At this age, everything is a game of "toddler-see, toddler-do." You make a funny face, and you'll see it reflected right back at you on your child's face.
The same is also true for what comes out of your mouth. Toddlers may repeat anything you say.
A toddler's natural urge to mimic can be a good thing. Repeat a few new words to them each day, and they'll pick them up right away.
But copycatting can also backfire. Stub your toe and yell, "S%$t!" and you're bound to hear the word pop out of your child's mouth at some point.
Be careful not only about what you say but also about what your friends say in front of your child. Filter TV shows, radio shows, and music your child is exposed to, even if it's just playing in the background. If it's within earshot, it's fair game for your child's ears.
Your Toddler's Development This Month
Each toddler is a unique little person. They don't act the same -- or look the same -- as any other child their age.
Your child also grows at a different pace than their peers. They may tower over all of their friends or lag a little behind them in height. Your child's growth chart -- kept up by your pediatrician -- keeps track of all that.
You're probably very familiar with growth charts by now. Here's a reminder of what they're used for:
- Measuring your child's height, weight, and head circumference
- Comparing their weight and height with the measurements of other kids their age
- Tracking their height and weight as a percentile; if their weight is in the 50th percentile, it means 50% of kids their age weigh more than them, and 50% weigh less.
- Helping your doctor track your child's growth over time, to look for any sudden spurts or lags
Month 23 Tips
- Did your toddler say something you don't approve of? Don't act shocked or make a big fuss. Ignoring it may help make it stop, because it doesn't get attention.
- When it comes to food, go for healthy fare: grilled chicken instead of fried, fruit instead of French fries, and never soda. You can't force them to eat what you serve, but don't succumb to giving them junk just so they eat. Be a good role model with this, too.
- When a toddler has an earache, they may let you know by pulling on their ear and being more irritable than usual. See the doctor -- if it's an infection, they may need an antibiotic.
- Your child is due for their next checkup next month, at their 2nd birthday. Bring a list of questions to ask the pediatrician about their growth, development, and behavior.
- Is your toddler a budding artist? Encourage their creativity by giving their crayons, sculpting dough, and washable paints to make their masterpieces.
- If you do take your toddler for a swim in the pool, put a waterproof diaper on them and change it promptly afterwards. Don't forget sunscreen.
- Check in with your significant other while your child sleeps. Talk over your concerns -- and your joys. You're in this together. Single? Take the same time to call a friend.