The toddler years are fantastic. Your baby has transformed into a tottering, toddling bundle of energy. You’ll notice their words becoming more defined and linking together to make coherent instructions. They’ll be rushing, running and probably falling and crashing as they refine their motor skills. And playtime takes on a whole new dimension with fantasy worlds and make-believe friends.
You’ll also have heard the expression “Terrible Twos” (and Terrible threes or fours for most) where your every suggestion will be challenged, demands will have to be met immedately for fear of instant meltdown, and your once “foodie” baby eyes your cottage pie suspiciously for signs of hidden vegetables. But it’s also a time for you to have fun together. And through many day-to-day experiences you'll guide the development of their character, build their confidence, instill some social niceties and help them on their way to making friends.
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Encouraging first words
There is no reason why you can’t start encouraging your child’s communication and ‘talking’ when she is a baby. But as your child makes the transition between being a baby and a toddler, early words begin to form.
Babies and books
It’s never too early to stimulate a love of words and images through books. To help you on your way, a wonderful set of presents lies in store from Bookstart. It begins at your baby’s eight-month health check, with a canvas bag containing two baby books and various goodies, followed by another bag of books at 18 months and a treasure chest of books at 3 yrs. (If you’ve missed the health visitor, fear not, just contact your library or go to www.bookstart.org.uk.)