Baby's Second Year -- Your 22-Month-Old


1. Your child may now be able to understand how one concept relates to another. This will make it easier for you to teach rules such as: "Hot" objects will "hurt" when touched. She'll start remembering that hot equals hurt and will not be as tempted to touch an item when you tell her it's "hot." Be sure not to push her too quickly since this is a skill that needs to mature gradually.

2. It may be time for your child's first haircut. You can help ease any fears by snipping a bit of your own hair first to show that it doesn't hurt. Visit the barbershop before your scheduled appointment and allow your child to see what happens in the chair. Then, play "barbershop" at home and pretend to cut the "hair" on his stuffed animals and dolls. Finally, when the big day arrives, allow him to sit on your lap rather than leaving him perched in a big unfamiliar chair. Bring a favorite toy or book in case you need something to distract your child. And of course remember to bring a Ziploc-style bag so that you can save the first curly lock of hair in your baby book.

3. Your child may want to dress and undress herself. However, she may not be quite ready to conquer the task without frustration. You can make it easier for her to learn by demonstrating how you get dressed, purchasing clothes that are easy to wiggle into and praising her when she tries to do it herself. You can also allow her to help you get her dressed: Pull her pants up halfway and let her finish the job. While you enjoy her emerging independence, take heart in the fact that she still requires your assistance -- once in a while!

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