As babies grow into toddlers, they become more independent, wanting to do things by themselves, in their own way and when they want to. Toddlers often seem to have lots of energy and make a lot of mess as they play, moving quickly from one thing to another.
By 2 years, you can expect your toddler to start to walk and run, and while some children start walking before a year others don’t walk until 18 months or older. This is also the time they start saying several words and join words together.
Toddlers will also:
By 2 years, your toddler will chat away to themselves in their own baby language. First words are usually the names of important people (eg Mum, Dad), or familiar objects (eg cup, ball). They will understand a lot more than they can say. They may be starting to learn colours and shapes. Children who grow up in families hearing two or more languages enjoy learning these languages.
To help develop your child’s language:
Talk to your Plunket nurse, other well child health provider, doctor or a speech language therapist if you are concerned about your child’s speech or if they are not saying any words by 18 months.
By 2 years most toddlers will watch everything going on around them, notice things at a distance such as birds and planes and reach for and pick up small objects with finger and thumb.
By 2 years you can expect your child to:
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing or eyesight, talk to your Plunket nurse, other well child health provider or doctor.
The bath can be one of the best play times of the day. Toddlers love playing with lots of things (eg empty drink bottles, plastic cups or jugs, boats and any toys that float or can be filled with water). To avoid drowning, stay with your child when they are in the bath. Watch them so they do not get in while the bath is filling and empty the water as soon as the bath is finished.
Some children take a strong dislike to the bath. These fears often do not last long. You can help by taking a gentle, gradual approach to bath time.
Some parents have found it helpful to stand their toddler in an empty bath and sponge them with warm water. Each time, gradually increase the amount of water in the bath. Your toddler may prefer to have a bath or shower with an adult, brother or sister.
Children are ready to learn to use the toilet at different ages, usually any time between 18 months and 4 years. At about 18 months to 2 years, your toddler may start to notice they have a wet or dirty nappy.
Over the coming months they will become aware of the need to go to the toilet. They may become able to hold on long enough to make it to the toilet in time.