Happy birthday to Baby! They have been blinking those great big eyes and taking in the world around them for about three hundred and sixty-five days now, and they have a whole range of brand new skills, abilities, interests, and hobbies to show for it. Who ever would have thought that the teeny tiny newborn they were three hundred and sixty-four days ago would be quite so interested in garbage trucks, for example?
Baby’s last year was an exciting one – babbling! Happy smiles! Learning how to get from point A to point B! – but it’s got nothing on the year the two of you have ahead of you. In the next year, you’ll see them start to hone their communication skills, start to be able to move around with a lot more ease (and get themself into a lot more trouble!) and start growing more and more independent from you. If that makes year two sound like a pretty big deal, that’s because it is – and there are a few different ways you can prepare yourself, your home, and Baby for the year ahead.
Whether Baby has taken their first steps yet or not, there’s a good chance that they are still finding their sea legs – or land legs? – but once they figure it out, it won’t be long before there’s no stopping them, so now is a great time to start to prepare for a reality where they can reach above their head when they're at standing height. This may mean making sure door knobs that lead to areas where they shouldn’t be on their own are secure, moving breakables that are up on shelves to even higher shelves, and taking a look at your furniture to try to get a sense for what they'll be trying to climb soon, and what they'll be able to reach once they have been climbing.
Preparing for Baby’s next stage may also mean busting out some slightly more complex picture books than the ones you’ve been reading before now, as their language skills develop, and giving them plenty of chances to work on their pre-writing skills by having some fun with crayons and paper. It might even mean bracing yourself for the fact that the independence they are going to grow into in the next year may start to show itself through some defiance – they may choose to do things you’ve asked them not to, or to ignore some of the things you ask of them. This is normal, and isn’t meant to frustrate you, it’s just part of a toddler’s growing personality and understanding of themself as their own person.
All of this is in the future, though! Well, probably in the future. At least a little bit in the future. Baby might wait till tomorrow to get started? In the meantime, pull up a chair, grab yourself a piece of smash-cake, and congratulate Baby and yourself on a year well-spent.