I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-888-777-3395.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: how is it possible that my guy is a toddler? It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home. Now he’s almost two! Where does the time go? When they first handed that teeny baby to me, I will be the first to admit. I was AFRAID. Now that he’s grown into this amazing, funny and smart toddler, I am still somewhat afraid. I think that’s something that all moms go through at various stages. We have a fear that we aren’t doing a good job. We wonder what their future will look like. We sometimes feel ‘mom guilt’. As a toddler mom, one of the biggest things that stays at the front of my mind is “how do I support his development?”
85% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life. Not only is that absolutely amazing, it can also be terrifying for parents that aren’t quite sure how to support that development. Having a toddler means they are constantly moving, exploring and often times, pushing the limits. It can be difficult to get them to sit still to concentrate and sometimes that is frustrating to parents who are trying to help support that important brain development. After trying a LOT of different methods to help support Levi’s development, I’ve found 3 ways that actually work (and as a bonus: are enjoyable!).
Exploration Play. This is Levi’s favorite time of day. We spend time exploring the house; I let him hold my hand and lead me through different rooms “discovering” things. If the weather is nice, we head outside. If it isn’t, sometimes we spend time in the kitchen and he pulls all of the pots and pans out of the cabinet. Some days we head out for an errand, and he loves when I roll the window down so he can look outside. I talk through the different things we are passing and where we are going – “I need to get money out of the bank.” This is a fun time for both of us because he gets to explore new and exciting things and I am right there with him. As always, as you let your toddler explore, ensure that you are closely monitoring them and they are not exposed to any hazards (cleaning chemicals, etc.).
Quiet Time. In a world that is so inundated with electronics and a constant information overload, it’s important that toddlers learn to entertain themselves. We allot quiet time each day where Levi plays quietly by himself. For now, this is in his pack and play or high chair sometimes, and as he gets older it will be in his room. I give him a book to look at, a stuffed animal to hold and another “problem solving” toy such as blocks or a sorter. These items give him a variety of things to do but without overwhelming or frustrating him. Right now, we do this twice a day for 15 minutes each time.
Well-Rounded Diet. This can be tough with a toddler. Our little baby who once loved green beans, now throws them off of his tray. His tastes and attitude are changing and those changes tend to come out in full force at meal time. DHA is an important part of supporting a toddler’s brain growth and eye development, but, on average, most toddlers only receive about 25% of the daily recommended 70-100mg.
I was surprised to learn that most of Levi’s favorite foods such as cereal, cheese, bananas, regular milk, and chicken nuggets have ZERO DHA in them. Thankfully, we recently discovered Enfagrow® Toddler Next Step™. It helps to bridge the gap in his diet and also helps to support his immune. Enfagrow Toddler is tailored to toddlers 1-3 years old and comes from the makers of our favorite infant formula: Enfamil. I was so excited to learn about Enfagrow Toddler, and it even comes in a convenient 32oz. liquid bottle! If you are a toddler parent, I highly suggest you evaluate your little one’s diet and help make sure that you support their development with Enfagrow Toddler. To learn more or request free samples, you can visit their site.
This is sponsored by Enfagrow® Toddler Next Step™.