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Health Facts

General Health

Baby

Toddlers & Children

Pregnancy

 

 

Child Development 2-3 Years

 

Posture and Large Movements

After spending the last few months practicing, the toddlers can co-ordinate their body movements quite confidently. Walking is usually well mastered and they can run safely, avoiding obstacles. They climb and can rise from the squatting position without using their hands. They walk up and down steps with two feet to a step and can walk backwards. They can throw a ball and kick a ball from the standing position.

From the age of 2- 3 their height increases by about 8 - 10 cms and their weight increases by 2-3 kgs

Vision and Fine Movements

Toddlers are able to pick up very small objects between their thumb and forefinger. They enjoy circular scribbling and dot the paper with a pencil. By the age of 3 years they can imitate a circle and vertical and horizontal lines. They can recognize familiar adults in photos and by 3 years will recognize themselves in a photo. They are able to turn the pages in a book singularly.

Speech and Hearing

They can usually understand most of what is said to them. Initially they may use up to 50 words and put two words together in a sentence. They constantly ask names of objects and repeat words that they hear. They may refer to themselves by name. By 2 years they may use 200 + words. They ask, "what's that?" questions. This age group may know a few nursery rhymes however for the majority of the time, the toddler's speech will be unintelligible. They begin to listen with interest.

Feelings

They cuddle securely in affection, fatigue or fear. They try to be independent and may exhibit tantrums due to frustration, anger or fears. Tantrums are a way of expressing the toddler's feelings as he or she does not have the "words" to do this yet. Crying is still their main method of protesting. Avoiding situations that are known to create boredom and frustration in the child may prevent tantrums. As a parent, try not to reinforce the toddler's anger with your own, or reward the toddler by giving in to their wishes. This response usually prolongs the tantrum. It is best for parents to distract and / or ignore the situation if possible, making sure the child is at no risk of harming themselves. Once the tantrum is over, then a cuddle and reassurance from the parent will help the child forget about the episode. It is a frightening situation the child has just experienced, as they swings from independence to dependence.

The toddler is able to wait briefly and show concern for mum.

Social Behaviour

Early encouragement and experiences that the toddler receives from their parents are very important. Play is essential to begin to get some understanding of many things including size, weight, length, volume etc. They imitate domestic activities. They are able to ask for food and drink. Some are beginning to indicate their toileting needs in reasonable time, although this is dependent on the maturation of the central nervous system and not indicated solely on age.

Toddlers are socially advanced. They are more interested in things than in other children. They play contentedly on their own and engage in parallel (side by side) play with other children. They have no understanding of property ownership and therefore cannot understand the concept of sharing. Indeed, they will defend what they perceive as belonging to them.

Needs

Listening and taking notice of what a toddler is saying and doing is one of the most reliable contributions a parent can make. A balance between helping too much or too little is important in order to encourage them to try, without experiencing too many failures. The positive reinforcements you show will encourage them to keep on trying.

Simple stories and simple playthings such as water, sand, cardboard boxes, dress up clothes or a simple cart create great excitement.

They require opportunities for independence in a secure environment. Toddlers need help and guidance in how to do this. The need for companionship from father becomes evident. Parents need to be consistent, patient firm and loving.