Whether you're a first-time parent, or you're adding another little one to your tribe, we can all agree that raising a toddler comes with its trials and triumphs.
With all the information out there, it can get overwhelming, so we've collated some of the top the must-know tips, tricks and advice when it comes to supporting your child as they move from baby to toddler.
Moving on from the 'goo's' and 'gah's' of a baby, your toddler is now going to start to not only use more words, but understand more words.
From one to two years of age, they'll often start with simple nouns like 'dog' or 'truck', followed by verbs like 'drink' or 'walk' and onto adjectives like 'red' or 'big'.
Of course pronunciation of these words won't be crystal clear (you may hear 'ca' instead of 'car' for example) and they can use hand gestures and sounds to demonstrate what they're trying to tell you. You can also expect some repetition of words as they begin to expand their vocabulary to then form into sentences as they get older.
Obviously every child is different, but here's a rough guide to the types of words they're saying:
At around 12 months, your little one will start using words to speak to you, this might include the repetition mentioned above. You can expect there to be quite a few made-up words in there, too.
At 18 months, your child may know and use 20-100 meaningful words, and will start picking up on new words most days.
At two years old, your child will start forming their sentences, starting by putting two words together – for example, ‘daddy truck’ or ‘me go’. Descriptive words will still be at a minimum, it'll mainly be nouns and verbs.
By age three, you should be hearing sentences with three or more words – for example, ‘Mummy get toy’ or ‘Me go too ’. They will also start pronouncing words a little better, but still different to adults - sounds like 'z', 'sh' and 'th' might still be hard for them. They'll also start getting used to speaking in turn and having little conversations with you about their day, like 'Dad at the shops' or 'Grandma read to me'.
You having conversations with your child will help them to develop their speech, so continue trying to introduce new words and phrases into their vocabulary. They won't get it straight away, and that's ok, it's building the foundation.
If you're concerned about your child's language development, or notice any of the following signs it's a good idea to see your child and family health nurse, GP or paediatrician, according to Raising Children Network:
isn’t interested in sounds
doesn’t respond to their name or noises
isn’t trying to communicate with babbling, words or gestures
has stopped using a language skill they once had.When to get help for language development
Weaning off breastfeeding
Some children will be more attached to breastfeeding than others, and it's of course up to them and the mother when it's time to call it quits and move to bottle feeding.
If this time happens to come when your child is a toddler, Raising Children Network recommends that, "a few weeks or months before you start weaning, it’s a good idea to start talking with your child about what will happen. This will give your child time to get used to the idea and can help to make the change easier."
Never refuse a breastfeed but also stop offering them to your child to help with the switch. Make sure you don't make any other major changes at the same time - like toilet training or moving house - as this can disrupt the process and make it difficult for both mum and child.
Food and nutrition
Toddler appetites will change from day-to-day, but it's important that they're consuming ½ serve of fruit; 2-3 serves of vegies; 1-1½ serves of dairy; 4 serves of grains; and 1 serve of lean meats, eggs, nut pastes and legumes a day for one to two year olds.
For two to three year olds it's recommended they consume 1 serve of fruit; 2½ serves of vegies; 1½ serves of dairy; 4 serves of grains; and 1 serve of lean meats, nut pastes and legumes a day.
Children of all ages also need plenty of water - extra on hot or humid days.
For more on children and healthy eating guidelines you can visit the Australian government's Healthy eating for children brochure.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language.
Article originally published by: Raising Children Network
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified professional.