Your toddler: 26 months old

Playdates, finding a babysitter and TV rules. Learn all about life with your 26-month-old.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

After-daycare meltdown
Here’s a little toddler riddle to ponder: When you arrive to pick up your toddler from his caregiver’s at the end of the day, you’re excited to see him. Why is it that he doesn’t always seem happy to see you? Don’t take it personally!

The more we get together
Thinking about planning a playdate for your toddler? You may be able to find a playgroup offering planned activities at a local community centre, church or through the Family Resource Program near you. Or you can invite a friend or two over with their children, put the coffee pot on, and you’ve got yourself a playgroup! It’s great for the kids, but the opportunity to share some conversation and companionship with other parents is healthy for you too.

Maximize the fun for everyone (including you!) with our do’s and don’ts of successful playdates.

Read more: 12 peanut-free snacks>

The babysitters’ club
It’s not that toddlers aren’t lively company, but once in a while it’s nice to have a date with your partner to catch up and connect. But who to leave your child with? At this age, the ideal person just might be the friendly teenager next door.

Read more: Babysitting 101: Finding and keeping a super-sitter>

TV guide
Even two-year-olds have preferences about their viewing…although the appeal may elude you. From your toddler’s perspective, much of what’s on TV — even some children’s programming — is fast, loud and confusing. Look for programs with a simple story line and a slower pace. And it’s wise to implement TV watching guidelines from the get-go. Too much TV impacts a child’s fitness level, his imagination and eventually, his reading skills. A toddler needs lots of time to get around and explore the world hands on…not just watch it on the screen.

Read more: The debate: Should you let your toddler watch TV?>

Originally published on Oct. 23, 2011.

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