Disclaimer: This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own.
“I can do it myself, mommy” is a common phrase from my 2 year old these days. I’m beginning to see her show more and more independence lately. She wants to do everything by herself, and I mean EVERYTHING. Sometimes she has her baby moments where she wants help from mommy, but most of the time, she wants to try things on her own. Joia even wants to try things that I know she can’t quite do by herself just yet. For example, she always wants to put her own seatbelt on, but she can’t quite click it in yet.
Seems like it was just yesterday that she came home with me from the hospital and I had to do every little thing for her. Now she’s becoming her own little person and hitting all of her milestones as she should be. Keeping track of developmental milestones is important because it gives important clues about your child’s development. Thankfully, Joia’s always been right on track with milestones, which has been a comfort to know.
The social/emotional milestone of showing more and more independence even overlaps with some of the other milestones that she should reach at this age. Some of the movement/physical development milestones require independence as well. So a few other milestones she’s able to do that shows more independence is walking up and down stairs holding on. She loves to go up and down the stairs at the park all by herself. Climbing onto and down from furniture is also another milestone she’s able to do.
5 Ways My Toddler Shows Independence
Washing our hands is very important, and she knows this. We try to keep those nasty germs as far away as we possibly can. I used to help her wash her hands, but, of course, she’s a big girl now and wants to do it herself. Helping her get the soap and getting the towel down to dry her hands is the only thing I help her with. She takes the time to wash her hands really well by herself (so much so that I have to stop her and say, “ok, that’s good”) and never forgets to wash them after going potty.
We will brush our teeth together. Whatever she sees me doing, she will do the same. After she’s done brushing her teeth by herself, I will brush them one more time to get any spots she may have missed.
Opening and Closing Doors
Opening doors was a real struggle for her at first, but she has slowly gotten the hang of it. She’s so proud of herself because she doesn’t need any help. Now she wants to open ALL the doors, even if we don’t want them open!
Turning Lights On and Off
This was a little struggle, too, but she has finally mastered the art of standing on her tiptoes to get the job done.
Putting on Shoes and Clothes
She doesn’t quite know how to put on all items of clothing just yet, but she’s a pro at putting on her shoes, socks, coat, and hat.
If you want to help your toddler show more independence, the 5 ways I just mentioned is a great place to start. I’m so proud of my toddler for showing more independence, and I can’t wait to see which milestones she hits next.
It’s so important to pay attention to how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves because all of these things offer important clues about your child’s development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) program is a great resource for parents. This program will help you to know if your child is hitting milestones at the right time. I know parents worry a lot about this and CDC’s invaluable checklists, videos, and activity ideas will set your mind at ease. They even have a free new app so you can track milestones on-the-go! You will know when to expect important developmental milestone as well as what to do if you ever become worried about your child’s progress.
I love keeping up with the milestones my daughter has reached and what to expect next. We always discuss milestones at each visit with the doctor to make sure she’s on target and discuss ways to help her stay on track. It has been very helpful for me to keep track of my daughter’s milestones. The app is super beneficial and simple to use, so I hope you check it out and share it with other parents that you know!
What milestones has your child reached? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you.