You should be thinking in terms of the food pyramid and offering foods that are lower in salt and sugar. Toddlers should be drinking 12 to 20 ounces of whole milk each day. Children do not need daily juice. Nuts, hard candies, chewing gum, and hard raw fruits and vegetables still should be avoided. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends a multivitamin for all children; we recommend poly-vi-sol with iron, 1ml orally each day.
Toddlers are known for their picky eating and there is only so much a parent can do to encourage a balanced diet. You should set a regular meal/snack schedule and avoid snacking “on-demand”. No good comes of food battles. Your job is to offer the food, the child’s job is to decide to eat it or not. All children will ultimately eat when they are hungry.
- Always put the baby in a car seat while driving! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain backwards until two years. Children should not play on tractors or lawn mowers.
- Lock up all medications and household poisons including cleaners, paint thinners, and drain cleaners. Do not store these products in containers that resemble food containers.
- Children must be supervised when playing near a street or driveway.
- Windows and stairs should be guarded with railings or gates.
- Constant attention to choking hazards (hot dogs, popcorn, hard candy and small toys), as well as poisons is an even harder job now that the babies are mobile.
- It is a good idea to use sunscreen every day. Choose a product that is hypoallergenic and protect the baby’s skin from sunlight. SPF 30 or higher.
- Infants should be accompanied when in or near water at all times, even a partially filled bathtub.
- Backyard pools need to be completely fenced in.
- Call the Poison Control Center if you suspect your child ate a poison: 800-222-1222. Do not administer syrup of ipecac until speaking with the Poison Control Center first.
Has your toddler ever said “No”? Most likely you hear this often and are watching as your sweet baby becomes more willful and independent. Parents need to realize that this is normal development and not to despair. Temper tantrums and things like hitting and biting are just signs of frustration that will gradually disappear when the child learns some self control and can communicate better.
You can help your toddler learn this self control. Be consistent with your rules, and be flexible about things that are not important. Remind them when their behavior is not what you’d like to see, and always model the kind of actions and language you are looking for. Always try to offer an alternative when you say no to the child, so that they can transition into another activity without having a meltdown. Sometimes offering simple choices can make the day go smoother.
Recommended Books: Creative Resources for Infants and Toddlers. Judy Herr, Terri Swim.
NEXT VISIT: Your baby’s next routine visit is at 2 years of age.
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