Congratulations Mom, you made it to toddlerhood — and it definitely has its advantages! Bare feet and slip-proof socks are still great for these early steps, but now you can finally start shopping for some of those adorable, teeny weeny shoes. Just remember, perfect fit is key for those tender toes; it’s best to get a professional fitting, despite the temptation to immediately snap up every toddler shoe on Amazon.
• Your baby is starting to grow up, so you’d better prepare yourself for the ride! Toddlers are just beginning to assert their independence, growing out of the separation anxiety phase and using words like “me” and “my” and the ever-popular “MINE” as soon as they’re able. Just breathe and enjoy finally getting a little elbow room for yourself!
• This means diaper changes are becoming even more of a challenge. With a bit more mobility and a lot more attitude, toddlers can’t be bothered to stop their busy lives just because they’ve pooped their pants. Expect a lot of rolling and squirming during changing time; if you’re still using a changing table, it’s not a bad idea to move this activity to the floor from now on, just to make sure your toddler doesn’t fall while he’s trying to dash away bare-bottomed.
• However, your toddler is still essentially your shadow. Toddlers are known to copy pretty much everything they see and hear, so make sure you’re modeling good behavior. This goes for positive things like demonstrating how to put toys away, but also for naughty things like blurting out curse words you’re not keen on them repeating (yes, even when you think they aren’t listening — if you haven’t already learned this the hard way, your kids are always listening).
• Set rules, but keep it simple. Decide what the most important, non-negotiable rules of your house will be — “No hitting,” “Don’t eat the dog food,” whatever works for your family — and let the other stuff slide. Your toddler will never be able to keep track of a long list of Do’s and Don’ts, and you’d go crazy trying to enforce them anyway.
Scary Mommy tip: Naturally you want to teach your toddler which behaviors are acceptable and which aren’t, but keep in mind kids at this age still don’t understand concepts like truth, good or bad, right or wrong. To help avoid tantrums (yours and theirs) try redirecting your toddler to a different activity when they’re doing something you don’t like. They’ll usually become just as absorbed in the new distraction as they were in the behavior you weren’t a fan of, and BONUS: nobody’s crying!