Maintaining children’s health and well-being is important to all parents. Review ways to improve your toddler’s health and well-being, both physically and mentally.
Physical activity is fundamental for everyone, and essential for children of all ages, especially toddlers. It helps with muscle development, coordination, and maintaining a healthy weight. Encourage your child to have fun running, playing ball, or climbing up playground equipment.
Instill Good Sleep Habits
Quality sleep is crucial to a child’s overall health, from brain development to immune functions. Toddlers require 11 to 14 hours of sleep, including naps, daily. Establishing a regular sleep routine with consistent bedtimes and wake-up times can help improve your child’s sleep quality. Limiting screen time before bed and creating a cozy sleep environment can further enhance their sleep patterns.
A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy (while staying conscious of any food allergies or sensitivities) helps your child stay healthy and grow strong. Be mindful of portion sizes, and try to offer a variety of foods to prevent boredom and picky eating habits.
Immunizations protect your child from harmful diseases and are an essential component of preventive healthcare. Ensure your child receives all the recommended vaccinations on time by consulting your pediatrician. Many states require proof of vaccination or a religious exemption for children to attend public schools.
Love, Support, and Security
Perhaps the most important way to improve your toddler’s health and well-being is by providing a positive and nurturing environment. A sense of security and confidence that they are loved, no matter what, can work wonders on a toddler’s mental health. Cuddle, comfort, and spend quality time together. Be a positive role model, and make sure to address conflicts or issues calmly and consistently.
Ban Smoking in Your Home and Around Your Kids
Secondhand smoke can significantly impact your child’s health and increase the risk of respiratory issues. Make your home smoke-free and avoid exposing your child to secondhand smoke to ensure their lungs stay healthy.
Oral Hygiene and Hand Washing
Teach your child good oral hygiene habits by helping them brush their teeth twice a day. Use that little hourglass your pediatric dentist gave you to ensure they brush for two full minutes. Scheduling regular dental check-ups to monitor your child’s oral health and development is also critical.
While thumb-sucking is normal in most infants and toddlers, as your child grows, it’s important to stop the thumb-sucking habit. Prolonged thumb sucking can deform a child’s developing mouth and jaw, cause blisters and infections, and impair speech and social development.
In addition to good oral hygiene, show your children the importance of hand washing, (singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the full alphabet), especially before meals and after using the restroom, to prevent illness and infections.
Maintaining a balance between physical and mental health is key to your toddler’s well-being. By incorporating these practical tips, you can create a supportive environment where your child can thrive.