Every parent is very familiar with the phrase “they grow up so fast.” It’s a complete and total cliche, and yet it’s often hard to deny that it’s also incredibly true as well. It can often feel as though time is leaving you behind and that your little one is growing up at such a speed that you can’t really keep up. Of course, the best thing that you can do is not only to try and keep up but to try and encourage your children through many of the milestones that often come with growing up. With that in mind, here are some ways to help your child’s development.
Leaving the cot
One of the first milestones that many parents and children both find themselves struggling with is the moment where your child outgrows the cot that they’ve been sleeping in since they were an infant. You’ll usually get a decent amount of warning that this is coming because you’ll find that your child is able to climb out of the cot without any help and that they are finding themselves feeling someone cramped while they’re sleeping in it. The most important thing for you is to try and make this transition as fun and exciting for your child as possible. Little kids don’t like change, that’s just a fact of life, and many young children treat their cot as a place where they feel very safe and protected. The space that’s offered by a lot of toddler beds can often make them feel a little exposed. Luckily a lot of beds for toddlers can be incredibly fun, with a whole host of different designs and themes. Get your child involved in choosing the bed and they will feel a much stronger sense of ownership over it, making them incredibly excited to sleep in it.
This is something that many parents dread more than just about anything. As much of a pain as changing nappies can be, the idea of transitioning from them to your child using the toilet can be seriously daunting. The single most important thing to remember is that you don’t put too much pressure on your child. Potty training is something that should be done gradually, and you should never get angry when your child has accidents, even if it is incredibly frustrating to have to wash their clothes so much more frequently. Be as upbeat and positive as possible so that your child doesn’t become self-conscious about it. By offering as much positive reinforcement as possible, you’ll actually find that the whole process takes a lot less time than you might initially assume.
Helping your child, even as a baby, become more independent is pretty essential to their development and there are plenty of ways to do that. From swimming lessons to letting them spend time in the hands of friends and relatives without you, to taking them to baby and toddler groups to develop social skills, it’s essential that you teach your baby that, while you’ll always be there for them, it’s okay for them to spend time without you. This can often be just as hard for you as it is for them but it’s the kind of thing that really does help you both in the long run.
No matter what, you’re never going to be able to be completely prepared for every milestone that comes up in your child’s life. Things are always going to come as a shock, and there will be things that you’ll both simply have to play by ear. But the most important thing is to remember to be as patient as possible with your child and make sure that they always know that you’re there to offer them a safety net as they navigate the incredibly complicated and treacherous waters of life. After all, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so they are sure to make mistakes along the road. It’s your job to be there to catch them when they do and help them get back on the right track.