Baby Calendar Month 15|24, March 2011
Your toddler is likely to have at least a few words beyond Mama or Dada and has a much bigger receptive vocabulary, meaning while he may only speak a few words your little one understands far more than that. The more you talk to your child and explain the world around her, the larger her vocabulary will grow.
As a related development your child will start using objects with an understanding of their intended purpose. For instance, your child will not merely be pleased to beat a hairbrush on the floor anymore. Rather he'll likely want to brush his, yours or the dog with it since he now understands the function of a brush. Similarly she will pretend to do things she sees you and other family members do such as cooking, talking on the phone or driving. Play along and enrich your child's pretending time.
Your child will enjoy more activities with the sharpened fine motor skills and refined gross motor skills. In fact your child is more likely to encounter other children at the playground or other settings as a result of growing skills and interests. Don't expect any best buddies just yet, though. Children this age will engage in parallel play or play side by side rather than truly interacting at a level that preschoolers do. That's OK, let them enjoy their socialization and just keep an eye out for overly enthusiastic play, unintentional hurting one another or battles over objects. Redirection and explaining why we can't pull Jena's hair or take Wyatt's bear is best. No long lectures and certainly no physical correction is advised.
Your child will probably go see the pediatrician this month. If your child has not had a developmental screening thus far, ask your doctor about doing one. Periodic developmental checks give an overall picture of your baby's development. Never rely on a solitary test to give an accurate portrait of your baby's level of skills or development. If your toddler has missed any scheduled immunizations this will be the time to get caught up. Like usual the doctor will check your baby's growth and plot it on a chart. Your child will follow a normal curve of growth in both height and weight. This is a good time to discuss things such as your baby's diet, multivitamins, and sleep patterns.
Tips for Mom and Dad
Sleep problems are likely to crop up now and again as your child grows. Toddlers can experience sleep disturbances with spurts in growth or development. Separation anxiety can also bring about new sleep difficulties. The best way to combat night time troubles is to be consistent. Have a pretty regular schedule whether you are on vacation, your child is ill or you have a busy week. Of course there will be some variation on occasion but staying as close to a normal schedule will do a lot to prevent sleep problems.
Have a consistent routine as well. Perhaps it's a bath, story time and some rocking or singing. Whatever the routine keep to it.
Nightmares are not uncommon and it's perfectly fine to comfort your child or put a nightlight in the bedroom. An occasional emotional night may precipitate you staying in your child's room until he falls asleep but don't get drawn into a regular pattern of this. Make sure your child has a lovey, some blanket toy or object that allows her to self-soothe. Otherwise you might become an emotional pacifier and that is habit that is horrible to break.
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