Now that you’ve got a toddler, these are the real milestones you’ve gotta look out for...
You know that anxious feeling you get every time you take your kid to the paediatrician? Yup, we feel it too — especially when it comes to the developmental milestones bit. For some reason, it’s when our toddlers decide to throw tantrums — or worse — choose to forget their names. But here’s the thing: apart from that uber scary checklist, there are other milestones that come along with toddlerhood many parents love to rant about. Be prepared, here’s the scoop:
7 toddler development facts all parents can relate to
1. Toddlers start to develop food preferences… and some can be seriously picky eaters
As your toddler learns about the world around them, they’re forming food preferences as well. You may start to notice some obvious preferences here: how they prefer bread over broccoli; and they won’t even touch the salmon you painstakingly prepared. As a guide, the Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends daily vegetables, fruits, meat (or alternatives), and whole-grain for toddlers. And although we’d love to believe otherwise, it’s not really advisable to replace bub’s veggie intake with extra servings of fruits as both food groups contain different types of nutrients.
Ticking off these major food groups will not only help them grow strong and healthy, but toddlerhood is the best time to help them develop healthy eating habits. Most of this is learned through imitation – so parents, eat your greens and healthy meats, too – no junk food!
But what if they are just not eating well? If you’re worrying about their nutrient intake, you may consider supplementing your toddler’s diet with formulas like Nutren® Junior. Nutren® Junior is a complete, balanced nutritional supplement scientifically formulated for children ages one to 12. Using milk as its first ingredient, it delivers a creamy milky taste that kids love. What’s more, the unique B.I.G. Formula that Nutren® Junior is scientifically designed to support Brain function*, Immunity support^, and Growth⁺. You can request a sample here for your child to try.
2. Toddlers love getting dirty and messy
At this stage, toddlers are all about exploring and getting to know the world around them. Unfortunately, their motor skills haven’t quite caught up with them, often resulting in a sticky situation. Expect your pristine couch to be snot-filled and have the occasional paint mark — toddlers are still learning about their senses and surroundings, so the more mess they make, the more they’ll learn. It’s all about the small silver linings, people!
3. Toddlers are strong
Your pint-sized terror is literally an accident waiting to happen. And yes, despite how thoroughly you’ve baby-proofed your house, the powerful force that is your toddler will manage to find a way to get through it all. You might want to ditch the glass coffee tables and Swarovski swans until they’ve reached their teens.
4. Toddlers like to get angry. Really angry.
Tired? Hungry? A combination of the two? Get ready for a tantrum. It’s the signature move of every toddler whenever things aren’t going their way. Our top tip? Know what triggers them so you can hatch a solid game plan when they happen.
5. Toddlers still don’t sleep through the night
Just when you thought you were in the clear with the whole sleeping thing, wait ‘til you have a toddler. Suddenly, they have this ability to — gasp — walk around and over to your room in the middle of the night. Plus, they’ll be super indecisive about naptime, which will definitely throw a wrench in your schedule. For these guys, routines are key — stay consistent and all will follow… Eventually.
6. Toddlers like to shout
Remember when you thought you’d never be that parent with a screaming kid? Well, you might want to take that back. Toddlers are learning to use their voice, which means they’re also testing which volume gets the most reaction out of everyone. Teach your child when it’s appropriate to use an ‘inside voice’. This way you’re modelling good behaviour and showing them when it’s appropriate to use different vocal volumes.
7. Toddlers are clumsy
Sure, your kid might know how to run and walk, but it doesn’t mean they’re good at it. And you’ll see it on their legs and arms and hear it echoing off their bedroom walls. It’s inevitable but scary. But here’s the thing: toddlers are made of tough stuff. There’s no need to baby-proof everything (see point 2) — they’ll get more coordinated over time!
While we expect a lot from our toddlers, we need to remember they’re still learning! Every child is different – they grow and learn at their own pace. Moreover, they’ve only been on the planet for a few hundred days, so we should probably give them some slack. At least until they hit their terrible teens!
* Contains DHA, an important building block for brain development for children (up to three years of age), and Iron that contributes to normal cognitive function.
^ Probiotics and prebiotic fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive system; Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, Iron and Selenium to support normal immune function.
⁺ Nutrients dense formula to support catch-up growth.