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All about Parenting Toddlers , Issue #018 - Toddler Growth: Expect a Slowdown
October 09, 2003
Shaping the life of your precious onesAll about Parenting Toddlers
8th October 2003
Welcome to another issue of All about Parenting Toddlers .
In This Issue:
1. Toddler Growth: Expect a Slowdown
Toddlers often worry their parents by eating erratically and growing more slowly than they should. Normally, physical growth slows down at around 12 months of age. Instead of shooting up like a rocket, it levels off somewhat, more like a gently climbing airplane.
This normal slowing down of growth causes toddlers' appetites to decrease somewhat, so it can seem as though they are not eating enough.
Be assured: If they are healthy and active, and you are offering them nutritious food, they are probably doing fine. If you are concerned, a quick weight check with your child's doctor or nurse will probably put you at ease.
One thing not to do, if you are concerned, is push food. Pushing food on a toddler who is not hungry often backfires. Toddlers have a natural and healthy drive to control what goes into their mouths. I've known many toddlers who go on hunger strike just so that they can be sure that they are in control.
You can smile pleasantly and chat while your toddler eats; you can eat your own food with obvious enjoyment, and let you toddler have a little bit off your plate; but you shouldn't try to force or trick your toddler into eating, or go overboard in praising him when he does.
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Find out how you can
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Most toddlers are full of energy and have an overwhelmingly intense desire to move around and explore their environment. It is your job to provide your toddler with a variety of interesting opportunities for exercising, remembering to always keep safety in mind.
Elaborate equipment isn't necessary, just arrange for the space and opportunity and your youngster will do the rest.
It's remarkable how many parents figure that fitness for children of this age will take care of itself. That is simply not the case, but toddlerhood is the time when bad habits are learned.
Too much television watching should be discouraged. A toddler who is allowed to sit around quietly most of each day in front of a TV set is more likely to become the sedentary school-ager and then the flabby, out-of-shape teenager and adult. It is a disgrace to see so many little children becoming "couch potatoes" so early on in life.
To help your toddler develop strength, coordination and agility I would recommend the following:
1. Push and pull toys. Cars and trucks often with sound effects built in make them great fun and help your toddler move around and exercise all his muscles in his make-believe world.
2. Balls of various sizes to be thrown, caught and also fetched. This will develop hand/eye coordination and agility.
3. Crawling games. These are excellent for large muscle development. For example, cut out the sides of a large cardboard box such as the one a TV set comes in and - presto! - he has both an indoor and outdoor playhouse.
4. Roughhouse activities. All you need is a blanket or pad on the floor. Believe me, you will tire before your toddler.
5. A tricycle. Fine for two to three year olds for developing leg muscles and coordination. If your toddler has a tendency to be placid and sedentary it is your job to encourage physical activities.
Running out of ideas for art and craft for your little ones?
Check out Chris Yates'
Little Kid Crafts For All Seasons
The Parenting Toddlers website is constantly being updated with more information.
Below is the latest addition :
Do you use toy chests in your house?
Remember to check back often for more information on parenting toddlers.
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See you in the next issue. :-)
All the best,
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