Your child is advancing from infancy toward and into the preschool years. During this time, his or her physical growth and motor development will slow, but you can expect to see some tremendous intellectual, social, and emotional changes.
TODDLER GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
- Walks alone
- Pulls toys behind when walking
- Begins to run
- Stands on tiptoe
- Kicks a ball
- Imitates behavior of others
- Aware of herself as separate from others
- Enthusiastic about company of other children
- Finds objects even when hidden 2 or 3 levels deep
- Sorts by shape and color
- Plays make-believe
Toddlerhood is an important phase in your child’s life: It’s when they will build social skills and continue to learn and grow. As you introduce your toddler into daycare or pre-K, you are engaging them in an educational experience of social interaction. During this time it is vital for families to ensure that the toddlers have a smooth transition to social situations and are happy and healthy as they learn to develop relationships.
At Vaatsalya clinic, Dr Shaivali Joshi offers helpful guidance to parents in working through their child’s social or behavioral issues. In addition to behavioral health, she focuses on all round -care, including nutrition counseling and special needs care.
Toddler care includes:
- Behavioral support
- Nutrition counseling when necessary
- Sick visits
- Special needs care when necessary
- Wellness checkups
- Please note there will be visits that do not have immunizations that are important for monitoring growth and development.
- We are happy to discuss questions you may have regarding your child’s vaccine schedule.
NUTRITION IN TODDLERS
Growth slows somewhat during the toddler years, but nutrition is still a top priority. It’s also a time for parents to shift gears, leaving bottles behind and moving into a new era where kids will eat and drink more independently.
The toddler years are a time of transition, especially between 12–24 months, when they’re learning to eat table food and accepting new tastes and textures. Breast milk and formula were perfect for your child as an infant, but now it’s time for toddlers to start getting what they need through a variety of food
How Much Food Do They Need?
Depending on their age, size, and activity level, toddlers need about 1,000–1,400 calories a day. Nutrition is all about averages so try to provide a wide variety of nutrients in your child’s diet. Talk with your doctor about specifics for your child.
Milk is an important part of a toddler’s diet. It provides calcium and vitamin D to help build strong bones. Toddlers should have 700 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D (which aids in calcium absorption) a day. This calcium need is met if kids get the recommended two servings of dairy foods every day. But those servings provide less than half of the necessary vitamin D, so doctors often recommend vitamin D supplements. Your doctor will let you know if your toddler needs a supplement.
In general, kids ages 12 to 24 months old should drink whole milk to help provide the dietary fats they need for normal growth and brain development. Your doctor can help you decide which kind of milk to serve your toddler.
Some kids don’t like milk or cannot drink or eat dairy products. Explore other calcium sources, such as curd, paneer, cheese,calcium-fortified soy beverages, calcium-fortified juices, fortified breads and cereals, cooked dried beans, and dark green vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and kale.
Meeting Iron Requirements
Toddlers should have 7 milligrams of iron each day. After 12 months of age, they’re at risk for iron deficiency because they no longer drink iron-fortified formula and may not be eating iron-fortified infant cereal or enough other iron-containing foods to make up the difference.
Cow’s milk is low in iron. Drinking a lot of cow’s milk also can put a toddler at risk for iron deficiency. Toddlers who drink a lot of cow’s milk may be less hungry and less likely to eat iron-rich foods. Milk decreases the absorption of iron and also can irritate the lining of the intestine, causing small amounts of bleeding and the gradual loss of iron in the stool (poop).
Iron deficiency can affect growth and may lead to learning and behavioral problems. And it can lead to iron-deficiency anemia (too few red blood cells in the body). Iron is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Without enough iron and red blood cells, the body’s tissues and organs get less oxygen and don’t work as well as they should.
To help prevent iron deficiency:
Limit your child’s milk intake to about 16-24 ounces a day (2 to 3 cups).
Serve more iron-rich foods (meat, poultry, fish, enriched grains, beans, paalak,jaggery ).
When serving iron-rich meals, include foods that contain vitamin C (like tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries), which improve the body’s iron absorption.
Continue serving iron-fortified cereal until your child is 18-24 months old.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned that your child isn’t eating a balanced diet. Many toddlers are checked for iron-deficiency anemia, but never give your child a vitamin or mineral supplement without first discussing it with your doctor.
How Much Should My Child Grow?
You’re in for many changes! By midway through this year, most babies are walking and learning to talk. They’re turning into toddlers. By their second birthdays, most are losing that “baby” look. As toddlers get stronger and more capable, their rate of physical growth slows during this year.
During this second year of life, growth slows down. Your toddler may gain about 5 pounds (2.27 kg) and grow about 4 or 5 inches (10 to 12 cm). By 2 years, children have reached about half of their adult height and 90% of adult head size. Boys tend to weigh about a pound more than girls but average about the same height.
What you will notice more than actual growth are changes in a toddler’s appearance. Body proportions are beginning to change. Instead of sporting the rounded belly and relatively short arms and legs suited to crawling on all fours, toddlers start to trim down, become more muscular because of increased activity, and will begin to look more like preschoolers than babies.
Should I Be Concerned?
Like babies, toddlers come in all shapes and sizes. Your doctor will continue to plot your little one’s growth on a growth chart during regular checkups. Although you may be concerned that your child is too thin or too chubby at any one time, the most important thing is that your child continues to grow at a steady rate.
During the second year of life, babies are learning to feed themselves. They are moving to table foods and learning about new tastes and textures. Keep in mind that appetites slow down as growth slows and there may be times when your child is not very interested in food. If you have concerns your child is not eating enough, speak with your doctor.
Encourage activity and exploration by providing a safe environment that lets your child be active every day. Besides the physical benefits, this is also how a lot of learning takes place. This should be fairly easy, as most toddlers are naturally curious and seize every opportunity to move.
Try not to let your baby spend too much time in confined spaces — such as strollers, playpens, and cribs — that restrain moving and exploring.
Toddlers grow at a slower but steady rate. From their second birthday to their third, most kids grow only about 2-3 inches. But you will see your child growing in other ways, especially in the area of language.
Continue to provide a safe and healthy environment to support your child’s growth and development. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your child’s growth.
READ ABOUT HOW TO CHOOSE APPROPRIATE TOYS FOR YOUR TODDLER