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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.

Can you hear me now?

By Colleen Lowe Smith   My daughter has exceptional communication skills.  When she was younger, we would make faces: “make a happy face!” “make a sad face!”  “make a mad face!”  Now she can make faces that express things like “Why are you putting away my plate of food that’s been sitting out for two hours?”  or “I didn’t mean to squeeze the cat that hard” or “I have to pee! I have to pee!”  And verbally?  Forget about it.  She’s been speaking since before two, and now, before three, she will tell epic tales and recall everything that happened “yesterday” (which is... read more

The Whole-Brain Child

A book recommendation.     By V.K. Harber     I am extremely grateful to a friend and fellow mother who recently gave me a copy of The Whole-Brain  Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. As I ponder the last few weeks with my, ahem, spirited toddler, I cannot help but wish that I’d gotten my hands on this book sooner.   I do not tend to believe that any one parenting book or philosophy is a one-stop shop, as each child and each family circumstance is completely unique, but I do love having as many tools as possible for parenting... read more

An EC Update: 16 months old and pooping in the potty

“Want to take a bath?” I suggested to the baby, who’s 16 months old now. She rushed into the bathroom shrugging out of one sleeve of her red shirt. “Psss! Psss!” The baby said a few minutes later, submerging a bowl to fill it with bath water. “Psss” is the noise the baby makes when she has a wet diaper or needs to go pee. But she sometimes cries wolf, signaling she needs to go but refusing to pause in her play long enough to use the potty. Plus, I was busy writing in our family journal. When I finally looked up, Leone was still saying, “psss,” almost singing the sound... read more

Are You Germophobic? Having Kids Will Cure You of That.

By Brian Leaf     Let me begin by saying that my sister, Julie, is a bit of a germophobe. No more than I was, but she’s not a parent, so she hasn’t spent countless hours squatting in public restroom stalls begging her toddler not to lick the wall. Having small children breaks you of any germ fears. There is no other choice.   This past weekend Julie drove with my boys and I to New Jersey to visit our mom. We stopped for lunch and before we got back in the car, Julie took the boys to the bathroom for one last pee before hitting the road.   About to wash his... read more

This fall, forget the dishes and take your children outdoors!

These photos were taken yesterday, a day that got up to 70F in October, a day that was bright, sunny, and unexpectedly beautiful. My daughter and I just returned from a trip to Ohio last week and my suitcase is still sitting unpacked in the middle of our kitchen floor, there’s laundry to be done, dinners to be planned, and a host of other chores on my long to-do list. But I simply couldn’t keep us indoors yesterday while this was going on outside. A mama’s gotta have priorities, right? We spent the morning biking around our house and... read more

Bed Time!

For many mothers, these words bring a mixture of joy and dread.  Joy at the thought of a chance to sit down and rest, or possibly to do things they otherwise couldn’t do with little ones around.  At the same time, many mothers dread bedtime because everyone seems so irritable and fussy at bedtime, yet somehow resistant to the whole idea of going to bed.  For some families, bed time is a battleground. Every family does bed time differently, and indeed some families don’t have a bed time at all for their children.  We’re all different. At the... read more

Getting Anything Done with a Toddler in the Mix

If you are spending prolonged time with your toddler, chances are you have to tend to some other obligations during your time together. Here are three tips for getting ANYTHING done with your toddler in the mix… a) Set your child up with a “work-station” to engage in the same activity that you are tending to: pen/paper, flour/measuring cup, rake/leaves, etc., depending on your project. b) Set your child up with a “play-station” near you with her own activities while you continue your task: a blanket with soft toys, a safe mirror, healthy snack,... read more

14 Things About a 14-Month-Old Baby

• Continues her study of physics (velocity, matter) by hurling food and other objects on the floor. Last night it was the glass top to the butter dish, which broke into a thousand jagged pieces. • Puts small objects in her mouth, and stumbles around the house drooling. Favorite choking hazards: pennies, buttons, big brother’s marbles. • Talks all the time. In Navaho? Vulcan? “Gaygo. Dis. Ducka ducka ducka! Umm. Dee doo. Aw-woo.” • Is affronted by the very thought of wearing clothes. Takes hers off all the time. Woe to the parent who dares to try... read more

Why They Will Always Be Our Babies

          There is this short story by Sandra Cisneros called, “Eleven.”  In brief, it is about a little girl who gets almost bullied in school by her teacher and classmates about leaving a sweater on the ground that was not hers.  It goes into the emotional responses of the young girl and asks questions about bulling and perception and power.  But it also happens on her eleventh birthday, hence the title.   I used to teach this story to my college kids, but I actually hadn’t thought about it in a few years.  And then the first line came into my mind about a week... read more

How A Coach Helps

A coach helps by holding a vision of success when you, for whatever reason, cannot. A coach sees the powers inside you and guides their unfolding. In singing, soccer, life in general -- and in parenting.   A coach helps by seeing the desired result, knowing the steps for getting you there, and patiently reminding you of those steps. A coach helps as you take those steps, which may feel awkward or unnatural at first. A coach patiently encourages you along what can feel like an interminably long road, sometimes to what feels like an unreachable mountaintop, even... read more

Mothering › Toddler Articles