Now that Baby can walk, how much should he be walking? Well, he’s still got much shorter legs than you, and he may still be a little shaky on his feet, so on days when you’re in a really big hurry, having him walk on his 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 he’ll be walking everywhere he goes, just like you. There’s also Baby’s preferences to take into account – he might be one of those kids who loves his stroller, and drags his feet if he’s told he doesn’t get to ride in style. On the other hand, he might be a do-it-myself kid and kick up a fuss if you try to carry him anywhere. In fact, chances are, he’s 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 him 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 his chariot, or whether he’ll be trotting along with the rest of the herd.
Walking for themselves can also be a very physical way for Baby to build his self-confidence. Walking places on his own is very self-sufficient, after all. At this age, Baby is building up the self-confidence he is going to need before he ventures into the bigger world of preschool, interactive play with other children, and taking over basic self-care skills like potty training, dressing themselves, and brushing his teeth. Those may sound like simple tasks to an adult, but to Baby, they’re going to be a pretty huge shift, and his self-confidence is going to come in handy.
You can help build Baby’s self-confidence up by noticing all the growing and changing he’s doing, and praising or thanking him 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 he is doing something he 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 he’s 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, he’ll get all of that jumping out of his system by jumping from rather low heights, but if he really gets 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 him understanding concepts of opposites like “full” and “empty,” “tall” and “short,” or “wet” and “dry.” He might even start to incorporate the idea of opposites into his 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.
- Rebecca Parlakian and Claire Lerner. “From Baby to Big Kid: Month 27.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, May 15 2016. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1258-from-baby-to-big-kid-month-27.
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- “Developmental Skills for Ages 2 to 3 Years.” Fairview Health Services. University of Minnesota, Amplatz Children’s Hospital. Retrieved September 7 2017. https://www.fairview.org/fv/groups/internet/documents/web_content/developmen_201009262104505.pdf.
- “Feeding: What to Expect From 24 to 36 Months.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, February 16 2009. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/154-feeding-what-to-expect-from-24-to-36-months.
- “Learning and Development: Young Children 24 to 36 Months.” Better Brains for Babies. University of Georgia. Retrieved September 7 2017. http://bbbgeorgia.org/childDev_24-36.php.
- “Play Activities for 24 to 36 Months.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, February 17 2010. Retrieved September 7 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/169-play-activities-for-24-to-36-months.
- “Physical Activity for Your Child: Age 2 Years.” Lancaster General Health. Penn Medicine. Retrieved September 7 2017. http://www.lancastergeneralhealth.org/LGH/ECommerceSite/media/LGH-Media-Library/Documents/Services/Service%20Lines/Healthy%20Weight%20Management/Fact%20Sheets/Physical-Activity-Age-2.pdf.
- “Stages of Play from 24-36 Months: The World of Imagination.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, February 26 2015. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/315-stages-of-play-from-24-36-months-the-world-of-imagination.