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Mothering › Toddler Articles


New ideas and inspirations to help you keep perspective during the early, hectic years.

78 toddler article submissions by the Mothering community.

A Letter to My Nursing Toddler

By Megan Leary       My dear toddler,   You were tired. It had been a long morning in the car and then visiting with strangers. You rubbed your eye with one hand and said, “Nurse?”   At home I would have scooped you in my arms and cuddled you close while you nursed yourself to sleep. Then I would lay you in bed and give you a kiss. But this time I reacted differently. You saw me look sideways at the room of strangers who have never been a part of your life and meant nothing to you. You saw me shift awkwardly in my seat. You saw me blush. You were confused. I... read more

There Is Not Always a "Fix" For the Difficult Child

    Have I mentioned that I have a two year old?  'Tis true.  And she is one HECK of a two year old.  In fact, she has always been an intense child.  As a baby she awoke every hour or two.  (I realize this is normal.)  But she always woke screaming.  I would nurse her back to sleep or do whatever worked but there were never tender nighttime moments with air sucking or fist finding as my sweet one gently showed the signs of hunger.  No, she is designed like a fine race car: zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds.  The intensity of babyhood has followed... read more

Is Your Child Ready to Read? A Checklist

We live in a culture deeply devoted to getting its citizens to read at the earliest possible ages. Whether it's flashcards, alphabet-focused toys, iPad reading apps or "teachable moments about letters" sprinkled throughout daily life with toddlers and preschoolers, we seem hellbent on hatching early readers.   And parents feel little choice in the matter: sadly, a 5- or 6-year-old kindergarten student in public or conventional private school who isn't quite fluent with letters is already behind the 8-ball!   Child psychologist David Elkind has devoted his... read more

Ten Tips for Surviving Two Under Two

By Megan Leary   My 14 month old daughter was eating lunch when I slipped away to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. The next time she saw me I was literally jumping up and down with a huge smile and screaming. She started to smile and scream with me throwing her spoon and its contents in the air. I wonder if I knew then what I know now how much quieter that moment may have been!   I planned for my son, just not his timing into the world. I knew that having two children under the age of two would be difficult, but I was wholly unprepared for just how difficult.... read more

3 Rules for Bedtime Reading

New research reveals that fewer and fewer parents share bedtime reading with their children. More than one-third of parents in one study don't do any bedtime reading with their kids. Whether it's due to time-crunch, life stress or (as reported by almost half the study's parents) that their children prefer television, toys or computer games, dropping bedtime reading creates a loss with potential lifelong repercussions. My rules simplify things to help nurture and protect your bedtime reading routine.   I'll keep this brief, because frankly, I think one of the culprits... read more

Beyond Toys and TV: Creative Ideas to Keep Kids Busy

Our kids are shaped by what they see and do. Very young children can become wired for overstimulation by screen time as well as the kind of commercial playthings that use sound, light, and movement to hold their attention. How does this affect them?   When play has to do with blinking beeping toys or rapidly changing images, children may have a diminished ability to amuse themselves. They may not be attuned to the slower pace of conversation, the expansive pleasure of make-believe, or the subtle wonders found in nature. They have trouble generating their own... read more

Yikes: Most Parents Use Carseats Incorrectly!

 Did you know the majority of parents are using their carseats incorrectly?  Did you know car accidents are a top cause of death in children?  Did you know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their child’s carseat rear-facing for at least 2 years? I didn’t know most of this info when I first had my son, but I have learned a lot since then, so I’ve compiled some general information here.  All pictures are used with permission, & please follow the purple links for further information! My son, 3, riding happily with his... read more

“Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.”

              By Brian Leaf   This evening, as my three-year-old sat on the potty for a poop, we had the following chat:   Benji: “Why doesn’t Mama have a penis?”   Me: (ala Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop): “Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.”   Benji: (very pensive)   Me: (I figure it might be helpful to review, so I ask) “What about Uncle Larry, is he a boy or a girl?”   Benji: (thinks for a moment and says) “Boy.”   Me: “Right, and he has a penis. What about Grandpa, boy or girl?”   Benji: “Girl.”   Me: “No, he’s a... read more

The "I Help" Bag: A Way to Engage Curious Toddlers

  My daughter just turned 2, and her blossoming independence seems to be showing itself more and more these days. I find myself constantly trying to come up with ways to allow her to help, as she is always asking to do so. Months ago she began to help me unload the dishwasher, and even though I have to reposition or hand her half the dishes since she can't reach them, it is makes my day to see how excited she is to do it.   It became a little problematic in that we could not load anything in front of her, because she would dash into the kitchen yelling, "I help! I... read more

Car Seats are for Cars

By Catherine McKenzie Issue 136 - May/June 2006 "You know, you’re the only mother here who doesn’t carry her baby in a car seat," commented the receptionist at my midwife’s office. My daughter was several weeks old at the time, and I’d left her seat in the car, mainly because I didn’t feel like lugging it up the stairs to the clinic. I looked around the waiting room and realized that we were the odd ones out. It seemed true wherever we went. At the library, the shopping mall, the drop-in center for parents, the babies were all in infant seats—parked next to... read more

Mothering › Toddler Articles