As a parent I am often blown away by the speed at which my children reach their developmental milestones. It is astounding (and amazing) how quickly they develop from helpless newborns into opinionated toddlers!
It all happens so quickly, I try and document all the significant changes. Here are my top 5 things to record;
- New words or phrases
Between your child’s 1st birthday and their 5th birthday they will learn to say approximately 1300 words. Crazy right?! That makes the key toddler years of 1-4 years old an intense time of cognitive development. They start with single words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and progress to asking simple questions, singing songs and telling stories.
Your child will literally change every day. That’s why it’s so important to make notes of funny words, nicknames, stories and conversations you have with your child.
One of the easiest ways I have found to keep on top of this fast paced development is to make a note in my phone and write snippets in there. Usually I just copy and paste from text message updates I send her dad or other family members.
- ‘I don’t like that’
Food preferences or aversions are a normal part of toddler development. They will start to show an interest for withheld food (like sweets!) and might also show a fear of new foods and reject foods they’d previously liked. Sometimes food is even rejected on site without tasting.
This can be infuriating for parents, but it’s also good to record the crazy lengths you go to in order to get them to eat! Trust me, one day this will make you laugh.
Disaster strikes... she doesn't like the food she ate yesterday
Toddlers are known for their opinions, and sometimes you just have to give in to survive. Clothing is one of those battles that can turn into something hilarious! Pyjamas all day, underwear as outerwear and dress-ups or costumes out in public; it’s all gold!
Imagine those photos displayed on their 18th or 21st birthdays #parentsrevenge
As your toddler grows you’ll see a dramatic change in the way they play by themselves and with other children. Playing is the way children make sense of their world, so the way in which they play reflects their understanding of them and their surroundings.
Toddlers in particular use objects to explore the relationship between objects and how they can control them (remember the first time your child stacked some blocks?), and they also start to explore social interactions and language development in role-playing and make believe play. Physical development is also explored through play. Running, jumping, spinning, rolling and climbing are all ways your child is exploring their new found physical freedom and learn about risk.
As they get closer to pre-school age they also develop friendships and explore these social interactions through play, first by watching other children play, then by playing alongside other children and finally by playing with other children, exploring and developing new games. Physically they develop their fine and gross motor skills quickly, start planning ahead and start having and interest in objects and how they fit together (as in building complex constructions). They will also play by themselves for long periods.
In all the crazy emotional development toddlers throw at us as parents, watching your child discover the world through play is one of the most rewarding aspects of toddlerhood.
If you’re a parent already you’ll know that you can get kind of obsessive over your child’s sleep. Anything and everything if fair game when you’re trying to get some precious rest.
You’ll also know, if your baby has grown into a toddler, that toddlers can be sticklers for repetition and get very possessive over both small and large objects and the order in which the bedtime routine occurs. It can drive you nuts!
But rest assured, your toddler will expand and escalate their bedtime demands (especially once they figure out that more books = a delayed bedtime!).
They can also fall asleep in the strangest positions and circumstances. Small kiddies go hard all day long and sometimes this means crashing in the most unlikely of places! Take photos of this all!! It’s a good way to reflect on the funny side of bedtime, and also tell stories about as your child grows.
If you’re wondering: ‘How do I document all of this?’… Don’t worry; I’ve got you sorted! Our Monochrome Toddler Book has room for all of this magical toddler goodness and MORE!! Have fun with it and reflect on your child’s growth and development in our stylish Monochrome Toddler Book.