The more Baby explores, the more she learns about the world, it’s true, but it’s also true that the more she explores, the more chances she can find to fall into trouble. As she toddles 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 she gets, the more she has the ability to get her hands on.
Baby is probably a little steadier on her feet than she was when she started walking, but she’s still a little bit of a beginner, so anything that’s in reach of her hands when she is standing up might end up grabbed and pulled down if she takes a tumble. More than that, though, her growing ability to climb things means that anything she can reach when she’s standing on a couch, chair, or bed is in danger of her 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 her own clothes, for example, is a great way for her 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 her own shirt over her head to take it off, she might just want to show it off to everyone she knows. All the time. This doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t learn every skill she’s 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 her new skills should be used.
- Taking off her 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 her teddy bear’s dinner, but it’s only because her abstract thinking skills have grown so much and so fast that she can start to do something as complex as playing pretend.
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