There are a few things toddlers Baby’s age are known for, but one of the biggest and least fun ones is resistance to bedtime. It’s easy to take bedtime resistance as just a sign that she might not need all that much sleep – once. But all it takes is one long, cranky day where she gets only as much sleep as she thinks she needs, instead of the amount that you know she needs, and you’ll likely become immune to further persuasion. That doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to deal with when your tot digs in her heels and decides there’s no way she’s ready for bed, though.
There are a few different reasons why bedtime resistance is so common at this time, but one of the biggest is that Baby wants to make sure you know exactly how independent she is, now that she’s getting so big and so capable. (The answer, in case you still aren’t sure, is very independent). This is tricky, because while there are a few ways you can offer her other chances to assert her independence, it doesn’t always mean that she’ll want to give up on this way.
Unfortunately, one of the strategies that really doesn’t work very often is reasoning with a toddler Baby’s age. Unless she’s one of those rare toddlers who was born a philosopher and thrives on debate, there’s a good chance there’s no amount of logic you can throw at her to change her mind. This means that often, your best bet is to figure out a combination of strategies that offer her the chance to take control of the bedtime process (like letting her choose her pajamas, choose the bedtime stories, or choose whether or not to leave a nightlight on) and also make sure that your bedtime routine is both regular enough to act like a bedtime ritual and enough fun that Baby actually wants to do it – at least sometimes.
Other common toddler phenomena that you might be experiencing right now include hits like, “Why?” “No, no, no!” and “Mine.” All of these interests combine to create what some people call “the terrible twos,” and there may be days where it’s easy to see why. Baby is just trying to figure out how to be her own person, though, and someday (someday soon, even!) she may be able to do that without running into the kitchen naked after bathtime because the idea of going to bed suddenly sounds like the absolute worst thing she’s ever heard.
Can draw a “V”: Different drawing skills develop at different times, but drawing a “V” takes a bit more dexterity than drawing a line and much more than drawing a never-ending scribble that goes on and on until she runs out of paper. Drawing “V” shapes shows muscle-control, artistic growth, and Baby broadening her creative horizons.
Plays with another toddler: Baby is finally reaching the point when she can start to really make friends, as opposed to “making friends” in the sense that she might have when she was younger: crawling over another baby to get to a certain toy as if her “friend” wasn’t really there, for example, or following her year-and-a-half-older cousin around and picking up older-toddler vocabulary like “stupid” that you might wish she hadn’t. No, at this point, she might start to have some really exciting playdates with some of her first real friends. Baby and her friend may play near each other, they may play with some of the same toys, and they may even play with a bit of interaction – and sometimes, that interaction might not even involve fighting!
- Rebecca Parlakian and Claire Lerner. “From Baby to Big Kid: Month 31.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, May 16 2016. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1272-from-baby-to-big-kid-month-31.
- Rebecca Parlakian and Claire Lerner. “From Baby to Big Kid: Month 32.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, May 16 2016. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1273-from-baby-to-big-kid-month-32.
- “30-36 Months: Your Child’s Development.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, February 10 2016. Retrieved September 6 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/108-30-36-months-your-child-s-development.
- “Activities for Bonding and Learning from 24 to 36 Months.” Zero to Three. Zero to Three, April 18 2016. Retrieved September 7 2017. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1079-activities-for-bonding-and-learning-from-24-to-36-months.
- “Developmental Milestones: 2 Years Old.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, June 1 2009. Retrieved August 14 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-2-Year-Olds.aspx.
- “Developmental Milestones: 3 to 4 Year Olds.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 21 2015. Retrieved August 14 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-3-to-4-Year-Olds.aspx.
- “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.
- “Your Child at Three Years.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved September 7 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/checklists/checklists_3yr.pdf.