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Toddler Health

Toddlers tend to be active, adorable and have plenty of energy. They are constantly exploring and experimenting with each experience, teaching them something new about their world and their place in it. Unfortunately, this can also put them in vulnerable situations and toddlers can get hurt easily because they have yet to know about danger. Your toddler is unique and will react to situations in his/her own way; so you may have to pick and choose from the ideas below on what may work for your family. Five important ways to help toddlers stay calm and happy.

• Set limits and boundaries
This will guide your toddler in what is acceptable and what is not. Have as few rules as possible and stick to them. Rules should be fair, appropriate for their age, and positive. Children feel more secure knowing what’s okay, even though they may not always like it.

• Help them know and understand rules and limits
It’s important to check that toddlers are clear about what behaviour you’d accept and what you don’t.

• Be consistent - words and actions need to match
Try not to tell them one thing and then do another. Try to respond in the same way to your toddler’s behaviour each time. Toddlers are calmer when they know what to expect.

• Give your toddler simple choices
This may help your toddler feel they have some say in decisions, help them learn, and make them less likely to say “no”.

• Be realistic about what they can and can’t do
Set reasonable expectations and reinforce gently with proper choice of words.

The following are some developmental milestones for toddlers. You may want to bring your child to see a doctor if your child shows delayed developments.

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS (use of large muscles in the legs and arms)
• Standing alone well by 12 months
• Walking well by 12 - 15 months (if a child is not walking by 18 months, he or she should be evaluated by a health care provider)
• Learn to walk backwards and up steps with help at about 16 - 18 months
• Jump in place by about 24 months
• Rides a tricycle and stands briefly on one foot by about 36 months

FINE MOTOR SKILLS (use of small muscles in hands and fingers)
• Makes tower of three cubes by around 15 months
• Scribbles by 15 - 18 months
• Able to use the spoon by 24 months
• Able to copy a circle by 36 months

• Use 2 - 3 words (other than Mama or Dada) at 12 - 15 months
• Understand and follow simple commands (such as "bring to Mommy") at 14 – 16 months
• Name pictures of items and animals at 18 - 24 months
• Point to named body parts at 18 - 24 months
• Beginning to say his or her own name at 22 - 24 months
• Combine 2 words at 16 to 24 months (There is a range of ages at which children are first able to combine words into sentences. Talk to your child's health care provider if the toddler cannot make sentences by 24 months.)
• Know gender and age by 36 months

• Indicate some needs by pointing at 12 - 15 months
• Look for help when in trouble by 18 months
• Help to undress and put things away by 18 - 24 months
• Listen to stories when shown pictures and can tell about recent experiences by 24 months
• Able to take part in playing pretend and simple games by 24 - 36 months