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Two Years

2years-minFinally! Your child is now two years old! Congratulations! What a year it has been! Not only has your child witnessed considerable growth spurts and cognitive leaps, it has been busy developing its language skills and has learned to walk and run, socialize and play pretend! Let's take a look at what your child will be learning this month.

Mental Development
One word your child will be using a lot from now on is "why?" – you can expect to hear it a hundred times a day as your little ones explore the world around them and desire to learn how things work and why things are the way they are. Indulge your children by answering their questions the best way you can. In general a young toddler will only be aware of what's right in front of them, but a 2-year-old will have a better grasp on the relative placement of things. This includes concepts like "there, "where", "inside" and so on.

An average child at this age knows around 50-75 words and will be working on stringing them together in sentences. Expect your children to start expressing themselves in longer, more sophisticated sentences. Encourage your children to discuss things with you to nurture their ability to converse properly.

Other things that your little ones will be able to do include pointing at objects that you name; recognizing the names of familiar people, objects and body parts; using short phrases and 2- to 4-word sentences; following simple instructions; repeating words they overhear; finding objects even when you hide them; sorting objects by shape or color; and playing make-believe.

Physical Development
Your child's physical capabilities have developed in leaps and bounds, and by now you should have a walking, running, hopping and jumping toddler that can walk on his tiptoes, shuffle backward, and sidle sideways. In fact, your little one should be able to pedal a bike around now, and should be able to toss a ball into a container with a large opening, like a laundry basket. Balancing and hopping on one foot will still probably be a challenge for your toddlers, but in the coming months they should be able to do a lot more than they can now. If you enjoy exercising and doing yoga, have your children join you to help them enhance their physical prowess.

By this month your little ones should be able to pull toys behind them, carry a large toy while walking, kick a ball, climb onto and off furniture, walk up and down stairs while holding onto the railing for support, scribble spontaneously, turn containers over to empty out the contents, and build a tower of four or more blocks.

Eating Habits
Now that your child is 2 years old, experts recommend that you reduce the fat intake to less than 30% of your child's daily calories. This could be as simple as switching from whole milk to skimmed milk, and looking for low-fat versions of cheese, yogurt and ice cream. If your child doesn't like eating vegetables, sneak veggies into purees and burry them in baked foods. You can even make a veggie-fruit cocktail! The important thing is to think out of the box when hatching strategies for getting your child to eat healthy.

Sleeping Habits
Don't rush the process of moving your children from their crib to their own bed; most children who make the transition are usually around 3 years old. Once your toddler seems to be more comfortable with the idea, you can make the move. In fact, you might have your hands full with trying to deal with your child's inability to fall asleep easily right now due to erupting molars, nightmares or night terrors, fear of the dark, illness, or even stress. Your goal should be to figure out the problem in order to fix it.