You’ll probably notice a sharp drop in your toddler’s appetite after his first birthday. Suddenly he’s picky about what he eats, turns his head away after just a few bites, or resists coming to the table at mealtimes. It may seem as if he should be eating more now that he’s so active, but there’s a good reason for the change. His growth rate has slowed, and he really doesn’t require as much food now.
Your toddler needs about 1,000 calories a day to meet his needs for growth, energy, and good nutrition, we all know that is not a lot. Your child should do just fine with 3 small meals and 2 snacks. Eating habits of toddlers are erratic and unpredictable from one day to the next. He may eat everything in sight at breakfast but almost nothing else for the rest of the day. Or he may eat only his favorite food for three days in a row, and then reject it entirely. Do not worry or create a struggle instead, offer him a selection of nutritious foods at each sitting, and let him choose what he wants. Vary the tastes and consistencies as much as you can.
Your toddler needs foods from the same four basic nutrition groups that you do:
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
Cereal grains, potatoes, rice, breads, pasta
fruits and vegetables
Play is how your toddler explores and learns about the world. Support and encourage this play. Allow your child lots of time to play. Match your child’s interests with play activities, for example if they like books go to the local library for book readings or the park to play sports etc. Make sure to take care of yourself—playing with your toddler can take a lot of your energy, when you are having fun, your child is having fun too!
Places to connect with kids and parents are:
Many libraries have story hours.
Community centers and YMCAs often have play groups.
Find a popular playground where you can meet other parents with young children.
Child care provides an opportunity for your child to meet others.
take your child to the museum or zoo
Facebook, mom groups etc.
12 months is somewhat of a marker for some mothers to stop breastfeeding. Most children are capable of sleeping through the night by now and do not need a night feeding, however if you are not nursing they could possibly still need a bottle before bed. If you are not nursing your child should be able to sleep a solid 12 hours if nothing else is bothering them.
You will see sleep regressions due to:
disturbances in family life
disturbances at day care
change of home
fear of the dark or night mares (not to be confused with night terrors)
12 Month Sample Sleep Schedule
Wake Time: 3-4 hours
7:00 – Wake
7:00/7:30 – Breakfast
9:30 – Light snack if she needs it
10:00 – Morning Nap (at least 1 hour)
11:30/12:00 – Lunch
2:00 – Afternoon Nap (at least 1 hour)
3:30 – Afternoon Snack
5:30 – Dinner
6:30 – Begin bedtime routine
7:00 – Bedtime