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Your 21 – 24 month old – toddler development guide

Toddler Development Guide - 21-24 months oldYour almost-2-year-old one is certainly growing up. And probably acting like it too!

You might even have a fight on your hands if you try to help them out. Toddlers love to feed themselves dress themselves, clean their own teeth and brush their own hair. When possible, it is a good idea. You’ll be surprised to read just how many things they learning when you do something as simple as let a toddler dress themselves.

At this age, toddlers will start to imitate adults while playing and will try to help you around the house – maybe buy him his own little dustpan and brush and put him to work! It sounds silly but it is never too early to encourage children to help out around the house – check out this list of age-appropriate chores for children.

By the time your little one is two years old they might start to put two words together. They should be able to run well and climb down the stairs while holding on to the railings. A two-year-old will probably be able to stand up without using their hands to push up off the floor, should be able to walk backwards and sit on a chair at the table.

But they’re not grown up yet – there is probably one more major hurdle before your toddler becomes a little person … toilet training!

How is your toddler going?

Sleep

At this age your toddler still needs about 11-14 hours of sleep each day – including at least one daytime nap, which they will still need until they’re about 3 years + (although many will not ‘want’ it for that long!).

It is a good idea to have a consistent bedtime routine in place to help your toddler settle at night. A example of a good routine is: have bath, put on pyjamas, brush teeth, read book, tuck in, lights out, sleep! Of course toddlers will have their own ideas and this routine will not always go smoothly. Check out our funny article about how bedtime is routinely chaotic for a more realistic scenario.

Even if bedtime often descends into chaos you need to try to remain consistent. This will pay off in the long run. We promise!

Feed

The Australian Dietary Guidelines toddlers (aged 1-2 years) should aim for the following recommended daily intakes each day: 2-3 serves of vegetable day, 1/2 a serve of fruit, 4 serves of grain, 1 serve of meat/eggs/legumes, 1 – 1.5 serves of dairy. Of course, that’s easier said than done – remember, the guidelines are just something to aim for. Your toddler will have good days and bad days and you can relax as long as you continue to offer a variety of nutritious foods each day.

Most toddlers will go through a fussy stage and it can be helpful to remember that, even though some days will be tough, the long-term goal is to help your child grow into an adult who enjoys a wide range of healthy foods. There are some more tips in this article on how to raise an adventurous eater.

Play

Indulge in your toddler’s love of make believe by encouraging them to play role-play and imitation games. You can buy toy versions of adult household items (like kitchen utensils, phones, garden tools) but your little one will probably be just as happy with imaginary props (finger phones) or the actual adult items (provided they are safe).

There are so many simple ways you can help nurture your child’s imagination – let them have a tea party with dolls or stuffed animals, provide them with old clothes for dress-up games or head outside to collect items from nature that can be used in new and creative ways.

Toilet training

Some toddlers will already be starting to show signs they are ready to start toilet training. At this age, though, they are still quite young – so don’t be concerned if your toddler is not at all interested. It is far better to wait until your child is ready or else the process can become long, messy and frustrating. A child must be physically ready – able to take pants off, can climb onto the toilet seat – as well as emotionally ready – they want to go to the toilet, want to be a ‘big kid’ etc. Read our article on signs that your toddler is ready for toilet training for more information and advice.

If you have a toddler that is already well and truly ready you might be more interested to read our ultimate guide to toilet training.

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How are you going?

Do you like being a parent? It’s a tough question isn’t it? Of course, you love your children but sometimes it is hard to ‘like’ parenting. It is a tough gig. It is never-ending, full on and yet, somehow also, super-boring and monotonous. Rest assured that if you find yourself not loving being a parent then you are not alone. And it doesn’t mean you don’t love you children or are a bad parent.

Plus there are ways you learn to enjoy parenting a little more. There are some great ideas in this article – what happens when you don’t like being a parent – that will help put things in perspective and give you some practical ideas as well. We also love these 7 ways to break the monotony when you’re home with the kids.

3 things to do when you’ve got a 21-24 month old

Please note: All children are different, these are generic guides and aren’t a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.

NEXT: Coming soon – Your 2-year-old

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