You’ll never feel lonely these days when your 25 month old is around, keeping you company. They’ll chatter away and seek to engage your attention whenever they can. Sure, there’ll be short periods of time when something fascinating captures their attention, but they will be so bonded to you emotionally that they’ll need to know you are reasonably close. Although this may, at times, feel a little stifling, your toddler’s independence will only increase as they get older. For now give them the attention they need and support their exploration away from your side.
Your toddler is learning how to be social and will identify with other children and adults. They will still be wary of strangers and need to “warm up” to people who are unfamiliar but once they feel secure there’s no holding back. Your toddler will become everyone’s new best friend, including their own. Your toddler will love to look at their own reflection in a mirror now and pull silly faces and laugh at themselves. They’ll also chat away to during play and experiment with a range of different voices and sounds. Don’t expect all of it to be intelligible though. At 25 months there’s still some way to go with speech and language development.
If you didn’t do this last month, then measure your toddler’s height and double it. This will give you an idea of what their adult height is likely to be. Still not much weight gain or obvious growth at this stage but steadily, over time your toddler will grow and mature. Their genes, environment and nutrition will all impact on their size. You’ll find a wide variation of sizes already in your toddler’s peer group, each with their own individual body proportions.
It may be time for a hair cut this month, which for some toddlers is a harrowing experience. On some primitive level they can have problems dealing with the process of seeing their hair cut and lying on the floor. This often ends up being a stressful situation for everyone concerned. All the explanations in the world may not help which means cutting their hair while they are sleeping is the only option. Distraction when they are awake can be partially effective, especially when “treat” food is involved.
Your toddler will be using more words which describe things, such as soft, hard, dirty or clean. They will be able to string a few words together in a sentence and wait their turn to have say. They’ll also understand what it means to be asked a question and then reply. Your toddler will be learning how to use household tools like cutlery, buttons, wheels and doors handles. They will continue to be very ego-centric and use the words “y” in their sentences. They still won’t be keen on sharing, even if they had no interest at all in a toy until another child makes moves towards it.
Your toddler will get in touch with their creative side this month as they further develop their fine motor skills. This means becoming more adept at holding a pencil, drawing a circle and copying simple pictures. They may move their mouth or stick out their tongue in concentration; it takes a lot of effort to keep focused at this age. Don’t expect your toddler to be organised or keep a tidy play area. You may like their blocks and toys to be categorised neatly but your toddler is incapable of keeping their belongings ordered.
Books and magazines, even newspapers and junk mail are popular with this age group. Your toddler will recognise familiar objects and point them out to you. Similar brand logos as you have in the house will be spotted by their eagle eyes and although at first you may struggle to see why they are so excited, all will soon become clear.
Make sure your toddler has a ball to kick and a bat to hit it with. This will really help with their hand-eye coordination and you’ll be amazed by how quickly they become more skilful. Expect them to use both hands equally for now though; they are still too young to have developed a dominant hand. This is also the age of cubbies and hidey holes to crawl into and play make believe. Playing underneath a large sheet thrown over a table can entertain a toddler or two for hours, especially if there is some food involved.
Try to keep your toddler’s screen time to an absolute minimum and get them moving and active. Monitor what they watch on television, if they are watching any at all. Remember it’s not just what your toddler is looking at which is important, it’s what they’re not doing whilst they’re sitting still and watching a screen which is important.
Day time sleeps will still be an essential part of your 25 month old toddler’s day. You’ll find they’re getting a little fragile after lunch and you need a little break as well. Try to ignore their protests if you can. Pushing the boundaries and “trying out” parents at this age is common but it will help if you stand firm and remain calm. At this age, it is still too early for your toddler to drop their day time sleep and although they may only sleep for an hour or so, this can be extremely restorative. If you need to have a lie down yourself, do so. Otherwise use the time effectively in doing something for yourself which will help you to feel energised and get through the rest of the day.
Lots of running business this month which means you will be too. Check your gates and fences are in good working order; your toddler is still too small to understand risks to their own safety. Encourage them to play outside every day and to do activities outside which are not possible in the house. They will learn how to discriminate between indoor and outdoor play but will try and merge the two wherever they can. Through you your toddler will learn not to hit or kick a ball inside and not to carry buckets of water and sand into the house. In the process though, expect a little trial and error as they learn where the margins of the house begin and end.
Nothing will encourage your toddler to eat like hunger. It is the single most important factor which will influence the amount of food they eat and how frequently they want to eat. This means spacing the intervals between their main meals and snacks and making sure they don’t fill up on milk. Breakfast is a really important meal but if your toddler isn’t keen to eat the minute they wake up, this is not that big a deal.
Some kids take an hour or so to “ease” into their day and simply aren’t interested in food for a little while. Other’s emerge out of their bedrooms and go straight to the fridge. They are simply impossible until they have eaten something.
Your toddler will want to be your little helper now, no matter what you’re doing. Which means you’ll need to be careful about what you share. Cleaning agents and chemicals may not be toxic to an adult but to a developing child with immature organs they can pose a risk. If your 25 month old is keen to help you clean, give them a bucket of plain water with some non-toxic bubbles.
Head lice can make an unwelcome appearance during the toddler years which means parents need to be vigilant in checking their toddler’s hair and scalp. Different treatments are available, ranging from natural, non-toxic formulations to those which contain active pesticides. One of the most effective treatments is hair conditioner, which when applied to dry hair, massaged in and left for 20 minutes can stun the lice so they are easier to remove with a fine tooth comb. Check Health Victoria for more specific information on treatment and management, or read our article on head lice.