The "toddler years" are really a brief period of time, but there are many radical changes that your child will undergo during these months. At no other time will your child master so many new abilities and make such large leaps in skill development. Of course, you play a key role in helping your child through these early milestones. Sometimes, knowing how to support him during each stage and transition can be challenging. Use this guide to help you prepare for some of the major changes you and your little one will encounter during this period.
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If you are still nursing your toddler, the questions of when or how to wean her can begin to feel tiresome and confusing. Keep in mind that there are no absolute rules. Weaning or choosing to continue to breastfeed into the second year or beyond requires paying attention to your child and your own needs.
Most experts recommend that children give up the pacifier by or around their first birthday to avoid future dental problems, potential injuries, and extreme attachment that make it harder for your child to give up the binky. If your child is still using a pacifier, it may be time to get firm about getting your child to stop using it.
Highchairs are convenient in some ways, but booster seats can be easier to clean and free up some space. More importantly, when a toddler moves from a high chair to a booster, he moves from being the "baby" to being a part of the family sitting at the regular table. With this transition, you may see changes in how your toddler handles utensils and even how well he eats.
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Don't rush the transition from a rear-facing to forward-facing car seat. You might assume it's something you do around your child's the first birthday. However, as Heather Corely, our Guide to Baby Products, points out, the old advice about turning your baby around at one year or 20 pounds isn't necessary the best way to go.
When should your child start talking? Should I worry that he's not talking much at 20 months or 30 months? Some children just start talking later than others, but for every child, there are ways you can encourage her to speak more and to develop a more robust vocabulary that she can use to express herself.
From putting toys away to wiping off the table or putting dishes into the sink. There are many small chores that toddlers are able to perform on their own. Sometimes, having your child "help" can lead to a simple task being more complicated, time consuming and mess. Have patience, though. In the long run, your child will gain a sense of independence and cooperation that will ensure he's helpful and considerate as he grows.