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2 Years

IMMUNIZATIONS

Your child may get the Hepatitis A booster today if it wasn’t given at 18 months of age.needle

We recommend the annual flu vaccine in the fall/winter months.

DIET

feeding

Children will eat the amount of food they need. Do not worry if your child does not eat everything you think s/he should at some meals. A toddler needs extra chances to eat, so your child should eat with the family at regular mealtimes, but may also need 2-3 healthy snacks each day. Food dislikes are common, but they are often temporary, especially if we don’t try to force the child to eat the food s/he doesn’t like. Continue to put small amounts of a variety of foods on the plate each meal and let the child decide what to eat from his/her plate. Do not resort to feeding your child unhealthy foods if it seems like that’s all s/he will eat.

Remember the four food groups: meat & protein (4 servings), milk & dairy (2 servings), fruits & veggies (4 or more servings), and bread & cereal (4 servings).

HEALTH CARE

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Teeth: Dental care is very important. By 2 to 3 years, a child has a full set of temporary teeth. Set a good example and assist him/her in brushing teeth twice daily. If your child doesn’t already have a dentist, we encourage starting regular visits with one now!

Sleep: Your child will still need 11-12 hours of sleep a night. Most 2 year olds still need a 1-2 hour afternoon nap, but a quiet time in his/her room or bed is adequate if s/he doesn’t sleep.

Elimination: Your child will have improved muscle control with bowel and bladder. The toilet training process, though, usually takes months, not weeks. Take a relaxed approach to the training process. Praise your child when s/he is successful, but do not scold or punish for accidents. Remain reassuring and encouraging.

SAFETY

safety

  • Your child does not understand danger, so keep a close eye on him or her!
  • Be sure play equipment is safe for your child. He or she may be able to climb up things that are too high for him or her to get safely down.
  • Keep electric sockets covered, irons unplugged, and hot pans and liquids out of reach.
  • Teach safety measures if your child is riding a tricycle. It’s not too soon to start using a helmet, and make sure you and your toddler’s older siblings are modeling this behavior as well.
  • Continue to reinforce street and car safety. This includes your own driveway! Never leave your child unsupervised in or around vehicles.
  • Your child should be restrained in an appropriate car seat at all times when in a moving vehicle.
  • Watch your child around water and never assume someone else is!!! Use a skid proof mat in the bathtub.
  • If you own a gun, be sure it is ALWAYS unloaded and locked up with the safety on.
  • Organize a plan of escape for the entire family in case of fire. Be sure fire alarms are in every bedroom and hallway and that they work!!
  • Remember SUNSCREEN daily and protective clothing (hats, sunglasses, long sleeves).
  • Consider how your child sees you dealing with dangerous items: pins, knives, medicines, etc., and keep them where your child can’t get them. Know that if your child does get a hold of them, he or she will imitate your actions.
  • Keep the poison control number near the phone.  1-800-222-1222.

PLAY

Your child has a lot of energy at this age. S/he is curious and loves to explore. Your child will be able to play increasingly harder games and use more complicated toys. Running, jumping, and climbing will be frequent activities.  Be sure your child has proper supervision and appropriate toys for these activities. Limit TV and computer use to 1 hour per day or less of only educational, wholesome programming. Research supports not having TVs in children’s rooms.

DEVELOPMENT

PHYSICAL

Being active is a healthy behavior to teach your child now by engaging in physical activity as a family.

development

  • climbs stairs holding the rails
  • can walk backward
  • stacks 5-6 cubes
  • uses a spoon reasonably well
  • makes horizontal and circular strokes with crayons
  • turns book pages one at a time
  • throws balls overhand, kicks balls
SOCIAL

Play with your child often and model sharing, listening, and teamwork. When possible and safe, allow your child to explore and try things for him or herself.

  • follows 2 step commands (“pick that toy up and bring it to me”)
  • imitates adults
  • engages in pretend play
  • may have an attachment to a “transitional object”
  • interested in bowel and bladder control
  • wants to be independent and gets frustrated when unable to do things
LANGUAGE

Read to your child daily, teach him or her songs/rhymes, and model appropriate language.

  • has a vocabulary of 50+ words
  • combining words and using plurals
  • refers to self by name
  • uses pronouns, though not always correctly (I, me, you, he, she, etc.)

Next appointment is at 3 years of age, but please come back sooner if you have any concerns about your child’s health or development!!

AGE APPROPRIATE CHORES FOR CHILDREN

Giving your children chores to complete can give them a sense of accomplishment, foster feelings of belonging, and encourage responsibility.  There are several chores that are appropriate for a 2 year old child:

  • Put toys in a toy box
  • Stack books on a shelf
  • Place dirty clothes in a laundry hamper
  • Throw trash away
  • Fold washcloths
  • Set the table
  • Fetch diapers and wipes