HAPPILY GROWING BABIES (24-36 months)

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Molfix Contents Advisor:
Dr. Berna Elkabes, Pediatrics Specialist

The 24 – 36 months period of your baby’s life is a very emotional period; it’s  like yesterday when you first took your baby in your arms and now he/she is leaving babyhood behind. This stage comes with an emotional phase known as the terrible twos and a consciousness of how fast your baby is growing. On the other hand watching your child grow up healthy and happy is the greatest gift any parent could wish for. What changes do you think happy and healthy children turning 2 go through as they continue to develop? The answer can be found here…

A new age, new skills…

As your child celebrates his/her 2nd birthday he/she will begin to exhibit the following skills:
• Knows the names of objects, people or body parts familiar to him/her.
• Can point to an object you say the name of.
• Can make two to four word sentences.
• Can follow simple instructions.
• Can find the objects hidden in simple places.
• Can distinguish between the objects based on their shapes and colours.
• He/she will become more adept at joining toys consisting of small parts.
• His/her concentration span will improve and he/she can play games for a longer duration.

Your child will no longer need a nap in the mornings as an afternoon nap is sufficient. The nap he/she takes in the afternoons becomes important as he/she no longer naps in the mornings. Instead of having your child fall asleep in his/her car seat or stroller, arrange for him/her to take his/her nap in his/her own bed, the only place where his/her quality of sleep can be ensured.

Your child is now 2 years old. Do you think he/she is ready for toilet training? Many children in this/her age group still wet their diapers at nighttime however, some will be ready to toilet train. Before you take this important step, determine whether your child is ready for toilet training or not. The article: “Is Your Child Ready for Toilet Training?” could help you on the subject.

I can express myself better!

The vocabulary of your child must have reached 50 to 75 words by now. Your child hangs on every word you say, so try to talk to them as much as possible and try to use as many different words and descriptions as possible. Research studies show that children who talk more with their parents have improved vocabulary. Your child can make 2-word sentences at the start of this age and will express himself/herself better with longer sentences as she gets closer to turning 3. Do the following to support your child’s speech development;
• Respond in more complex sentences to the comments she makes in simple sentences. For example; when he/she says “Mom, socks!” respond to him/her saying “I can help you put on your socks”.
• Never forget that your child is still very young and she has just started talking. Instead of correcting her grammar, repeat the sentences she makes by using the correct words.
• Do not force your child to repeat complex sentences as this could lead to frustration and douse his/her enthusiasm to speak.
• Read books together. Ask interactive questions while reading the book and ask him/her to tell you about the pictures and interpret the story.

At this age of 24-36 months, your child’s dominant hand will emerge. Although he/she might have used both hands equally until now, from now on he/she might choose to use one of the hands more than the other. He/she will make thischoice on the basis that his/her dominant hand will be stronger and will have more dexterity to it. To see which hand he/she is favouring, hand him/her a spoon and observe which hand he/she uses to eat the food.

Important note: Some children use both of their hands equally until they reach kindergarten age. On the other hand some children may prefer to use one hand to eat and write and the other to play. Most of the time the use of a hand is based on genetics and one out of every 10 people is left-handed. Do not force your child to change his/her inborn trait.

Where and when?

At this/her age your child will also be able to fully understand and solve the mystery of time and space concepts. We don’t mean to say that he/she would be able to understand the evolution of the universe. Just that he/she would grasp your meaning when you tell him/her his/her toy is under the bed or ask him/her to bring something from another room. To improve perception of these concepts, talk to your child about where the people he/she knows are (your parents are at work – your uncle’s house is far away), ask him/her to find an object based on the simple instructions you give (your toy is under the table) and ask him/her questions regarding the correct places of things without turning it into a test and expecting to receive correct answers every time (where do bees live? Where is the window?).

As your child’s grasp of time concept improves, terms like yesterday and tomorrow will also gain meaning. However, when you say yesterday your child may think of the morning in the same day, or in the previous week. Creating various routines in your life may help your child understand the concept of time better. For example; drink 1 glass of milk and brush your teeth before going to sleep. Consequently he/she’ll learn that bedtime comes after these activities and gain a notion of before and after.

To make it possible for him/her to understand the concept of time better you can make sentences such as “We will be leaving in 10 minutes ” or “We will go to the playground after lunch”. Even if your child does not fully understand intervals of time when you mention them, he/she will nevertheless start accumulating new knowledge in his/her mind regarding time periods and time itself.

Do not forget…

Each baby grows at his/her or her own pace. Remember that your baby is a small individual separate from you. Support him/her in his/her journey to growing up in the way he/she chooses to do so. Babies who grow up happily, build happy futures.
Content provided by: ZNN Network www.znnnetwork.com

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