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Your Toddler's Development

  • Talk, talk, talk to your child, and make a special effort to listen, listen, listen. He is usually saying something important.

  • Don't forget to notice the wind! Watching the branches of a tree is fun. Noticing the wind is a perfect way to encourage your child's imagination.

  • The average toddler moves out of his crib into a bed when he is between thirty-four and thirty-six inches tall.

  • The best way to weigh your fast-moving toddler is to get on the scale together, then put down your toddler and weigh yourself alone. The difference between the two weights is your toddler's weight.

  • If buying shoes for your toddler has you stumped, you're not alone. Shoe sizes run this way: infants 0-8, toddlers 8½-12, and youth (4-7 years) 12½-13½.

  • To estimate a toddler's shoe size, use the following equation: double his or her age and then add two for boys and one for girls. Example: for a one-year-old boy, think 1+1+2 and start at size 4. For a two-year-old girl, 2+2+1, start at size 5. This formula works for children up to age five. (This tip came straight from a children's shoe department manager.)

  • My mom says the easiest way to buy shoes for your toddler is to have him stand on a piece of paper in his socks and draw a line around his feet, then take the paper to the shoe store and leave your toddler at home. You get the right size shoe and get to shop in peace. Leave it to mom!

  • Many babies love older folks, so visit older relatives or stop by a nursing home—it will brighten everyone's day. Your visit also provides a good opportunity to teach your children to treat older adults with respect.

  • Make everyday chores important and fun for your child and teach productivity. Watch for the mail carrier with your toddler every day and then go to the mailbox together and let her pick out the letters.

  • Toddlers seem to grow faster during the summer! Believe it or not, you do have to grow a child. They need sunlight, fresh air, and lots of water.

  • Once your child learns to say, "I'm not tired," remember you are in charge. Answer by saying, "It's time to go to bed, and once you lie down you'll fall asleep." Stay calm and just put her to bed or read a story if she needs to relax.

  • The average parent requires eight hours of nighttime sleep and the average toddler requires thirteen.

  • Bedtime for toddlers should be 7:00 P.M. or earlier. Bedtime for stressed-out parents should be 7:01 P.M. If you're tired or feeling overworked, go to bed when your baby goes to bed.

  • If your toddler won't stay in bed after you've said goodnight, deal with the situation calmly, quickly, and consistently. Minimize talking, because attention rewards the behavior. Guide the wanderer back to bed. Remind him it's time to go to sleep, then say goodnight again and leave. Repeat as necessary and don't give up! They say that being a parent is a test of two wills—yours versus baby's.

  • If your toddler refuses to nap, tuck a comfy blanket around him in a quiet room and whisper, "Let's pretend to take a nap." Sing a lullaby faintly. Keep your voice low and take an eternity to sing each word.

  • Keep your baby in his own bedroom now, even if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Don't get into the habit of bringing baby into your bed unless you want him to move in with you for good a little later on.



More on: Babies

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Copyright © 2006 by Jeanne Murphy. Excerpted from Your Happy Toddler with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


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