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Month 21

Toddlers approaching their second year tend to be complex and active little creatures that like getting their way, and will often throw tantrums if they can't get what they want. Your role as the parent will be teaching your child better ways of communicating what it wants and setting down limits that let your child know what they can and cannot have. Here are some other things that you're going to have to tackle this month:

Mental Development
You might notice that your toddler is more comfortable with being away from you for short periods of time than they used to be, and might even be willing to sit next to a familiar adult like a grandparent or a relative. In part this is due to improving language skills, which will enable your toddler to converse with others more successfully and be entertained by others as well.

Your little one might also be more willing to share their toys with others, and may offer to share food with select family members and friends. This indicates that your child is becoming more aware of other people and is willing to accept them.

As his or her memory improves, your toddler will be able to identify faces in pictures and name the people they see. They will also be able to pick himself out in a recent group photo.

Physical Development
Now that they are getting better at moving around and controlling their actions, your child will be testing their skills in new, more challenging situations, such as balancing on a small box or walking along the edge of a curb. Your toddler will also love climbing things, so offer him a safe environment to do so, such as toddler-safe playgrounds.

Your little one might also be interested in rearranging furniture, helping out with different chores, and using their own toys in pretend games where they imagine being an adult. You will also notice that your child will be more proactive in taking off and putting on their clothes, washing and drying their hands, and brushing their teeth.

At this point your child should also be getting closer to tackling potty training, which is a milestone in its own right. They should be able to tell when they need to urinate or have a bowel movement, and should be able to inform you in time.

Eating Habits
If you haven’t weaned your child yet, it might be time to do so now. Take steps to reduce the number of his feedings gradually, and replace the bottle with a sippy cup or with a kid-size cup during the day. You should then gradually eliminate morning or dinner-time bottles before completely stopping the bedtime bottle. The process will take time, so be patient.

Sleeping Habits
One key element in combating bedtime struggles is the establishment of a set bedtime routine , which you should try to do as early as possible. As your child grows older you can adjust the bedtime routine to include slightly different activities that your child enjoys and that calm him down. Don't wait until your little one is exhausted before tucking him in, as overtired children tend to sleep poorly.