When kiddos start walkin', the house goes a-rockin'. With new sounds, new words, and new level of mobility, an 18-month-old's newfound determination may have him climbing furniture...and you climbing walls. Children a year-and-a-half through two years of age have special challenges for parents to manage.
Never fear: help is here! The Squad has tips and tricks to help you survive — and make the most of — the toddler years.
1. Road trips
Whether you're planning a short trip or an all-day cruise on the highway, make a rest stop at 3 Ways To Survive Car Trips With Toddlers before you back out of the driveway. It covers timing, distractions, and yes, even a few suggestions about bribery. Surviving and Thriving on an Extended Car Trip With Your Kids also has tips for parents who need help making a long trip from point A to point B.
2. Put them to work
Toddlers should not be exempt from family chores. As soon as those little legs are up and walking, get them used to the household routine by teaching them a few job skills. 43 Chores Young Children Can Do gives 11 that are perfect for human beings in the 18 months – 2 year age range. To help keep the blocks, balls, and bears from overrunning your floors and stairs, make sure there is a place for everything with Toy Organization That Actually Works.
And while you're busy teaching them to clean the house, check out practical tips on managing the mess while toddlers are underfoot by reading. Easy Ways To Keep A House (Relatively) Clean With Small Kids.
3. Arts and crafts
Toddlers learn so much in the process of getting their hands on a variety of art mediums and textures. Make sure to expose them to play dough, paint, and all kinds of paper. Thanksgiving Crafts For Toddlers has several excellent art projects to prepare this coming fall.
4. Behavior management
Our ProSquad has strategies for moms and dads to try when dealing with the begging and whining that goes along with toddlerhood. Read ProSquad: Birth Mothers And Begging Toddlers for more.
Keep restaurant eating manageable with Tips For Eating Out WithYoung Children.
Moving with toddlers? Yes, it can be done. But first, make sure you're armed with a whole lotta help to make the process as smooth as possible. Moving With Kids: 23 Can't-Miss Tips To Help You Cope will help you do just that.
This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) added another year to their guidelines about rear-facing children in car seats. Read up on the policy change, along with explanations and legal information at New AAP Guidelines Have Children Facing The Rear for an Additional Year.
The AAP has made other changes as well. Last year, water safety was on their minds: American Academy of Pediatrics Reverses Position On Toddler Swim Training.
7. Yes, you have to feed them
Healthy, simple, and appealing bites can be found at Food Ideas for Toddlers, which gives parents some advice for managing foods and passes on a little tutorial for label-reading the foods in the grocery store.
While you're at the store, make sure you read the ingredients and educate yourself on the High Sugar Content in Baby and Toddler Food, and understand what all those numbers and long words mean on the side of boxes with Labeled: Food Manufactures Called Out By the FDA.
8. Get 'em up, get 'em going
Mornings can be difficult, especially when parents have to get to schools, daycare facilities, and workplaces. Help get the littlest members of the family on track by using A Morning Routine To Set Boundaries With Young Children.
9. Toddling around the great outdoors
Spring is long gone, but families can glean a few hints and helps if planting a fall garden this year. Tips For Gardening With Young Children encourages parents to get children — even the young ones — involved in this process.