Talking and Hearing

  • Read and sing to your child often.
  • Talk about and describe pictures in books.
  • Use simple words with your child.
  • Tell your child the words for her feelings.
  • Ask your child simple questions, confirm her answers, and explain simply.
  • Use simple, clear words to tell your child what you want her to do.

Your Child and Family

  • Create time for your family to be together.
  • Keep outings with a toddler brief—1 hour or less.
  • Do not expect a toddler to share.
  • Give older children a safe place for toys they do not want to share.
  • Teach your child not to hit, bite, or hurt other people or pets.
  • Your child may go from trying to be independent to clinging; this is normal.
  • Consider enrolling in a parent-toddler playgroup.
  • Ask us for help in finding programs to help your family.
  • Prepare for your new baby by reading books about being a big brother or sister.
  • Spend time with each child.
  • Make sure you are also taking care of yourself.
  • Tell your child when he is doing a good job.
  • Give your toddler many chances to try a new food. Allow mouthing and touching to learn about them.
  • Tell us if you need help with getting enough food for your family.


  • Use a car safety seat in the back seat of all vehicles.
  • Have your child’s car safety seat rear-facing until your child is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • Everyone should always wear a seat belt in the car.
  • Lock away poisons, medications, and lawn and cleaning supplies.
  • Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) if you are worried your child has eaten something harmful.
  • Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs and guards on windows on the second floor and higher.
  • Move furniture away from windows.
  • Watch your child closely when she is on the stairs.
  • When backing out of the garage or driving in the driveway, have another adult hold your child a safe distance away so he is not run over.
  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.
  • Prevent burns by keeping hot liquids, matches, lighters, and the stove away from your child.
  • Have a working smoke detector on every floor.

Toilet Training

  • Signs of being ready for toilet training include
    • Dry for 2 hours
    • Knows if he is wet or dry
    • Can pull pants down and up
    • Wants to learn
    • Can tell you if he is going to have a bowel movement
  • Read books about toilet training with your child.
  • Have the parent of the same sex as your child or an older brother or sister take your child to the bathroom.
  • Praise sitting on the potty or toilet even with clothes on.
  • Take your child to choose underwear when he feels ready to do so.

Your Child’s Behavior

  • Set limits that are important to you and ask others to use them with your toddler.
  • Be consistent with your toddler.
  • Praise your child for behaving well.
  • Play with your child each day by doing things she likes.
  • Keep time-outs brief. Tell your child in simple words what she did wrong.
  • Tell your child what to do in a nice way.
  • Change your child’s focus to another toy or activity if she becomes upset.
  • Parenting class can help you understand your child’s behavior and teach you what to do.
  • Expect your child to cling to you in new situations.

What to Expect at Your Child’s 2 Year Visit

We will talk about

  • Your talking child
  • Your child and TV
  • Car and outside safety
  • Toilet training
  • How your child behaves
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