Learning to talk
Got a chatterbox on your hands? Your toddler’s language skills are probably taking off about now. Like most developmental milestones, there is plenty of individual variation in language development. But by two years, most children have a minimum of 20 words — often many more — and a few two-word phrases such as “Me up.”
Your toddler will make plenty of cute mistakes as she goes along — mistakes that show just how smart she is. She will apply the rules of grammar as she understands them. You may hear “we goed” (we say “we showed,” why not “we goed”?); “mans” rather than “men,” and “carry you” when that’s not what she means at all. Try not to correct her constantly — it’s discouraging, and your child will sort it out in time as she listens to you talk.
Want to encourage your child’s speech skills? Provide a rich, interesting language environment with our tips for boosting communication with your toddler.
Read more: Does your child have a speech delay?>
Just me and my dad
Your fragile little newborn has grown into a sturdy, funny little person. If it hasn’t happened yet, this is a great time to start some special dad and toddler traditions. It could be a bedtime ritual or a Saturday morning breakfast date — anything goes as long as they’re both enjoying the bonding time together.
And remember, dads don’t have to do everything just like mom. A child will benefit doubly when she experiences both approaches to parenting and different styles of play.
Read more: Celebrity kids: Out with Dad!>
The truth about “childproof”
Bottles and containers might claim to be “childproof,” but it ain’t necessarily so. According to The Infant & Toddler Safety Association, the term “childproof” is a bit of a misnomer. “Child-resistant” might be more accurate, because some young kids are capable of getting these containers open.
In practical terms, this means that cleaning products, drugs, medication and other toiletries should be locked in a cabinet or high cupboard. Be conscious of where you leave purses and briefcases, too, as these can often contain pills or other unsafe products.
Read more: First-aid checklist>
Toddlers sometimes go through a period of stuttering. This seems related to the speed with which they are acquiring language, and how urgently they want to communicate. They just can’t keep up with their own ideas yet. Don’t comment on the stuttering — just listen patiently so she knows she doesn’t have to rush.
On the other hand, if you have concerns about your child’s speech development, check with your doctor. Hearing problems, for example, can cause speech delays.
Read more: Stuttering: How to support your child>
Originally published on Oct. 23, 2011.