Your Baby At Two Years
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Two-year-olds are amazing little geniuses. I call them geniuses because they know approximately ten times what you think they know.
They may not be very verbal at this point or maybe not quite proficient orators, but any way you look at them, they know what is going on and know how to manipulate their parents.
Most two-year-olds have a lot more ambition than ability when it comes to climbing and playing. They seem to be able to get into trouble a whole lot easier than they can get out of trouble. Whoever said that forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission certainly must have been talking about two-year-olds.
In all seriousness, two-year-olds should be beginning to put two words together such as ‘my book’ or ‘gimme drink’ but most two-year-olds are not speaking fluently. They make a lot of one-word statements and commands, and much of what they say still may not be very understandable. However other two-year-olds may be speaking in complex paragraphs. At some point or other, they will all catch up with each other.
Potty training should be attempted when your child is five. Yes, that is what I said – five!
Bladder and bowel training is a normal part of development. You should teach them as much about potty training as you did about walking. All children will gain control of their bowels and bladder when given enough time, period.
It is absolutely not necessary for all of them to be toilet trained by the time they are two or three, but rarely will a child turn four and still be in diapers. They must be given a chance to try and to fail, and to not feel pressured to perform up to the level of mom and dad’s or the day care teacher’s expectation.
You just set the potty chair in the bathroom and ignore it. When little Johnny wants to go to the potty he can undo his diaper or ask you to take the diaper off and make an attempt at pottying, and what happens or doesn’t happen is entirely his business.
If he goes to the potty once a month for the first few times and once a week for a while, and then not at all for another two months, that’s fine with me. But when he goes consistently all day every day, takes his diaper off and puts the same dry diaper back on, and finishes the day with a dry diaper with tape worn out, they he is getting close to readiness for training pants.
Training pants do not train a baby to go to the potty but they will train a parent how frequently to ask the child to go potty. When the child is fully ready he will be successful from the beginning. Please let them to go at their own pace and remove expectations and pressures. You will be much happier in the long run.
Two Year Old Eating Habits
You can no more make a child eat what you want them to than you can make them potty when you want them to. Make reasonably nutritious foods available and leave the rest up to the child. If they don’t want to eat, let them miss a meal and get hungry by the next meal.
Please do not reward them by offering crackers, cookies and snacks fifteen minutes after they have turned down a reasonably decent meal. Most two-year-olds do not need extra vitamins, as even the most one-sided diet contains plenty of vitamin and mineral additives in the form of fortified foods.
Sleeping Schedules For Two Year Olds
Most two year olds have figured out how to climb out of the baby bed and probably deserve a chance to sleep in a big boy or big girl bed. This may take the form of a mattress on the floor, or they may be able to sleep in a regular bed with a removable side rail attached.
If your child is not sleeping all night or is not sleeping in his or her bed, please see us for suggestions on how to accomplish this. This IS a national emergency if you are in this hot water.
Disciplining Two Year Olds
Discipline is something that you have already established patterns of by this time. The “terrible twos” are the natural result of the “twisted teens."
By this time you have either established good discipline patterns and the two year old stage will not be quite as challenging as you expected, or you have allowed your sweet little baby to rule the world and you’re in for big trouble. If the latter is true then I strongly suggest some professional help in the form of discipline seminars and other counseling suggestions.
GOOD LUCK ... and have fun!