Toddlerhood is a time of wonder and exploration. Your baby is now becoming more independent and curious about everything around them. This is the time parents need to be one step ahead of their child all the time.
Be sure to toddler proof your home and remember toddlers are very active. If it looks like it might be fun or interesting a toddler will investigate it. Locks and latches will keep your toddler safe.
Keep all medicines, chemicals for cleaning or laundry detergents and softeners up high and/or locked up. If it smells good to a toddler they will try to eat it. If they see you take a pill then it must be okay for them to try them. Never trust that childproof caps will keep your toddler safe. Toddlers are resourceful and given enough time can figure a way to open the bottle.
Look at electrical outlets and cords and be sure to use outlet covers and keep cords out of reach. You can find many baby proofing products at just about any retail or hardware store.
Any blind cord that is of the loop type needs to be cut and made inaccessible. Far too many children, especially toddlers, have been found tangled in these types of cords.
Breakables should be either put up very high or just put away. Beloved antiques and treasure will likely not survive toddlerhood. Save yourself some heartache and put them away to come out again when they are safe.
Temper tantrums and biting begin to arise at this time. Toddlers are still learning to communicate with you and those around you. When they become frustrated they will react in the only ways they know how. When they do have a tantrum or bite, you the parent need to react quickly to stop it. You can simply say, “I know you are frustrated. Please use your words.” Then you can help them express their needs or feelings. If your toddler bites we have found that by tapping on the teeth and telling them “Biting hurts. We do not bite our (friends, family, dog, cat, brother, etc.)” This technique generally works well, but you will need to do it more than once. If your child continues to bite give them something they are allowed to bite. This can be a teething toy a washrag etc as long as they have something to help them get that frustration out.
Time outs are a good way to help your toddler to understand right actions from wrong action. Find a place out of the way but within your sightline, place the toddler in the chair, couch or wherever you have chosen. Explain why they are taking a time out. Toddlers need reminded. (The acceptable time for a time out is one minute per year of age.) After the time has passed, go back to the child and explain why they were in time out and make sure they understand why the behavior was not acceptable.
NEVER laugh at misbehavior no matter how hysterically funny it is. You will just reinforce that it is OK to misbehave. Firmly, yet calmly, let the toddler know that is wasn’t acceptable then walk away and laugh.
Do give your toddler ample opportunities to be a helper. They can help pack lunches, wipe off tables and help dust furniture. This is the time they want to learn and by allowing them to help you with tasks they are learning about their world.