Toddler Stages

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Toddler Stages Explained

As young children grow and pass through the Infant stage, they enter the tricky toddler stage.

This is the age when children begin to communicate more and form 2 words, aside from learning the word Yes and NO. This is also when power struggles begin between you and your child, begin potty training, learning more independence and keeping you very busy. These are just a few of the daily occurrences you may face as a parent.

If you ask them to clean up, go to bed or come in from playing outside most likely they will say NO.

So, how to do you turn No it into a YES:

  1. Do not ask them a yes or no question.
  2. Give them a choice when it comes to cleaning up, you can clean up the blocks or the cars, which one do you want to clean up.
  3. Children love singing so make up a clean up song

Potty Training:

  1. Refer to my article about potty training for the 3 day method
  2. Talk about this with your child and their teachers (if applicable)
  3. Get a potty training app on your phone to help keep a timer
  4. Get books for your child to read while on the potty
  5. Watch a you tube video with your child
  6. Put blue food coloring in the toilet and see what color it makes when your child pee’s in the toilet.


  1. Allow your child to have some freedom.
  2. Let them get dirty and explore the outdoors
  3. Give them choices will allow them to assert themselves and be in control, it still allows you the parent to be in control as you are giving them the choices. This way everyone wins and there is no power struggle.
  4. Help your child do things on their own
  5. Provide encouragement

A toddler is capable of pulling up their own pants, underwear and/or pull up, drinking from a regular cup and feeding themselves. Too often parents do not allow their child this independence, this is not allowing your child to develop to their full potential. I know it can be scary to allow your child to do many things on its own, but remember what it was like when you were a child; what do you remember most.

The things your parents allowed you to do or the things they did not allow you to do?, I am not saying let your child cross the road on their own. However, let them be a child, exploration is crucial as a child. Exploration teaches children about the world around them, how to manipulate things and it is scaffolding their development.

From my personal experience, when I did not allow my 2 year old son to do certain things (ride a bike with training wheels, try and dress himself) it caused me more stress, we would argue as he would tell me “MOMMY, STOP! Leave me alone, I do it!”; he would cry and get really frustrated with me. I took a step back and asked myself, why can my son not do these things?

There was really no reason other than I was afraid he may get hurt, it will take a lot longer to get ready in the mornings and time is something I don’t always have. I decided that I was holding him back and stopped myself from saying no, I support him with his growth and development.

We are both less stressed, learning from one another and have a closer bond, he knows that I am there for him, to keep him safe and will guide him.

If you find yourself saying NO often, stop and ask yourself why?

Dr Dina Kulik, Kids Health Blog - baby development

Amy Gibson BCD, RECE

Written By: Amy Gibson BCD, RECE

Amy, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Child Development, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. First working in an infant classroom, and then moving to JK, preschool and toddlers. Currently Amy works as a Supervisor of a childcare facility in York Region.

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