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Quiz: Is My Toddler Typical?

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How long should it take to potty-train?

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How long should it take to potty-train?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If your child is ready to use the toilet, it usually takes about 6 weeks from first introducing the potty to the time she's going on her own and staying dry most of the time.


Even after your child is staying dry during the day, it can be months and even years before your child can make it through the night.


Although potty training is a big milestone -- and one much anticipated by parents! -- you'll want to be sure your toddler is ready. Forcing toilet training on a child who is really resisting can backfire. Instead, try to make potty time fun (read stories, sing songs). Offer nonfood rewards like stickers or trips to the park. And don't make your child stay on the toilet if she doesn't want to.

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My baby potty-trained at 15 months! She's a genius, right?

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My baby potty-trained at 15 months! She's a genius, right?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

On average, kids in the United States are toilet-trained between 2 and 3 years old. And -- sorry! -- there's no relationship between when a child is potty-trained and how smart she is.  


How will you know when she's ready for potty training? Here are two signs: She can sit still long enough to go -- between 3 and 5 minutes. And she's interested in watching YOU go to the toilet.

How often should my toddler poop?

How often should my toddler poop?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some little ones have a bowel movement right after dinner or right before bed, like clockwork. Others' poop habits are less predictable. Most of the time it's not a problem. When to worry? If there are major changes, such as much more frequent pooping, painful stools, blood in the stools, or ongoing diarrhea, check with your doctor.

My child is hitting and biting. Should I be worried?

My child is hitting and biting. Should I be worried?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Aggressive behavior is common as young children learn the rules of the world around them. The immediate fix? You may have to remove her from some situations.


To help her become less aggressive over time: Model gentle behavior by showing her "nice touches." Praise her "grown-up" behavior when she uses her words rather than hitting, kicking, or biting.


To prevent meltdowns, plan naps or snacks before play dates to make sure she's feeling her best.

My toddler loves Elmo. How much TV should he be watching a day?

My toddler loves Elmo. How much TV should he be watching a day?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 watch no TV at all. Why? This is a critical time for your child's brain development. TV can get in the way of other, more important learning activities -- like active play, socializing, and physical activity.


Worried that your toddler is getting too much tube time? Cut back one step at a time. Try turning the TV off during meals. Keep TVs and computers out of bedrooms. Make a "No TV on weekdays" rule for the whole family.

Every night is a fight at bedtime. What should I do?

Every night is a fight at bedtime. What should I do?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Many toddlers fight bedtime -- often they just want to be where you are.


Don't cut his nap to wear him out. Most kids this age still need an afternoon nap. Cutting it can make him cranky or too wired at bedtime because he's overtired.


Instead, stick with a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine every night. Give him a comfort object like a blanket or stuffed toy, and read him a book. Does he need extra reassurance? Try a night-light, or leave the door cracked.

On play dates, my toddler mostly plays next to kids his age, not with them. Is anything wrong?

On play dates, my toddler mostly plays next to kids his age, not with them. Is anything wrong?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Younger toddlers do mostly play "next to" each other rather than with each other. But don't give up on those play dates. Early play is important. It helps kids learn to make friends.


Make play dates toddler-friendly by:

  • Keeping them short (less than an hour is good)
  • Keeping them one-on-one
  • Putting away special toys that might cause battles

My child will NOT eat vegetables. Is it OK to let him live on chicken nuggets for a while?

My child will NOT eat vegetables. Is it OK to let him live on chicken nuggets for a while?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Nuggets won't work forever because they can make him gain unhealthy weight and he'll miss out on important nutrients. But keep the faith. Picky eating is VERY common at this age. No need to worry that he'll never eat vegetables. Don't "force" him to eat anything. That could make him hate a food for life.

 

Instead, keep offering lots of interesting, safe, and healthy food choices, including foods he can feed himself. He may shock you one day when he goes for the broccoli. If you’re concerned he’s not getting enough nutrients, talk with your pediatrician.

When should I take the pacifier away?

When should I take the pacifier away?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Pacifiers are actually good for infants. But pediatricians say you should wean your child off his binky when he's about 6 months old. That cuts his risk of getting an ear infection. If he goes past 2 years old, it can cause permanent problems with his teeth.


Try piercing the hole or cutting the tip to make sucking less satisfying. Or tell your child that he’s a big kid now and that when big kids give up their pacies, they go to new babies who need them. Make a big show of it.

My child hates it and cries when I leave her at day care. What should I do?

My child hates it and cries when I leave her at day care. What should I do?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Your toddler's been doing fine, and all of a sudden she wails when you go to leave. It's common for separation anxiety to rear its head again at about 18 months. Truth is, you may be more upset by her farewell fussing than she is. Want to know a secret? Most toddlers calm down within a few minutes after their parent leaves. Make a fast goodbye and promise her you'll be back to pick her up.

My 15-month-old sometimes bangs his head against the side of his crib. Should I be worried?

My 15-month-old sometimes bangs his head against the side of his crib. Should I be worried?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It may seem scary, but many toddlers bang their heads to comfort or stimulate themselves, or to release frustration. Don't let it worry you too much. On the other hand, if the head banging goes along with social problems -- for example, if your child rarely looks directly at you and doesn't seem to want to play with you -- or if it's been going on for a long time, there may be cause for concern. Check with your pediatrician.

My 18-month-old isn't talking as much as her brother did at this age. Should I:    

My 18-month-old isn't talking as much as her brother did at this age. Should I:    

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you're concerned, just get her checked out by your pediatrician. The average toddler can say between 15 and 20 words by about 18 months.


You should be OK if: Your child understands what you say to her and follows directions (like "bring your shoes to Mommy"); interacts with others; and is otherwise developing normally. She may just be a late talker, and most late talkers catch up to their chatterbox peers by the time they're in grade school.

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