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NYS Parent Guide

12-24 Months: Growth and Development

You and Your Wonderful One-Year-Old

Nurturing Your Child

Nurturing Your Child

You are your toddler’s home base. She trusts that you will be there for her no matter what. That is why you get her frequent “No!” and tantrums. No matter how she behaves let her know you are there for her. She counts on you and needs you.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Breastfeeding? Are you both enjoying it? Keep it up. This is the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics. By nursing, you strengthen her immune system and overall health and provide your little explorer security and comfort.
  • Develop a bedtime routine for both nap and nighttime— if you haven’t already. A routine is comforting. It can be anything that says to your toddler “It’s time to be quiet now and get ready to go to bed.” Read a book or two together. Sing a lullaby. Tuck your baby in, give her a kiss, then say “sweet dreams” to her and her stuffed animal (or other lovey). It will help your toddler get enough sleep each night to handle the time she is awake.
  • Leave her with someone you trust to care for her in the same ways you do.Maybe you’re away for an hour or two. Or maybe you are back at school or work and she is in childcare with a family member, friend, neighbor or childcare provider. We’ve said it before, but it is important enough to repeat: Let whoever is caring for your toddler know about her daily routine and how you want her cared for. No one knows your toddler like you do. Share information, ideas and your notes in this Guide. And pop in for a surprise visit every now and then to assure yourself everything is going well.
  • Invite your toddler to join in simple chores and family activities. She will feel proud to help out with “real” work and will love to do the same things you do. Plus, daily routines are some of the greatest learning opportunities. Just think about it: matching socks or counting potatoes you are scrubbing for dinner teaches math. Getting dressed is a time to talk about parts of the body and colors of clothes. Giving her a dust cloth to help as you dust makes her feel like she can do something valuable.
  • Think about your toddler’s use of pacifiers and bottles—if you haven’t already. Bottles and pacifiers give comfort to your toddler so it can be hard to know when is the “right time” to stop offering them (weaning). Once you decide to take them away, provide lots of snuggles and support.

Useful Resources:

Finding Childcare

To find your local Child Care Resource and Referral Center contact the NYS Office of Children and Family Services:


additional resources My E-Journal

Did yoiu know

Breastfeeding can be good for the mother’s health, too—breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of certain health problems in women including: Type 2 diabetes; Breast cancer; and Ovarian cancer. To find out more, go to www.womenshealth.