Wowza! Your baby is approaching their second birthday, which means you’ll probably stop referring to their age in months. With two years behind you and a lifetime ahead, it’s time to take stock in the joy that your baby brings to your family every day. The smiles. The surprises. The snuggles. The everyday pleasures of sharing time together. The highlights reel from these past two years is full of ups and downs and unexpected turns, for sure. Think of all that you and your baby have learned and experienced. What are your favorite moments? Talking to your child about all of the things that you love about him and all of the things that he has achieved can help him develop a positive sense of self. And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate your kiddo with lots of kisses and kindness.
At this age, your child is becoming more and more independent, like turning door knobs to enter a room, walking up and down stairs, asking for things that he wants (“Applesauce!”), and undressing himself (hopefully not in public places!). He can wash and dry his own hands with some help too. Encourage this new skill by teaching your child how to push the pump on Brandless Tear-Free Baby Shampoo & Wash container and giving him his own organic cotton hand towels.
With this newfound initiative, your toddler is more likely to get into things and situations that are not safe. It’s time to redouble your efforts to child-proof your home. Secure household cleaners, detergents, outlets, window blind cords, and any other items that could cause harm. Stocking your shelves with Brandless cleaning products that can lower the risk that your child will come in contact with harsh chemicals. Keep a vigilant eye out, always.
Many toddlers this age are showing an increased interest in music and rhythms. They will test their vocal chords to “sing” and move their bodies to dance to almost any tune. Give your child a wooden spoon and cardboard box (an empty Brandless box works great!) for an improvised drum to thump, thump a beat. Count out a pattern while clapping along, “1, 2, 3”. Give the spoon or cup to baby and encourage her to do the same thing. Your baby is using eye-hand coordination and understanding how sound patterns develop.
Now is also a good time to reinforce healthy attitudes about eating. Make sure that mealtime is a fun, pleasurable experience that you enjoy together. Share laughter, smiles, and table talk while serving a nutritious mix of all of the food groups. You can even let your child help with the food preparation since he will want to be near you and involved while you are in the kitchen cooking. If a Brandless pasta meal is on the menu, let your child pour the dry pasta into an empty pot and stir it while you are waiting for the water to boil. Once you transfer the noodles to the pot on the stove, return the empty pot to your child and let him add his own ingredients for a pretend soup. Show him how to add a few foam alphabet letters, some broken crayons, torn up strips of recycled paper, a dash of salt, and whatever else you have on hand for an original concoction. You can even serve a bowl of his pretend soup to a stuffed animal guest while you sit down to your delicious pasta meal. If your child is a reluctant eater, try to keep the mood light by offering options (maybe some Organic Lentil Soup?), letting him choose, and never forcing your child to eat or encouraging a clean plate if he isn’t interested.
It’s true that you shouldn’t make a child eat something that he doesn’t want to eat. Nor should you rush into potty training if your child isn’t ready. Most children will learn to use the potty between ages two and three, so it is possible that your child is showing some signs of being ready. Does he tell you when he needs to go? Can he sit on and get up from a child’s potty seat by himself? Use your best judgement as to whether or not your family is ready for this big step. It can take some time, patience, and a no-big-deal approach to accidents. Even after your child is potty-trained during the day, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of diapers on hand for nighttimes, long trips, and other situations when your child may need a back up. By now, your child is likely wearing Brandless Size 4 or 5 diapers. Larger toddlers (35+ lbs) who are still comfortable in diapers will wear Size 6.
Your bathtime and bedtime routines are as important as ever for your 22- to 24-month old. Play with your baby as he splashes with his toys in the bath. Ask him, “Will you share with me?” Practice giving and taking with different objects. Say, “Thank you for sharing. Now it’s your turn!” Early practice with sharing can help your baby develop social skills. If a regular after-bath rub down with Unscented Baby Lotion is part of your routine, don’t stop now! All of these regular rituals help signal time for sleep and can make the whole process go more smoothly. Same with bedtime read alouds. If you haven’t started reading books together at bedtime yet, by all means add that into your evening plans. The more books your child has in his life, the better.
That time when your baby is asleep and you and your partner have some quiet time together can be just as important as the special time you make for your child. Treat yourselves at the end of the day with some Organic Popcorn and a movie. You’ve earned it.