Transitioning from Infant to Toddler

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When you start to see that your little one has changed a lot since birth and is growing really fast you realize that time really does fly. You go from celebrating months to years and before you know it they are running around the house and causing glorious chaos. As this transition takes places there are certain milestones you’re going to mark and notice, while some milestones might not be visible or very significant, others like mobility or speech will be great indicators or your baby becoming a toddler. During this transition, there are other changes you are going to have to make like buying new clothes and changing your baby’s style. For example, you would have to switch from  Infant bows to toddler headbands and other hair styling accessories for girls. Below I’ll discuss some of the major changes

 

Mobility

 

One of the most visible changes you’ll notice is mobility as your baby no longer wants to sit still but wants to crawls around, grab things, and try to stand and walk. Sure, you waited for this day to come for months, but life is about to get much harder now that your baby can't sit still. Gone are the days when you can safely plop your baby in the middle of the bed and get dressed. This change sometimes leads to increased emotional as well as physical separation, with concerns about safety often being foremost. Now that the baby is on the move you have to be more watchful when they are on elevated surfaces like a bed. An interesting dilemma arises as parents try to both support their child's curiosity and learning about the world while at the same time ensure their child's safety.  These changes affect the parents as well as their toddler, sometimes disrupting the relationship and leading to increased anxiety and struggles around discipline. But Baby's mobility makes some things easier too; you don't have to carry him or her everywhere, so you’re bound to feel some relief. Also, your child's built-in feeling of interest and curiosity is now unleashed, and the exploratory urges of the toddler are in full gear. At this stage, you should try to get toys and plan activities that encourages your child’s exploring, learning, being curious and creative.  


Speech and Language 

Now your baby is doing more than crying and laughing or making baby noises. They start to try to say more in order to communicate like dada and mama. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some babies say their first official word by age 1, but it's also normal if your baby doesn’t as baby milestones are achieved over a broad range of time, especially when it comes to language development.

The onset of language has profound implications for the development of the child and for the parent-child relationship.  Language allows you and your child to communicate in a new way, to share thoughts, feelings, dreams, and so much more.

 

Self-Awareness

 

As toddlers begin to walk and run and get more active their brains start to process more activity and undergo neurobiological and psychological changes which result in the development of their self-awareness. As the child’s sense of self-develops, they also start to develop likes and dislikes. This also leads to an often goes hand in hand with a child’s dexterity and engagement. The baby starts to learn to do more with their hands like touch their face consciously or suck their thumbs or pully hair or jewelry of anyone close to them. They would start to use their hands and fingers to pick up pieces of food and play with or destroy toys. Mealtimes and play times are a good time to help your kid develop these activities. You could try lining up snacks and having them pick it up and feed themselves or coming up with activities involving their toys where they have to manipulate the toys. Playing with Legos is a good example of this. As your child approaches his or her first birthday, you will notice she is much more engaged in what is going on around her. When the doorbell rings, she perks up and looks toward the sound to see what it is. When the dog walks in the room, she giggles and claps her hands in excitement.

 

Food and Feeding

 

As mentioned earlier, with an increase in mobility and self-awareness your baby will start to try to feed themselves or hold their feeding bottle. This means your baby is probably getting more food on the floor and their face than in his or her mouth but it’s all part of the process and it’s also adorable to watch. At this stage, the baby also wants to try anything you’re eating. So you don’t have to buy or make special baby food for them. This is also the stage where they start to transition to solids. When transitioning to solids, your baby will require close supervision while eating, as safety is a big concern now. The AAP advises parents to put all food into half-inch pieces to prevent choking. Around Baby's first birthday, you may wish to start weaning him off breast milk or formula. For some babies, the transition to cow's milk is easy; they naturally take to a sippy cup without much resistance. Other babies have a harder time giving up the breast or bottle. Talk to your child's doctor about strategies to make weaning easier on Baby, and you!You'll also want to wait to introduce certain foods, such as honey, egg whites, and nuts, until after Baby's first birthday.

 

Conclusion

 

The transition from infancy to toddlerhood is always a fun and sometimes problematic stage. That’s why nicknames like “The Terrible Twos” are widely common. However, if you take time and patience to understand the major changes you can try to turn any potential trouble into an opportunity. Take note of the key changes discussed above: mobility, self-awareness, and language. Interestingly, these three developments lead to the toddler becoming more independent.  This, in turn, results in greater separation between parent and child, which often results in a feeling of sadness and loss for the parent.  But you should approach it with the knowledge that you are giving your child wings and roots to be more themselves and be great individuals.