Baby's Second Year -- Your 19-Month-Old

Above all else, always be available to offer a hug or a calm lullaby when your little one is afraid. He'll soon outgrow this stage and will most likely begin creating scary stories to tell you!

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3. Your child's attention span is increasing. You've spent your day playing with your precious little one. Now it's time to cook dinner, and you must break yourself away. But your toddler still wants to play. What do you do? You may be able to convince your bundle of energy to play independently for a few minutes. Select a favorite toy and watch her entertain herself. She'll likely want to stay close to you, but you may find that by this stage in her development she's able to play quietly (or not so quietly) while you are nearby. As she grows toward her second birthday, you'll find her attention span will increase considerably, making independent play a real possibility. It should be increasingly easy to prepare dinner without stopping every other minute to find a new toy to capture her attention. Just be sure you break often enough to properly supervise, even as she plays "alone."

YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH AND SAFETY

You may be thinking about trying to potty train your child. Experts advise that it is better to start potty training too late than too early. Your toddler is probably too young to start focusing on controlling involuntary body movements. Plus, starting too soon could make him feel ashamed that he is unable to perform appropriately. Most children begin to use the potty between two and three years of age. At this time, they've likely developed enough, both physically and emotionally, to master such muscle control. Be patient and allow your toddler to tell you when he's ready. Approaching potty training in a supportive, nonjudgmental manner will have your little one out of diapers before you know it!

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