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At this age, your child may:
begin to feed herself
say four to 10 words
stand alone and walk
stoop to pick up a toy
roll or toss a ball
drink from a sippy cup
Your child can eat table foods and drink whole milk each day.
Give your child foods that are healthful and can be chewed easily.
Your child will prefer certain foods over others. Don't worry — this will change.
You may offer your toddler a spoon to use. He will need lots of practice.
Avoid small, hard foods that can cause choking (such as popcorn, nuts, hot dogs and carrots).
Your child may eat five to six small meals a day.
Give your child healthful snacks such as soft fruit, yogurt, cheese and crackers.
Your child needs at least 800 mg of calcium and 400 IU
of vitamin D each day.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.
This age is a little young to begin toilet training. You can put a potty chair in the bathroom. At this age, your toddler will think of the potty chair as a toy.
Your child may go from two naps to one nap each day during the next six months.
Your child may sleep about 13 hours each day. Consistent bedtimes are best.
Continue your regular nighttime routine: bath, brushing teeth and reading.
Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of
your child every time she rides in a vehicle.
The safest way for your child to ride is in a rear-facing
car seat properly secured in the back seat. You are
strongly encouraged to keep your child rear-facing until
Be a good role model for your child. Do not talk or text
on your cellphone while driving.
Falls at this age are common. Keep gates on all stairways and doors to dangerous areas.
Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and poisons out of your child's reach. Call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or your health care provider for directions in case your baby swallows poison. Have these numbers handy by your telephone or program the number into your phone.
Use safety catches on drawers and cupboards.
Cover electrical outlets with plastic covers.
Use sunscreen with an SPF of more than 15 when your child is outside.
Keep the crib mattress at the lowest setting. It's time
to move your child to a toddler bed when she tries to
climb out of the crib.
Always keep the crib sides up to the highest position and the crib mattress at the lowest setting.
Teach your child to wash her hands and face often. This is important before eating and drinking.
Always put a helmet on your child if she rides in a bicycle carrier or behind you on a bike.
Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near water.
Do not leave your child alone in the car, even if she is asleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television for children age 2 or younger.
What your child needs
Read to your child often.
Hug, cuddle and kiss your child often. She is gaining independence but still needs to know you love and support her.
Let your child make some choices. Ask her, "Would you like to wear the green shirt or the red shirt?"
Set clear rules and be consistent with them.
Teach your child about sharing. Just know that she may not be ready for this.
Teach and praise positive behaviors. Distract and prevent negative or dangerous behaviors.
Ignore temper tantrums. Make sure your child is safe during the tantrum. Or, you may hold your toddler gently, but firmly.
Never physically or emotionally hurt your child. If you
are losing control, take a few deep breaths, put your
child in a safe place and go into another room for a few
minutes. If possible, have someone else watch your child
so you can take a break. Call a friend or call the Crisis
Consider joining a parent child group, such as Early
Childhood Family Education (ECFE) through your local
Brush your child’s teeth one to two times each day with
a soft-bristled toothbrush. You do not need to use
toothpaste. If you do, use a very small amount.
Let your child play with the toothbrush after brushing.
Using bottles increases the risk for cavities and
Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and
checkups starting at age 3 or earlier if there are questions
or concerns. (Your child may need fluoride supplements
if you have well water.)