Your toddler is 17 months old!
You probably thought it was endearing that your toddler took his trousers off by himself, until he tried it on the bus home! This month his dexterity leaps ahead as he performs complicated tasks such as undoing poppers, drinking confidently from a cup and attempting to take his own nappy off. As he learns to do each new activity he will repeat relentlessly, overjoyed at his accomplishments. If you are not happy with his new skills but don’t want to thwart his sense of pride, find an old baby grow he has grown out of and give it to him on the bus or during a nappy change. Now challenge him to undo all the poppers and do them back up.
As tempting as it is, try your hardest not to bribe your child with food rewards. For example, if you are good at the supermarket you can have a biscuit, or if you eat your greens you can have some ice cream. Using food to control your child’s behaviour will invariably backfire as your child associates healthy food as bad and unhealthy food as a reward for being good. It is a much better idea to say to your child after shopping, ‘you were so good at the supermarket today, Mummy is very proud of you’. Toddler’s are egotistical and there is nothing more that they love than parental praise. See our dealing with tantrums and averting tantrums.
It can be very easy to become so involved in your toddler’s life; playdates, nursery, fun activities at the weekend, making sure your child has plenty of fresh air during the week, that you forget to take some time for you. The first three years is an important time in your child’s life but not if mum and dad are stressed, rushed off there feet and don’t spend anytime together. This month make time for you both to go out for dinner or spend a day out away from your child if you can get a friend or relative to mind your child. For many parents a second baby has already arrived and this is even more reason to spend some time together without the kids around.