Development & Behavior
What should my toddler be doing right now?
Fights over a toy happen often when two preschoolers play together. They can be protective of their possessions, and sharing is a skill that will not come naturally to your child.
A hallmark of this age is repetition. Your little one may want to eat the same things again and again, wear the same clothes day after day, or do things in the exact same order. Remember that he is trying to make sense of the world, and keeping certain things unvarying is his way of exercising a little control in all the hubbub of life. In other words, rituals provide comfort.
He is developing a way of thinking called spatial representation or symbolic thinking. Basically, it means he can see things in his mind’s eye. As experience and habit create new connections in his brain, he becomes better able to call up these captured images: what a lost teddy looks like, the way to Grandma’s house, foods of yesterday.
What should my toddler be preparing to do?
To avoid fights, you should:
- Model sharing and use the word “share”: “Would you like to share my cookie?”
- Break up fights by removing the object of debate and moving the kids onto something else: “The car needs to take a rest now. Want to blow some bubbles?”
- Casually point out big kids you see sharing.
- Hide favorite toys when other kids come to play. Twos should not be expected to let others use things they are strongly attached to.
- Provide activities for play dates that involve a shared activity that each child can do on her own, like playing with clay or drawing pictures.
- Praise your child when sharing does happen. Positive reinforcement is a terrific teacher.
- Help your preschooler lay down these memory tracks in the brain by asking questions about things he knows: “Hmmm, what will the bunny say goodnight to next?” Ask him to recall details: “Did you have vanilla ice cream or chocolate?” At night, review his day together: “And then what did you do? Tell me!”
What should happen to my toddler when I visit my doctor?
Kids suck their thumbs because it is comforting and calming. Your preschooler probably practiced this habit while she was still in the womb and perfected it as an infant. Now he turns to his thumb when he is tired, scared, bored, sick, or trying to adjust to challenges such as starting daycare or preschool. He may also use his thumb to help him fall asleep at bedtime and to lull himself back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night.
What should I tell my doctor?
Take your child for regular dental checkups to make sure that his teeth are healthy and clean. If they are and your child still has bad breath, take him to his doctor for a checkup.
What to expect
What health concerns should I expect?
Children and adults sometimes have bad breath. The most likely culprits:
- A dry mouth. If your child is breathing through his mouth, then the bacteria in his mouth are more likely to grow undisturbed.
- A foreign object. A pea, bean, a small toy, or another object that your child has put in his nose can cause him to have bad breath. This is especially common in babies and toddlers, who are notorious for putting things where they don’t belong.
- Poor hygiene. Normal bacteria live in the mouth and interact with leftover food between the teeth, at the gum line, on the tongue, or on the surface of the tonsils at the back of your child’s throat. This causes bad breath, especially if food is in the mouth for a long time.
- Eating pungent foods. If your child enjoys foods such as garlic and onions, they can temporarily affect his breath as they work through his system.
- An illness or condition. Something like asinus infection, tonsillitis, or even seasonal allergies can cause bad breath. And some children with gastro-esophageal reflux disease have foul breath.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
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Your 29-month-old: Repetition is key. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-29-month-old-repetition-is-key_10329590.bc. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Your 29-month-old: A game of memory. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-29-month-old-a-game-of-memory_10329600.bc. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Your 29-month-old: Beating the whines. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-29-month-old-beating-the-whines_10329640.bc. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Bad breath. http://www.babycenter.com/0_bad-breath_1502738.bc. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Thumb-sucking: Why it happens and what to do about it. http://www.babycenter.com/0_thumb-sucking-why-it-happens-and-what-to-do-about-it_63687.bc. Accessed June 3, 2015.