Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is my 2 year old's behavior normal?

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness
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Comment: Thanks for a great, timely answer.

From: Kim

Hi Kay,

I have a two year old son who seems to need two of everything he plays with. I've noticed it over the last few months, because he will always have identical items, one in each hand. For example, he has letter magnets on the fridge, but I'm forever finding matching pairs of letters around the house. He even wanders around with a water bottle in each hand. He doesn't seem to get upset if he doesn't have two of something, but its just that he'll always prefer to play with whatever there's two of, regardless of how inane the objects are. His develop otherwise is on the slow side but I'm not really worried about him as the pediatrician feels its just his personality that he won't try anything until he's very confident. He walked at two and he doesn't talk a lot but speaks clearly when he does.

Is the pairs thing unusual? Someone told me something vague about it being a specific type of child that does that but they didn't really explain what they meant by it.

Thank you,

Answer: Dear Kim,

He may just be a little advanced. Children go through stages where they like to match things up, it maybe more about matching than pairing.

He sound like he is doing fine and you are doing fine. Remember to enjoy him more than you worry! :)

If you would like to keep reading up on his ages and stages feel free to read my blog, this month is on relationships and in March I am starting with the baby stage and working my way up through the teen years.

Best Wishes!



From: Anonymous

Subject: social behaviour

Question: Hi, I have a question about my 2.5 year old. She is going to daycare since she was 1. She is completely fine at home. I have no concers about her talking, communicating and expressing herself. Though sometimes she just cries without expressing herself, but when i ask her she tells me then. She is very shy in front of strangers. It takes 2-3 hours to play with new kids and 2-3 days to communicate with new grown-ups. Her teacher at daycare says she is calm and follows instructions but will only express herself when teacher directly asks her. Her teacher is concerned that she is not expressing herself in group. Like if teacher asks what color is sky? she knows it's blue and will tell teacher if asked privately but will never tell infront of other kids and just watches other kids responses. She is potty trained at home but at daycare she holding for 6-7 hours just becuase she is shy to pee. Should I be concerned about her social behaviour? Thanks

Answer: Dear Anonymous,

She sounds sensitive and possibly is experiencing some social anxiety. I suggest a book called the Sensitive Child for you to read. Google it. Also, I highly recommend a few sessions with a therapist who specializes in Play Therapy and works with little ones her age.

Best Wishes!



From: Kayleigh

Subject: My toddler

Question: Hi

I have a two and 4 month year old daughter who has been fussy since the day she was born, first off she would only take of one breast, so i stopped brestfeeding, and then it was difficult to get her to take to the bottle. Over the years her behavior has become more odd, when i change her bed cover i have to do this in a day i cant change them to a different one as she will became distressed and wont sleep. We cant leave the house without her baby or blanket.

When we introduced the potty she wanted to take that everywhere we had to nail that in the head but for the first few weeks she became distressed about us not allowing this. We got a dog she wouldn't go near it, ofter a few weeks we cant get her away from it. She stays at my parents house at the weekend she has to sleep in the same room as she has since a baby she will became distressed if we move her.

She becomes attached to things easily and does not like change.when we take her out she takes around half an hour to adapt to the environment in that half a hour she will cling to me her doll and blanket. She wont even try new foods. She has a mild speech delay and will say word and then she wont say them again, she only says on average around 20 words.

This is now concerning me i thought she would grow out of the fussiness but this doesn't seem to be the case is this behavior normal. Can you help.
Many Thanks

Answer: Dear Kayleigh,

Your daughter sounds sensitive to her surroundings. This is not uncommon. ALL children need consistent routines. Are her daily activities routine? Children often do not tolerate great deviations from the daily routines. It provides them with a sense of security.

I would suggest if you haven't already done so incorporating daily massages with your daughter. It will benefit both of you. Structure her daily routine. Sometime using sign language with children helps to increase their vocabulary. If you are really concerned about her vocabulary make sure you read to her everyday with books that have lots of pictures and vocabulary words to match.

Best Wishes!



From: Katie

Subject: When to move older child to his own room?

Question: Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read my question!

I have two sons, my older son will be three years old next month and my younger son is 8 months old. Right now we all sleep in the same room. Big brother sleeps in the big bed with us, and little brother has his own crib BUT usually wakes up to nurse around midnight and ends up spending the whole night with us. I love co-sleeping but our bed is only a Double and it's getting crowded!

We have enough empty rooms to give each child his own, but the kids' rooms are upstairs. For this reason I'm hesitating whether this is a good time to move big brother (or both of them) upstairs. My older son can climb up and down stairs by himself using the handrail and is usually pretty careful, but if he wakes up scared and lonley in the middle of the night I don't know how safe he'll be. I have never seen him climb over a baby gate but he climbs in and out of the crib and playyard to play with his little brother... those are both taller than any baby gate I've seen, so if he really wants to climb over I think he can. Is three years old old enough to leave him upstairs without a gate, but with the hall lights on? Or would a gate be enough to keep him in until I can get to him?

One other thing we are considering is moving BOTH boys either to big brother's room, or to a matress on the floor in our room for now, until little brother gets a little bit older. How old is old enough to sleep together without mom in the middle? Would waiting until little brother is 12 months old be enough, or would he still be in danger from big brother rolling around?

It's not urgent to get either one of them out of our bed, but bigbrother at least has shown interest in beds and bedding, and loves to play in his own room, so we're considering his third birthday and/or when he starts preschool in the spring as a good starting point. From a safety and security standpoint, what would be an ideal time?

Answer: Dear Katie,

You are very welcome.
1st. I would never recommend letting babies, infants or toddlers sleep with older children alone. Just because accidents can happen and the older child doesn't need to live with guilt ever.

2nd. I would suggest a slow transition. Why not set the children's rooms up and then lie with them when they are taking their naps or just to read stories. I think if you just start expecting the older child to sleep in his own room after being allowed to sleep in the family bed you will start a power struggle and it won't be pretty. Maybe? Maybe not?

Mostly children start sleeping in their own beds because it gets to crowded and they want the space just like you. Why not start slowly and come up with a plant that allows you all comfort and time to adjust.

I love to hear from co-sleeping parents. Keep up the great work!

Best Wishes!


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