If they still do not eat, which does happen.. do not panic, your child will not go hungry for long, it is okay if they miss a meal or two. However, if you are really worried, fruit smoothies can help keep them fuller for longer.
18. Did you expect your tot to put themselves to sleep? A lucky few moms will see their kids do this, however, most of us may still have to engage in some kind of ritual after the sleep routine. However, try not to walk your kids to sleep as they are likely to be heavy now, if it's a cuddle, or a book, or some music, or they need you to sit with them, and you do not mind it, then do it and don't stress about it. However, kids do tend to wake up and wonder where their bed time accompaniment went (and if it's you that can be a problem). So make sure that whatever you do, you put them down in bed when they are sleepy but not passed out. So that they do not get a shock when they wake up in a crib and mommy or daddy is nowhere to be seen.
19. Somethings your child will learn (and want) to do all on their own around this age - feed themselves with cutlery, undress themselves, brush their own teeth (it's okay to let them but at least before bed make sure you go in and brush them yourself a second time), bathe themselves (let them hold the mug and rub their own hands and body, you can always help), and choose their own books and toys.. Let them! It will be easier to control the things you have to (like bedtime).
|Proceed with caution: a heavy mess my occur
20. Appropriate toddler toys (that will help develop major and fine motor skills) - stacking things (cups/ boxes/ rings etc), blocks, baby lego and things they can join and undo (duplo etc), puzzles, pouring cups, cars/ wind up toys, balls (yes, for girls too), dolls (yes, for boys too! to encourage their nurturing tendencies), stickers, slate/chalk, crayons/paint and paper, puppets, shape sorters, clay, musical instruments and household items. (note: while using our cellphones may be another kind of skill, it does not make the list!)
21. Music and books are always appropriate, but limit screen time as much as you can, even if it is something you think is educational, they learn more with their hands and from books and from YOU than they ever could from a screen.
22. It is definitely not easy to keep coming up with new things for your child to do everyday. Fortunately, kids love repetition. The same songs, the same books, and even toys and activities. So as much as it may bore you, don't worry about it boring them.
23. It is not easy to keep saying no, and eventually your child will keep saying no to you if they hear that too much. So try offering alternatives when you do not like what your little one is up to.
|Household items galore..
Just for you, Exhausted moms:
More to come!
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