- Family and Parenting
5 Must Haves for Toddlers
There comes a time when all babies become toddlers. They go from cute and cuddly to walking and getting into everything. There are several things your toddler needs and that will help make this transition just a little bit sweeter. You don't want to spend all your time arguing; you want to have fun! These are my top five favorites.
The Walking AssistantClick thumbnail to view full-size
First comes being held by your parents, then comes crawling and last comes walking. There are several ways to help your toddler learn to walk. One way is to hold their hands, but that puts a strain on your back. (FYI: Speaking of backs, your toddler will need healthy back muscles to walk. You can have them practice reaching for things in order to strengthen them.) As long as you are letting your toddler know that you are there to catch them, wouldn't it be better if you could stand straight next to them as they walk? That's what they'll see when they're walking on their own. They might as well get use to the view.
These are $12.50 for this week only.
Child Safety Locks
You may have already done this as a baby proofing method, but if you haven't now that you've got your toddler actually toddling, you'll need to make sure of their safety around the house. Toddlers like to get into everything. I mean everything. Your purse, make up bag, the pantry, the cabinets and the refrigerator to name a few. Not to mention just the fact that your toddler will be very upset if you keep telling them, "NO!" all the time, you'll get exhausted running around after them shutting all those drawers and doors. These child locks will go on any type or shape of drawer or door. You won't have to move all your cleaning supplies or medical supplies up where they are out of reach. You can just put on a safety lock and call it a day. You won't have to get use to going somewhere else for your stored items.
These are normally $19.95, but they are currently on sale for $9.55 with the added bonus of FREE SHIPPING! That's less than $1 a piece as they come in a pack of 10.
The Feelings Song
No one is born with the ability to control their emotions. Your toddler is going to be a walking, talking jumble of emotions with no way of telling you what they are feeling. That's where you come in. Don't be afraid to show your emotions either and explain what they are and how they feel. Knowing that every one has emotions is beneficial to your toddler. There is one thing that I know of that will help out with having not so many negative feelings.
Toddlers get told "No" a lot.
- "No, don't touch that."
- "No, put that down." "
- "No, stop squeezing the kitty."
- "No, you can't go outside right now."
- "No, it's not time for snack.
Whatever it may be, they get told no more often than they get told yes. A very wise psychiatrist once told me to replace "no" with "yes".
- "Yes, you can go outside after we clean this mess."
- "Yes, we can eat once we finish this movie."
- "Yes, you can play with the kitten, but you have to be careful."
This way not only are you telling them yes, but you are teaching them about priorities. As I tell my children, "You do what you HAVE to do first, then you do what you WANT to do." Basically, they can do just about anything they want to, but they have to take care of their responsibilities first.
Toddler BedClick thumbnail to view full-size
Each toddler will transition from the baby bed into a toddler bed at different ages. The rule of thumb is to transition between 2 and 3 years of age. The exception to that rule is if your toddler has already figured out how to get out of the baby bed without you, then go ahead and transition them to the bed.
Please note that once they are in the toddler bed, bed time is more up to them. They can get out whenever they want to. There's different ways to get your toddlers back in bed for the night. Make sure that the time you go to bed is consistent, read a book and then say goodnight, or sing a song and then say goodnight. What that does is it gives the toddler something they look forward to; a routine. They know it's going to happen every night and then they have to go to sleep. Reading a book helps them relax and turn off their brain. It also keeps them still long enough to realize they are tired and need to sleep.
Toddler beds range in price and design. You can go super cheap with a simple design or expensive with a fancy design. Either way, your toddler will be sleeping in a bed.
The PottyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Potty Training just might be the most unprepared for part of toddlership. Every single child is different. There is no true and tried way, as some claim. My son took two weeks, but my daughter took three months and still has accidents sometimes.
If you have a boy, I strongly suggest letting the male teach them since they have the same body parts. If there is no male, you could try "hit the Cheerio", sitting them down instead of standing up, or a potty urinal that has a "toy" in it that flips around when they hit it.
If you have a girl, I have no idea! I say this because it just took my daughter wanting to go to the potty and not wanting to wear diapers for her to do it. It was all about her. When she was ready, she did most of it on her own.
The main thing to look for with either boys or girls is when they're playing and don't want to stop playing to go to the potty. They have a little dance they'll do or try to hold it in with their hands.
Just as there are many ways to potty train, there are many potties to choose from. How do you choose? It's more about what you think your child would be comfortable with. My advice is to let them pick the potty. Since it was their idea, maybe they'll actually use it.
Here are some of the variety of potties available.