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 they might not need all that much sleep – once. But all it takes is one long, cranky day where they get only as much sleep as they thinks they need, instead of the amount that you know they need, 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 their heels and decides there’s no way they're 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 they are, now that they're 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 them other chances to assert their independence, it doesn’t always mean that they'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 they're 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 them to change their mind. This means that often, your best bet is to figure out a combination of strategies that offer them the chance to take control of the bedtime process (like letting them choose their 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 their own person, though, and someday (someday soon, even!) they 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 they're 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 they run out of paper. Drawing “V” shapes shows muscle-control, artistic growth, and Baby broadening their creative horizons.
Plays with another toddler: Baby is finally reaching the point when they can start to really make friends, as opposed to “making friends” in the sense that they might have when they were younger: crawling over another baby to get to a certain toy as if their “friend” wasn’t really there, for example, or following their year-and-a-half-older cousin around and picking up older-toddler vocabulary like “stupid” that you might wish they hadn’t. No, at this point, they might start to have some really exciting playdates with some of their first real friends. Baby and their 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!
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- 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.
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