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So, you finally have two candles on your baby’s birthday cake! You may also be wondering about the infamous phase of- terrible two’s. There is no doubt that you are likely to face some challenging moments now as your baby of 2 years old turns even more independent and assertive. With his range of skills increasing and his imagination taking flight, he is becoming his own unique and distinct little individual.
Your baby of 24 months old may not always behave the way you expect him to. There may be outbursts of frustration when he can’t have his way. But as parents, it may do you good if you maintain a relaxed attitude.
There may be no dull moment with your 2-year-old baby around; his continuous chatter as he tries to thread three or four words together to compose a sentence will keep you amused. You can even have meaningful conversations with your baby now.
2 Years Baby Development
A baby can chart significant developmental milestones as he turns two yeard old. However, these 2-year-old milestones are general guidelines and in no way establish a set pattern of growth. Every child may take his own time to progress. So, parents should not unnecessarily fuss over their child if he doesn’t seem to be covering the supposed milestones.
During this age, your baby may further learn to coordinate and apply his fine motor skills to do several things. Most parents may worry if their baby has the ideal weight or not. An average 2 years baby weight can be anything around 23 to 28pounds. Some of the physical developments that a baby of 2 years old is likely to display are:
- He may be walking up and down the stairs with ease.
- He may be able to walk backwards without difficulty.
- He may be getting better at balancing himself like standing on one foot which aids him to climb.
- He may be drawing circles and other shapes.
- He may be able to hold crayons between his thumb and fingers.
- He is successfully able to stack blocks to build a tower.
- He may wear few items of clothing with little help.
Social and Emotional Development
Your baby may now be ready to share things with a friend or a sibling though not always. He may still prefer playing all by himself though he won’t mind a friend playing by his side. The following social and emotional development may get manifested in a 2 years old baby:
- A toddler at this age may waver between acting like a big kid and wanting to be treated like a baby. Such emotional dichotomy is typical of this age and may arise if there has been a change in his routine or he wants some of your attention and love.
- Your baby may start becoming aware of the gender differences. For example, a boy may imitate his father like his walk or sense of dressing. Girls are likely to copy their moms like trying to put on lipstick.
- It is also possible that kids may not imitate the same gender role model. It is totally normal to do so. Kids, being naturally curious, like to experiment with a lot of things.
- Your baby may not feel so anxious about being away from you.
- Your baby may have some episodes of defiance and emotional outburst.
Cognitive and Language Development
By now your baby may be able to point out the familiar things if he happens to see them in a book like balloons, a dog. But he may not be able to relate to abstract concepts yet. Some of the features of cognitive and language development can be:
- Your baby may like to sort out his things and organize them into categories.
- He may begin using a few phrases to twine a sentence.
- As he starts to build awareness of his separate identity he may talk about his likes and dislikes.
- He may be able to comprehend simple instructions and follow them.
- You may hear a lot of “why” from your baby. At times he may say it because he wants a genuine explanation. Other times he may use it simply because he doesn’t know how else to express his curiosity.
- Your baby may begin to know concepts like sooner or later, better or worse and so on.
Your baby at this age is likely to be very persistent. He may want things in a particular manner and can get frustrated if things don’t happen accordingly. You may have to face some whingeing or whining from time to time. He may also not take kindly to being refused things or on being told no.
Sometimes kids tend to whine because they are tired or hungry. Tackling these two issues may solve the problem of whining. Sometimes kids may feel stressed or want some of your attention. Usually hugging or comforting them may stop the whining. You can also try distracting your baby with some interesting toy or engage his attention in some exciting activity which may divert his mind.
A toddler at two usually tries to test the authority of his parents and the extent of his power in controlling things. So, giving in to his whingeing may not be a good idea. Try to be gentle yet firm when handling such tricky situations. In case the whining persists ignoring it altogether may work.
Food and Nutrition
For a 2 years baby, food can become fun. Your baby by this time may be joining in during family meals. The prospect of eating by using cutlery on his own may be exciting for your baby. You can expect a lot of mess but let him be.
Your baby’s molar teeth may be starting to arise which means his chewing skills are likely to be better. Your baby may develop erratic eating patterns meaning eating a lot during one meal and then hardly eat anything during the next. Resist the urge to force-feed your baby on occasions when he shows no inclination to eat. Offering a healthy snack like a portion of some fruit or piece of cheese to your baby in between meal times may prove helpful. You can also try raw vegetables like carrots, cucumber sticks or slices of tomato.
If your baby seems to be a fussy eater try being inventive with his baby food. For example, allow him to dip raw vegetables like carrot sticks in nutritious dips, use tasty spreads to make rolls, offer him a healthy smoothie made of milk, fruits, and yoghurt, use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches into animals, flowers.
By this age, your baby may be ready to make the shift from a cot to a bed of his own. The transition, however, may be slow and in phases. Your baby may take time to cope with the change. You can start by letting him nap during the day in his bed to get used to the idea. Involve him in setting up his bed like spread his favourite bed sheet; put some of his favourite stuff toys on the bed.
If you are concerned about your baby’s safety while he is sleeping in his bed, you can install a stair gate at his bedroom’s door. You can also put a bed guard or safety rails to prevent your baby from falling out of his bed.
Play and Activities
Activities that involve a lot of imaginative play, language and interaction may prove beneficial for your baby’s overall development. Activities like toy hide and seek, dressing up toys, catching the ball, Simon says can not only be entertaining but also a means to learn different skills.
To channelize your baby’s energy employ him in outdoor play, take him often to the park and on walks to the neighbourhood. He may come across several interesting things on the way which can broaden his awareness levels.
If you like to encourage your baby to share more readily you can introduce him to the concept of taking turns. For example, you can suggest colouring a picture together and then take turns to colour it. Your baby may also enjoy dancing, singing along with actions and jumping.
Tips for Parents
Here are a few tips about your baby’s care and development:
- Your baby may be ready to try potty training. Allow him to set the pace and gradually initiate the concept.
- It is important that you constantly communicate with your toddler. It will help him to increase his vocabulary and develop a better command over the language.
- Maintain a nutritious diet for your baby. Keep introducing a newer variety of foods. For example, if your baby is used to plain idlis try idlis with vegetables or rava idlis for a change.
- In case your baby is not fond of drinking milk offer alternative forms like fish, yoghurt, cheese.
- It is normal to feel flustered once in a while but try and be patient with your baby. Keeping your calm may help you sort out tough situations rather quickly.
Consult a Doctor if
You can schedule visits to a doctor at regular intervals to weigh and measure your baby’s height. You can discuss any concerns you may have regarding your baby’s growth or diet. It is always better to clarify any lingering doubt than to regret not asking later on.
The terrific twos can be an exciting phase. Your 2-year-old baby is a continuous work in progress as he actively explores the world around him. As parents, you may like to provide him with the right support and encouragement, access to different activities along with lots of love and affection.