Children should be eating regular table foods during meal times. Many children are picky eaters and it is important to not try to force a child to eat. Mealtime should not be a battlefield. However, do not let your child graze all day. Be careful to give healthy snacks and give no foods for at least an hour before a scheduled meal. Your child should be able to drink 2% or 1% milk, depending on the family choice. Continue to give fluoride supplementation if there is not fluoride in the water.
Your child will continue to develop his physical skills as he grows. Give your child opportunities to explore his environment and participate in sports or other physical activities. Let him be outside as much as possible.
Speech development will continue as he continues to improve vocabulary and clarity of speech. Younger children may stutter normally, but if it continues ask us for advice.
Read books to your child as often as you can. Help him develop a love for reading at an early age. Television should be limited to a few hours a week. Parents should try to watch the television with their child so that they are aware of the programs that are being watched.
Continue to “catch your child being good” and praise him for the good things he is doing. He will respond much better to positive discipline than negative discipline.
Help your child work. You can teach him good work habits by helping him clean his room, do the dishes, pick up toys, etc.
Avoid physical punishment as much as possible. “Time outs” are a much more effective way to discipline a child. A time out should be limited to about 1 minute per year of age. Be sure to give the child hugs and comfort when he comes out of time out.
When your child goes for long periods of time in a dry diaper and shows an interest in the toilet, you can start toilet training. Let him watch a parent use the toilet so he gets the idea of what needs to be done. Use a potty-chair for smaller children. A child cannot effective push out a stool if his legs are dangling. So if he is on the regular toilet, provide something solid for his feet to rest upon. Use plenty of praise and be careful of criticism or ridicule. If your child is not ready, it is better to wait than sacrifice his self-esteem.
- Keep plastic bags, balloons and small hard objects out of reach.
- Avoid peanuts and other foods with a choking potential.
- Keep hot appliances and electrical cords out of reach.
- Turn your hot water temperature down to 120 degrees.
- Hold your child’s hands when approaching a street or you are near traffic.
- Provide a play area where balls and riding toys cannot roll into the street.
- Always watch your child around water. Never leave your toddler alone in the bathtub.
- Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, etc. locked away.
- Purchase all medicines in containers with safety caps.
- Keep the number handy for the Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222.
Your child may need the following immunizations:
- Hepatitis A
Other vaccines may be recommended for “catch-up” if your child is incompletely immunized. The next required vaccines will be due at age 4 to 6 or before kindergarten. We also recommend a yearly influenza vaccine.
Raising a child can be an exciting but challenging adventure. You will learn more about yourself as you learn to become a better parent. Please feel free to call us for questions or help that you may need.