Your toddler now
Kiss the morning nap goodbye
Sometime between 15 and 18 months, your toddler's likely to drop the morning nap. One midday or afternoon nap will be enough. At first, that one nap may stretch longer than it used to. Take care that it doesn't fall so late in the day that he isn't sleepy at bedtime. You may need to cut short any afternoon naps that last too long during this transition time.
Your child may still need a rest break around the time the morning nap used to take place. Serve a snack and plan a quiet activity, such as listening to soothing music, looking at books, or resting on a blanket on the sofa (rather than in bed, which has a strong sleep association). Avoid car rides during the former nap time – your child may fall asleep and then skip the afternoon nap and be cranky in the evening.
I give my son milk in a sippy cup right before taking him out of his crib in the morning. He's already drinking it on the way to the changing table, and it keeps him from fussing during that first diaper change. Then we have breakfast.
Time to watch?
Is "screen time" really bad for a young toddler? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time at all – whether it's viewing a television show, a DVD, or something else – before age 2.
Obviously, a viewing session here or there won't damage your child. And it can be a lifesaver when you're desperate to keep your little one occupied. But ideally you'll keep screen time to a minimum and not use it as a regular babysitter. If you do let your child watch, select specific shows that are targeted at young children and have a gentle pace.
According to the AAP, any positive effect of screen time on infants and toddlers is still open to question, but the benefits of parent-child interactions are proven. Under age 2, talking, singing, reading, listening to music or playing are far more important to a child's development than any show.
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