A baby’s first birthday is such an exciting and busy time! You have to plan a first birthday party, and deal with the fact that you do not have a little baby anymore, but there are also other things you need to do when your child turns one to prepare them for the upcoming toddler years.
Up until this point, you are used to having to deal with a baby, and doing all of the things needed to care for a baby daily. Well, you have a toddler now, so it’s time to throw those old baby habits out the window, and focus on getting your child ready for their toddler years! 😀
This is such a bitter sweet time, because you want your little one to stay little forever, but it will be beneficial for both you and your toddler to get them prepared for the big kid life! So here are 10 things you need to do when your child turns one.
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1. Baby Stuff
It is time to get rid of all of the baby stuff you are constantly tripping over! Your little baby is now 12 months old, and is probably already walking or at least very close to walking, so they do not need all the baby gear anymore.
Get rid of (or put into storage): the baby swing, bouncer seat, activity center, doorway jumper, Rock ‘N Play, and Pack ‘N Play.
Your child needs to learn to explore their curiosity. They can’t do this being trapped in a Pack ‘N Play or activity center.
Let them find their independence and explore the house.
2. Baby Proof
Once you get rid of all of the baby stuff, your child will have full roam of the house. Make sure you have baby gates to contain them in one area.
Now is the time to install cabinet and drawer locks, because your toddler will be very curious to open and get into everything they can.
Don’t forget the outlet covers!!
3. Baby Purees
At 12 months old, your little one will have some teeth and, will be getting more very quickly, so there is no need to continue giving them baby purees.
You can start introducing finger foods.
This is such a fun time, but it is also a messy time! Make sure to get bibs with the food trapper, they will save you a ton of clean up time.
4. Introducing Food Slowly
Instead of introducing one food and waiting a few days before you introduce another food, you can have your toddler try all kinds of foods back to back.
Make sure to have your little one try new foods as much as possible so they do not become a picky eater.
Say hello to honey! At 12 months, your child can now eat honey.
It’s sad, I know, but it is time to get rid of the bottle.
When you switch from breast milk or formula to cow milk, that would be the perfect time to get rid of the bottle.
It is okay to continue breastfeed past 12 months old, it is actually recommended to breastfeed until two years old now, but you can stop at 12 months.
You do not want to have a 4 year old child that still has a pacifier, so the sooner you take the pacifier away, the easier it will be for you.
The longer your child is attached to the pacifier, the bigger fit they are going to throw when they can’t have it.
The easiest way to stop using the pacifier, is to just take it away! No weaning and procrastinating, just cold turkey.
I recommend transferring the baby to a toddler bed as soon as possible. Keep in mind, this one can be up for debate, because some one year olds are just not ready.
My son started climbing out of his crib just before he turned one, and I was terrified he was going to fall and get hurt. One morning he climbed out of his crib onto his changing table, and I decided to get a toddler bed that day!!
Hear me out…think about teaching a child manners. If you teach a child to say please and thank you as soon as they start talking, they will be used to using manners, and they will understand that they need to use manners to get what they want.
If you wait to teach your child to say please and thank you until they are six years old, they will be harder to teach. They will be used to getting what they want without having to use their manners.
It will take more time and more patience to teach the older child manners.
The same thing goes for teaching a toddler to sleep in a toddler bed. If you take a three year old out of a crib and put them in a toddler bed, they will realize they can get out of bed and explore. It will more difficult to get them to stay in bed, because they now have all this freedom that they have never had up until this point.
If you take a one year, and put them in a toddler they will adapt to the change a lot sooner.
Up until 12 month olds, you main job was to keep your baby alive. You had to feed them, change them, and put them to sleep.
Now, it’s time to start teaching them things they will need to learn in their toddler years.
Make sure you read to them everyday. Set aside a set time everyday where you can practice flashcards and vocabulary words with your little one.
I used this book with my son (they also have an app that speaks the words) starting around 11.5 months. By 14 months, he knew every words in the 12 month, 18 month, and 24 month edition. So start early and be consistent, it will be worth it.
When your child has free roam of the house and starts to talk, they will start gaining independence. They will want to get into everything, and start throwing temper tantrums when they do not get their way.
Start getting an idea of how you want to handle discipline and punishment.
Make sure to check out the article Tackling The Terrible Twos. Keep in mind, the terrible twos can start a lot earlier than two years old.
10. Get Prepared For The Fun
One year old is such a fun age to spend with children. They are learning something new everyday. You will start to see them come into their own personality.
So get prepared to have a blast with your little one, and make sure to take advantage of all the adorable moments. You will blink and your toddler will turn into a big kid.