Your child will explore his world by putting everything he can grab into his mouth. Here are some ways you can help your child avoid choking:
- Never leave small things in your child’s reach even for a moment.
- Do not feed your child hard pieces of food.
- Remove small objects that may be on the floor —so your child can’t get to them when he’s playing.
- Do not let your child run with food in his mouth.
Your toddler is into everything, and you are busy chasing, protecting, and guiding her. With all this activity and stress it may be hard to remember that these first three years are some of the most important times in your child’s life.
What you are doing now helps your child grow up healthy and ready for success.
- Take time out when you can and share child care with others when you need a break.
- Enjoy your child’s development and celebrate his accomplishments with him.
- Reward yourselves for your successes — and don’t be hard on yourselves for mistakes. All parents make them.
- For now, do all you can to make the most of these important years.
“If you behave at the shoe store, I’ll buy you a candy bar.” “Be a good girl at grandma’s house and you’ll get an ice cream cone.” It is tempting to use food to try to control your child’s behavior, but it can backfire. Soon your child believes that desirable foods are the ones used as rewards or bribes.
These foods are almost always high in sugar or fat —or both — like candies, cakes, cookies, chips, and ice cream. As your child gets older, she will have more control over what she eats. If she chooses a lot of high sugar, high fat foods, then her diet will not keep her healthy.
Parents often mean well when they say, “You can’t have dessert until you finish all of your vegetables.” They think they are doing something good by getting their child to eat the vegetables. But your child hears, “You have to eat the ‘bad’ vegetables in order to get the ‘good’ dessert.”
You don’t want your child to think of any healthy foods as ‘bad.’ Let her have dessert. You can make the dessert something low in fat and sugar — like a fruit juice popsicle.
For help on choosing a variety of foods, visit here
- Do not use any food — even healthy food — as a bribe or reward.
- Encourage your child to eat a wide variety of foods, so she will get all the nutrients she needs for growth and health.
- Let her know when you are pleased with what she does. “You didn’t fuss in the shoe store. You were patient.” This is a better reward than candy because it helps your child learn how to behave.
Learning to use the toilet is a big step. Most toddlers learn to use the toilet between 2 and 3 years of age. Toddlers start using the toilet during the day, and still need to wear diapers. As they get better at knowing what it feels like to have to go to the toilet, they start to stay dry during the day. But they will still need diapers at night.
Toilet training will have ups and downs. Some days your toddler will be very good at knowing he needs to go. Other days, your toddler may have several accidents. Let him learn at his own pace.
- Wait until your toddler is ready. Look for signs — like being uncomfortable in a wet or dirty diaper.
- Avoid forcing your toddler to use the toilet or criticizing accidents. When a toddler feels pressured or embarrassed, it can take longer to toilet train.
- Show your toddler where the toilet is and how to get there.
- Practice getting on and off the toilet. Let your toddler sit on the toilet when he is interested, even if he doesn’t go.
- Encourage your toddler to tell you when he is wet or dirty.
- When you change his diaper tell him why. “We have to change you because you made your diaper wet.”
- Dress your toddler in loose-fitting clothes that pull off easily.
- Be patient. Praise your toddler for each step: telling you it is time to go, sitting on potty, etc.
Look for a program that is safe, nurturing, and has lots of learning opportunities. Look for:
- Teachers who talk and listen to the children — which helps your toddler learn language skills.
- Teachers who play with the children —making it feel safe for your toddler to learn social skills.
- Many different kinds of play — building, reading, sorting, pretending, and drawing.
- No T.V. for toddlers. If there is television, make sure there are limits on time and that the shows are right for your toddler’s age.
- Rules and routines which are easy to follow. Learning to follow rules and routines will help your toddler be ready for school.
- Chances to visit the program before you sign up and drop in after your child is enrolled. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Does it seem like you have too much to do and not enough time? Here are some ideas:
- Make a list of everything you want to get done for one day or one week. Decide which things are most important, and which ones can wait — or don’t have to be done at all. Be reasonable about what you can do in the time you have.
- Write out a schedule, so you can aim for a time to finish each task. Think about how you’ll do the task in the time you have.
- Group all the chores that require going out, or the ones that require someone else to care for your child.
- Figure out how much you really can do in the time you have. Make sure you build in time for the most important people in your life: you, your partner and your child.