Accepting the challenges of this age is the first step toward maintaining your sanity—patience and a good sense of humor also help. Understanding what is happening inside the minds and bodies of these little people will also give you the support not only to survive this part of child development but also to enjoy life as a parent of a two-year-old.
Longer, Leaner, More Energetic
Have the lovely folds on your child's legs and arms just about disappeared? Is her head starting to look more in proportion to the rest of her body? During this year, her legs and trunk will start to lengthen. That pudgy belly that seemed to always hang over her waistband will flatten—helping her develop a straighter-looking back. Overall, she'll look more like a preschooler with a leaner, longer body appearance.
Despite these changes in appearance, your child may appear to be eating relatively less than when she was a baby. Relative to body size, her caloric needs are fewer. Some days she'll devour her meals and other days she'll push food away. Don't worry—her growth will be well maintained by your consistent offering of nutritious meals and snacks.
To support the changes in physical appearance, make sure she has plenty of time to stretch her legs. Besides releasing bound-up energy, she'll be practicing her motor skills—learning to run smoother, turn corners easier, go up and down stairs, and jump. Put her in a room or outside and she'll find things to do that are challenging and interesting.
See our toys and games shopping tips for playthings appropriate for your toddler.