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2 years 11 months

Body Inside & Out   |   Age: 2 years 10 months


2 years 11 months

As your baby starts to slowly make friends with, and to become closer to, the other toddlers in her life, it won’t just affect the way they play together during a playdate. your baby will also start to care about her friends’ feelings. It might not seem like it when they’re fighting over a toy or having trouble taking turns, but toddlers become more empathetic every day.

They’re not great at reading what other people’s feelings might be yet - which is why parents and caregivers are still often called in to do some emotional interpreting - but they’re starting to get the hang of the obvious ones. This means that if your toddler sees a friend of hers crying, there’s a good chance she’ll try to comfort them, and an even better chance that she’ll get upset or agitated for her friend, even if she doesn’t know what to do about it yet.

She probably is also learning to share and take turns, but this can take longer than many parents are expecting, and often doesn’t really start to click until toddlers start to really make friends in earnest. After all, a lot of the playground sharing that happens isn’t because the tots doing the sharing want to be nice - it’s just as likely, or even more likely, to happen because toddlers who share have realized it’s more fun to play with shared toys with friends than it is to play with their own toys all on their own.

And speaking of toys, your baby is reaching the age when open-ended, creative gifts like art supplies can be a big hit, and she’s also reaching the point when, for the first time, more structured games are on the menu. your baby is reaching the age where she can sit still, wait her turn, and remember and follow rules, which are all skills that most structured games need. More than that, she’s also reaching the time when playing with other children - something often paired with playing more structured games - makes the inconvenience of having to take turns and follow rules worth it.

Milestones

Stops napping regularly: Different children have different sleep needs, but most toddlers drop their nap between the ages of three and four. This means that for some toddlers, as they approach age three, an afternoon nap could start to become unnecessary most of the time. If you’re stuck in the middle period, where some days your little one really could use a nap, but on others, she can do without it, making the time that used to be naptime into a regularly scheduled “quiet time” can help to bridge the gap - and maybe convince a reluctant napper to lie down and take a few deep breaths, even if she can’t sleep, or just “can’t sleep.”

Can draw a circle: You may need to draw a circle for her so that she has something to copy, but that’s just because it might not even occur to her to draw a circle unless you give her the idea to. She may get a lot of use out of circle-drawing in a year or two - when it comes to writing - but there’s no way for her to know that now.


Sources

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