Your growing Toddler’s progress
- Now, your child’s brain development is focused on thinking and reasoning skills. His social skills and personality are taking shape.
- His bone growth is influenced by genetics, activity and nutrition.
By now, your Toddler’s growth rate has begun to slow down. During this second year, he may only gain a total of 3 to 5 pounds — quite a difference from the four pounds or so he gained within the first four months of life!
You’ll notice that his appearance will start changing more than his size. As a baby, his head and stomach were the larger parts of his body. Now, he’ll start losing that “round” look as muscles develop, and arms, legs, face and jawline become more defined.
The developing brain
Different parts of your Toddler’s brain develop at different rates. At this time, higher-level thinking skills are beginning to take shape.
Good nutrition is particularly important to your child’s brain development between mid-pregnancy and two years of age. Iron is a big nutrient for brain development since it helps maintain the number of red blood cells needed to fuel brain growth.
Some good choices for Iron-rich foods include:
- Iron-rich infant cereal.
- Ground beef or turkey, tender cooked meat or chicken.
- Non-meat, protein-rich foods like beans and lentils.
Fat is also an important part of your Toddler’s diet needed to help support his developing brain. Until around two years of age, about 50% of his calories should come from fat in order to help fuel his rapidly developing brain. This explains why it’s so important to continue giving your baby breastmilk, Toddler formula or whole cow’s milk — all of which help give him the fat he needs in his diet.
His brain in action
Your Toddler is obviously curious and wants to explore. He’s building both his cognitive and social skills through exploration, which you’ll notice in his budding personality. He’ll begin to establish his independence and realize he can do things without Mom.
Here’s what you should expect to see:
- An average Toddler can say three words at 12 months and an amazing 200 words by his second birthday!
- Imitation play or playing by copying what he sees others do.
- Separation anxiety: shy with strangers and upset when Mom or Dad leave.
- A budding personality and an ability to show frustration and impatience.
- Refers to himself by name, and can use two-word phrases as well as “no” and “mine” to show ownership.
Positive mental stimulation and good nutrition are important to healthy brain development.
Your Toddler’s bones are growing in size and strength. Aside from providing strength and structure, the skeletal system also protects delicate inner organs and acts as a holding tank for minerals like Calcium and Phosphorous, until his body needs them.
A child grows very quickly in the first two years of life. About 80% of his bone growth is determined by genetics, but physical activity and good nutrition will also help influence his lifelong bone quality.
The important stuff for building bones
- Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Vitamins C, D, and K help influence bone development
- Dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of Calcium and Vitamin D. Two cups of milk each day is a recommended amount for your Toddler.
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