Caring for a newborn or infant can be very hard work.
Sometimes it feels like the days of spit-up and round-the-clock nursing will never end.
Then, too quickly, your baby becomes a toddler. These toddler milestones let you know that your little one is not a baby anymore. He or she is growing up.
While this can be difficult to face, you can also be proud of the amazing little person that you have raised. Here are some milestones to look out for:
1. Complete Sentences
Your baby’s first words are super exciting, but when he or she properly strings a few words together to make a coherent sentence, it’s amazing! Two words can even make a complete and exciting sentence. Knowing that your toddler is beginning to understand sentence structure and getting a grasp for language is something to be proud of.
2. Ordering from the Children’s Menu
Your tot no longer needs formula or packed food. You can go out and sit at a real restaurant and order his or her very own meal from the children’s menu. It’s bittersweet; your little one is growing up. But, now the family can enjoy meals out together without having to pack food. This is one of the toddler milestones that signal life is getting a bit easier!
3. Running & Playing
It started with a crawl, then a walk, and now your little one can play tag in the soft grass like a champ. This active play is loads of fun for parents to join in. Chasing and tagging help your toddler build up all those important muscles. Running shows that your child has risked the fall and is brave enough to overcome it.
4. Using the Potty
Diapers are becoming a thing of the past. When prompted, your child excitedly heads to the potty when he or she needs to go. Here are some signs he or she may be ready for potty training:
- Your child looks down at her diapers, grabs them or tries to pull them off when they’re soiled, or she squats or crosses her legs when she needs to go. These actions show that she’s mature enough to understand how her body works.
- She may also show an interest in the potty whether it’s wanting to watch you use the bathroom or talking about pee or poo.
5. Pre-Reading Skills
Your child can run his or her finger from left to right over a book as you read. He knows how to hold a book right side up and is excited for this snuggle time with mom and dad. She can point out what you name and shows interest. Reading time together is great for bonding and early literacy, and one of our favorite toddler milestones.
6. Demonstrates Empathy
Babies don’t make the emotional connection of how things affect others. As a toddler grows, he starts to understand the connection between his own feelings and the people in his life. This sets the foundation for friendships and deeper relationships. Now is the time to help him manage his emotions, but encourage him to feel what he feels and understand that others have feelings, too.
7. Showing Off Independence
Has your toddler started dressing or feeding himself? Does she want to do some things on her own? This is the toddler milestone of independence. It can be hard for parents to let go at this point, but allowing a toddler to exercise independence, with some basic tasks, will build his confidence. See Teaching Your Child Independence, Parents.com.
It is amazing, isn’t it? They grow and develop so fast! Be proud! This is what being a parent is all about.
Baby and Toddler Milestones, Dr. Lisa Shulman
For more related articles read our other posts:
- Newborn to Toddler; Mental Leaps, Growth Spurts, and Sleep