The more Baby explores, the more they learn about the world, it’s true, but it’s also true that the more they explore, the more chances they can find to fall into trouble. As they toddle closer and closer to the Terrible Twos, it may be a great time to take another look at the way your home is toddler-proofed. After all, Baby is growing all the time, and the taller they get, the more they have the ability to get their hands on.
Baby is probably a little steadier on their feet than they were when they started walking, but they're still a little bit of a beginner, so anything that’s in reach of their hands when they are standing up might end up grabbed and pulled down if they take a tumble. More than that, though, their growing ability to climb things means that anything they can reach when they're standing on a couch, chair, or bed is in danger of their grasp, too.
Walking isn’t the only one, though – many of the outpouring of new skills Baby learns around this time, and in the next few years, can cause as much mischief as they can excitement. Baby’s ability to put on and take off pieces of their own clothes, for example, is a great way for them to exercise coordination, both fine and gross motor skills, and are an important early step towards self-sufficiency.
On the other hand, though, once toddlers learn something new, a lot of the time, they like to show that new skill off – whenever they can. This means that once your little one learns to pull their own shirt over their head to take it off, they might just want to show it off to everyone they know. All the time. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t learn every skill they're ready to learn, just that parents should be prepared for those lessons to start to make their lives harder now and then as Baby works out when their new skills should be used.
- Taking off their diaper: This isn’t a milestone every toddler feels the need to pass, luckily, or the world might be a much stinkier place, but as toddlers start to learn to dress and undress themselves, especially as they get more curious about their bodies, and about adult toilet habits, there are plenty who start to take their un-diapering into their own hands. This certainly doesn’t mean they’re ready for potty training, although in some children, it can be a step in the direction of readiness.
- Pretend play: It’s funny that playing pretend is generally thought of as a childish activity, because the mental skills it requires are pretty advanced. Your toddler is learning how to use objects as representatives of other objects – a banana can be a phone, a rock can be their teddy bear’s dinner, but it’s only because their abstract thinking skills have grown so much and so fast that they can start to do something as complex as playing pretend.
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