1. Courage – One of the most challenging aspects of limit setting and creating a routine around discipline in a young toddler is having the courage to set a limit on behavior in a consistent way, regardless of where you are and who may be watching. It takes courage to continue to be consistent, and that consistency will be one of the greatest gifts that you can give your toddler as you guide them through what the world and you expect of them. The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears is a great resource on positive discipline and behavior.
2. A sound machine – You used one for your infant, but do you know it can help with toddler sleep, too? Continuous white noise helps to reduce middle of the night restlessness and early morning waking. For more information on toddler sleep, please watch The Science of Infant & Toddler Sleep webinar then browse our collection of Isis Sleep Webinar recordings.
3. Perseverance - Your toddler may go through a phase where she doesn’t want to nap. If she is younger than three years old, be persistent in your attempt to preserve her nap. Read here for tips on how to keep your toddler rested with a much-needed nap.
4. Anti-tip furniture straps – You never imagined your little one would try to climb the bookshelf, but there she goes! You didn’t realize she’d open the dresser drawers and use them as a ladder, but she is! Toddlers are curious and fearless and therefore, accident-prone. Furniture straps can prevent accidents from happening! Read more here in The Dangers of Furniture and TV Tip Overs.
5. Confidence – So that if an accident did occur, you’d know what to do! Our Toddler CPR and Safety class is designed to give you the confidence, skills, and knowledge to save a toddler’s life!
6. A convertible car seat (our personal top pick: Diono Radian) – Milestones are exciting to reach; but transitioning your toddler from rear-facing to forward-facing shouldn’t be a milestone you rush! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping children rear-facing until age 2. Choosing a convertible that can go rear-facing, forward-facing and be used as a booster seat allows you to keep them safe without needing multiple car seats over the years. For more guidance on car seat safety, read here.
7. A straw cup – Did you know that drinking from a straw cup can help improve your child’s oral motor skills? Learn more about introducing a straw cup to your baby or toddler here or watch the webinar.
8. Trust - Almost all toddlers go through a picky-eating phase and it can really test a parent’s ability to trust their toddler’s instincts. But as Ellyn Satter reminds us, we have a responsibility as parents to offer the food, but our children have the responsibility to determine how much and whether to eat.
9. Cloth training pants – Sure, there are disposable pull-ups available at every grocery store, but cloth training pants can be more effective. The cotton blend fabric helps teach toddlers how to recognize wetness at the first signs and avoid accidents. Think your toddler is ready to be potty-trained? There are different approaches you can take. Learn three of them from our experts.
10. Patience - Potty training will come in time! All toddlers need lots of thoughtful praise and need to know that it’s not a big deal when accidents happen. Children’s bodies mature slowly and their control over them takes time to develop.
Bonus! Mindfulness – There are moments where instead of focusing on when the milestone will be reached, and where your child is going next developmentally, you need to sit down, and observe all of the wonderful things that your child is doing in the moment. Our Toddler Essentials class will help you celebrate those wonders, prepare for the challenges, and better understand your toddler.
Teresa Stewart, Program Manager: Safety and Wellness and
Kim Bennett, Program Manager: Child Development (co-creators of Toddler Essentials)