Now that Baby can walk, how much should they be walking? Well, they're still got much shorter legs than you, and they may still be a little shaky on their feet, so on days when you’re in a really big hurry, having them walk on their own, instead of being carried or pushed in a stroller, may not always be the most effective way to get where you’re going.
On the other hand, it’s only by walking more that Baby’s legs are going to keep getting stronger, until the day (and it won’t be long) when they'll be walking everywhere they go, just like you. There’s also Baby’s preferences to take into account – they might be one of those kids who loves their stroller, and drags their feet if they're told they doesn’t get to ride in style. On the other hand, they might be a do-it-myself kid and kick up a fuss if you try to carry them anywhere. In fact, chances are, they're both.
So in the interest of giving Baby’s boots-made-for-walking some time to do what they do best, it’s a good idea to have them start walking regularly on shorter trips now. When it comes to long days out, though, you know Baby best, and it’s up to you to decide whether to bring out their chariot, or whether they'll be trotting along with the rest of the herd.
Walking for themself can also be a very physical way for Baby to build their self-confidence. Walking places on their own is very self-sufficient, after all. At this age, Baby is building up the self-confidence they are going to need before they venture into the bigger world of preschool, interactive play with other children, and taking over basic self-care skills like potty training, dressing themself, and brushing their teeth. Those may sound like simple tasks to an adult, but to Baby, they’re going to be a pretty huge shift, and their self-confidence is going to come in handy.
You can help build Baby’s self-confidence up by noticing all the growing and changing they're doing, and praising or thanking them for it. A “thank you for putting on your shoes for me all by yourself,” before heading out the door can mean a whole lot to a two-year-old, and they are doing something they would never have been able to do even a few short months ago – there’s plenty about Baby’s growth to appreciate.
Jumps from low heights: Watch out, Baby may be heading into a daredevil stage, and they're getting started by figuring out how to jump off of things. Those things may not be very high yet, but jumping down requires a lot of balance, bilateral coordination, and a lot of nerve – and sticking the landing takes some definite ankle-strength. If you’re lucky, they'll get all of that jumping out of their system by jumping from rather low heights, but if they really get a taste for leaping, get ready to flying-toddler-proof your home!
Understanding opposites: Baby is growing into a little philosopher, and you might notice them understanding concepts of opposites like “full” and “empty,” “tall” and “short,” or “wet” and “dry.” They might even start to incorporate the idea of opposites into their just-developing sense of humor. When something seems obvious, something unexpected – like the opposite of what’s expected – can seem hilarious to a two-year-old.
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