Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 26 months old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le.

Development & Behavior

What should my toddler be doing right now?

At this time, you may feel headache because your preschooler bites when he is mad or feel threatened, usually because he is having trouble communicating his feelings.

During the past year, you may have noticed your toddler beginning to favor one hand over another for things like eating or reaching. (Babies tend to use their hands interchangeably.) This coming year, use of the dominant hand will become more consistent and you will probably know for sure whether your child is left-handed or right-handed.

What should my toddler be preparing to do?

But just because biting is understandable does not mean it is acceptable. Clearly let your child know the behavior is not allowed. Be calm but firm: “No biting. Biting hurts people.” Then direct your attention to soothing the child who was bitten. Making a big fuss over a biter only encourages him to try this attention-getter another time.

Many child specialists feel that age 2 is an appropriate age to begin using time-outs as a teaching tool. Now your child is old enough to understand cause and effect, as well as sit still a bit. The key elements to a successful time-out:

  • A warning. Give your child a chance to stop the naughty activity “or else you will need a time-out to calm down.”
  • A place. You can designate a special “time-out” place or just have your child sit right where he is.
  • The right demeanor. Stay calm and matter-of-fact. Don’t lecture during the time-out.
  • The right focus: Make clear it is the behavior you dislike, not your child.
  • A timer. One minute per year is the typical penalty, but for a 2-year-old, just 30 seconds to a minute is long enough.
  • Do not go on and on about what your child did wrong. When the time is up, move him to a happy new activity.

Doctor visits

What should happen to my toddler when I visit my doctor?

Between ages two and three, your child’s spoken vocabulary will grow to up to 300 words — and he will understand up to 900 words. Not all children begin conversing in clear, complete sentences at age two, however. Red flags for speech development at this age include:

  • Barely speaking at all;
  • Not imitating others’ speech;
  • Omitting whole consonants (“og” for “dog”);
  • Not using two- to four-word sentences by the time he is turning three;
  • Never asking questions or seeming frustrated at not being understood.

What should I tell my doctor?

By age two, children begin to diverge widely in the rates at which they pick up new skills, so doctor should know the important milestones of your child. Your 2-year-old should be able to:

  • Point to an object that you name;
  • Recognize the names of familiar people, objects, and body parts;
  • Use short phrases and two- to four-word sentences;
  • Follow simple instructions;
  • Repeat words he overhears;
  • Find an object even if you hide it under two or three blankets;
  • Sort objects by shape or color;
  • Play make-believe.

If you are worried that your preschooler seems behind, mention it to his doctor. The best way to diagnose a problem is through professional assessment and continued observation — together with your input, doctor may realize the abnormal signs timely.

What to expect

What health concerns should I expect?

Your may be concerned about the need for safety seats. It may see convenient to just hold your child on your lap and not to deal with the troubles of a safety seat. You should rethink this carefully.

Safety seats dramatically reduce the risk of death or serious injuries during a collision. All parents should get a safety seat that is convenient to use; and to make buckling your child into it such a habit that you do not even have to think about it. It can save your child’s life.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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