From Baby to Toddler: Changing Needs

Before you know it, your tiny bundle of joy will be a walking, talking, potty-using toddler. This new stage of your baby’s life will bring on milestones and changes. Use these tips to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

Crawling to WalkingParent, reading, toddler

Walking is one of the can’t-miss milestones in your baby’s life. Babies usually begin taking their first steps around nine to 12 months. What does this mean? Your toddler is now much more mobile, and will be able to reach things and get in to places he or she previously could not.

· Baby-proof any sharp corners.

· Secure windows and doors.

· Remove potentially harmful objects or put them out of reach.

· Give your baby a push-toy to help him or her work on walking.

· Cover electrical outlets.

· Install baby gates at the top and bottom of staircases.

Diapers to Potty

There is much debate over when to begin potty-training your baby, but experts suggest anywhere between 18 months to 3 years of age.

· Give rewards for going on the potty (stickers, stamps).

· Show your child how excited you are when he or she goes.

· Be proactive with teachers at school or daycare.

· Take a potty with you if you travel.

· Read potty-themed books.

Big Kid Foods

Around 9 to 12 months, you should begin transitioning your child to finger foods and lumpier consistencies. Meats, beans, and other proteins will also become a part of your child’s diet.

· Give your little one choices, but include all the food groups.

· Let your child eat family dinner, but cut everything up to bite-size.

· Give your little one healthy “dippers” to make eating fun.

· Use toppings like raisins to make unappealing foods more interesting.

· Let your child eat pizza for breakfast if that’s what he or she wants—it’s better than not eating at all.

· Let your child help prepare meals or snacks—he or she will be more likely to eat them.

Healthy Habits

Starting out early can help your child keep health habits for the rest of his or her life.

· Although baby teeth aren’t forever, get your child to brush early on.

· Have a daily routine, so your child will be ready when school comes around.

· Read to your toddler daily, and let him or her “read” as well.

· Teach your child how to wash his or her hands.

· Tell your child how important wearing a “seatbelt” is when you buckle him or her in to the car seat.

Join us this Sunday, June 26, at the Medical Center of Plano for our New Mom Tea event. We will discuss the second year of your baby’s life, including what immunizations and health screenings are needed. For more information visit us online or call (972) 519-1209.

Sources:

Tips for Raising a Toddler (The Kid’s Doctor)

How to Get Through the Toddler Years (Parenting)

Toddlers & Preschoolers (Parents)

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