Your toddler’s language and cognitive development
DEVELOPMENT: It’s hard to believe that the little baby you brought home from the hospital is already a toddler! Where does the time go?
It seems like just yesterday you heard his first heartbeat, felt his first kick and debated on what to name him. Now not only is he here, he’s two years old and he’s growing bigger and bigger with each passing day.
Two is a terrific and terrifying time for moms. Terrific because there are so many wonderful new firsts and terrifying because many first time moms fear that their little baby is just growing up far too fast. To set those mommy fears at bay, we assure you mom that your little guy still needs you just as much as the day he was born. In fact, he needs you now more than ever! The bright new world is a strange and wonderful place but it can be scary sometimes.
A caterpillar that crawls too close for comfort, a thunderstorm that’s just too loud, a monster under his bed, or a drop of water in his eye that he just doesn’t like – your little guy needs you close by to come rescue him when the new world he’s exploring gives him a fright. He needs you for reassurance. Knowing you are close by gives him a new-found bravery to explore the thing he would never have gotten close to just a few months before. In many ways, this will continue his whole life through.
You’ll also notice that exploring can mean many new things. This year marks the beginning of a world of imagination. Your toddler will begin to put his imagination to good use, playing pretend and falling in love with the land of make believe. You may notice him mimicking his favorite characters, pretending to fix things with his toy hammer, playing cowboy on the back of his rocky horse or saving his sister from an imaginary dragon with a quick swoop of his plastic sword.
While he’s playing you’re also likely to hear him use simple phrases and begin to form sentences. He will be able to understand simple commands, if not now soon, and also begin to pick up on new words faster. While he cannot say all of the words he knows yet, he knows and understands hundreds of familiar words which can be exciting when you realize that your toddler understands you much better than you might think.
The terrific twos are a wonderful time to be a kid and an even better time to be a parent. This year will bring so many new memories, joys and family moments. Now is the perfect time to dive into imagination with your toddler. Scribble together, finger paint, build a fort and play make believe. If you thought the first year was memorable, take it from your toddler – you haven’t seen anything yet!