Mastering Being a Toddler
Toddlers move, they explore, they play, these are mostly what they do other than eat, sleep and pee and poo and communicate with those they are close too in various ways. They are always learning too, they are learning through the activities that they do and through the environments that they are in. It is through all the movement, exploration, play and communication that they develop some vital skills that they will require as they move through life.
Their sensory systems (visual, auditory, vestibular, proprioception, tactile, olfactory) are all developing at a rapid rate during all of the movement, exploration and play. These are crucial times for the sensory systems to develop too, so allowing them plenty of time to participate in these activities will see great development. There will also be a great development in their ability to communicate, show emotions and socialise. The temperament that we see in these little people as babies continue through toddlerhood and we start some definite traits about them as little people.
With all the movement that toddlers want to do, they definitely need a lot of sleep, not as much as babies but still a lot through the night and still through the day. It will vary depending on different toddlers but it is important that they get quality sleep so that their brains and nervous system can develop properly from all the moving, exploring, playing and communicating. They also get more control over their bowel and bladders during this time and this is such a big achievement for them too. Given that their sensory systems are at the fore of development during this time we quite often see fussy eating, the beginning of temper tantrums or meltdowns which are quite often related to several things, overload of sensory stimulation, unable to understand and communicate how they are feeling which can be an emotion of a physiological discomfort, not enough sleep, not enough good quality type food (diet based on highly processed foods), not understanding social situations. Some of these things adults can help them with ie ensuring they get enough good food and sleep, and/or guiding and teach them about communicating and social situations with others.
As you can see this is the time where good habits can start in terms of daily activities and how a child’s body and brain develop. Ensuring that their sleep and food intake is of good quality, that they can move enough is important for development but also the exploration and play are also vital for cognitive development. If you have any concerns about any of these areas in a little toddler that you know ensure that you seek appropriate advice from a healthcare professional.