It’s important for your toddler to eat foods from all food groups: protein foods, fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. Your child should be learning to feed himself. He will use his fingers and may start using a spoon. This will be messy. Make sure you cut food into small pieces so that your child won't choke. Most 1-year-olds have 2 or 3 snacks each day. Cheese, fruit, and vegetables are all good snacks. Avoid foods that can choke your child, such as candy, hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts.
By now, most toddlers should be using an open- rimmed cup instead of a bottle. Although a sippy cup has the advantage of reduced spills, it can affect the position of your child’s teeth and is more likely to cause decay. If your child is still using a bottle, it could start to cause problems with his teeth and might cause ear infections. A child at this age may be sad to give up a bottle, so try to replace it with another treasured item--perhaps a teddy bear or blanket.
Toddlers are very curious and want to be the boss. This is normal. If your child is safe, this is a time to let him explore new things. As long as you are there to protect your child, let him satisfy his curiosity. Stuffed animals, toys for pounding, pots, pans, measuring cups, empty boxes, and soft balls are some examples of toys your child may enjoy.
Toddlers may want to copy what you are doing. Sweeping, dusting, or washing play dishes can be fun for your child.
Reading and TV
Read to your child every day. Reading to your child helps him learn more quickly. Choose books with interesting pictures and colors. Children at this age may ask to read the same book over and over. This repetition is a natural part of learning.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not allowing children under 2 years old to watch TV at all. Watching TV keeps children from playing and interacting with people. Children this age need to be active because it helps their brains and bodies to develop.
Toddlers start to have temper tantrums at about this age. You need patience. Trying to reason with or punish your child may actually make the tantrum last longer. It’s best to make sure your toddler is in a safe place and then ignore the tantrum. Don’t look directly at him and don’t speak to him or about him to others where he can hear what you are saying. At a later time, find behavior to praise. Don’t use food to reward your child for good behavior.
It’s not yet time to start time-outs. You can start time-outs when your child is about 2 years old. However, you may need to start earlier if your child has serious misbehavior, like hitting.
It’s important to take care of your child’s baby teeth because they help your child chew food and speak clearly. They also help save space for the permanent teeth that will come in later. You can help care for your child’s teeth by following these tips:
Your child should see a dentist every 6 months or as often as the dentist recommends.
Child-Proofing Your Home
Choking and Suffocation
Fires and Burns
Immunizations protect your child against several serious, life-threatening diseases. At the 15-month visit, your child will get vaccines recommended for your child at this age. Ask your healthcare provider what symptoms or problems you should watch for after your child gets a shot and what to do if your child has them.
Bring your child's shot record to all visits with your child’s healthcare provider.
Your child's next visit should be at the age of 18 months.