It’s been so long since I did a good long update on Owen and all things toddler, so today is the day! Thank you for sending in your questions/topics you wanted me to cover. I think I got all of them, or if not, most of them should be answered below!
I should start by saying, two has been such a fun age! Rob says I say this at every age, but I think this is my favorite! Despite the meltdowns and strong opinions. It’s more challenging in a lot of ways, but a lot easier in a lot of ways too. He’s communicating a lot more, which makes it easier to figure out what he wants, but then he’ll ask for cookies at breakfast, and I have to explain why we don’t eat cookies for breakfast and then he gets upset and cries. So, lots of ups and downs! But, overall, so much fun to see his personality continue to come out.
I feel so lucky that we have such a calm, mild-mannered little guy, who still loves to be held (on his terms of course), sleeps great and eats well—more details on all of that in just a bit!
Let’s get to it!
Schedule at 2 Years Old
I looked back at some of his earlier schedules and it’s crazy how quickly you forget that the schedule was at one point, really intense. Now, it’s pretty simple!
- 7-7:30am: wake up, diaper change & have breakfast
- 8:30am: drop off at daycare on the days he goes, otherwise, we hang out and play at home, or on the weekends, we have a later breakfast then get out for a morning walk/scooter ride
- 10:30am: snack—usually some fruit or crackers, nothing big because I don’t want to ruin his lunch
- 12pm: lunch time
- 12:45-1pm: down for his afternoon nap
- 2:30-3:30pm: wake up from his nap. I usually just let him nap as long as he can, somedays that’s 1.5 hours, somedays it’s 3, but typically he naps 2 hours at home and at school (we keep nap time the same as his school for consistency)
- 3:30-4pm: snack and play until dinnertime
- 5pm: pick up from daycare on days he’s there
- 5:30-5:45pm: dinnertime
- 6:30pm: bath (we do every other night because his skin gets so dry)
- 7:00: books, small cup of milk, teeth brushing & singing bedtime songs
- 7:30: bedtime
I know that daycare isn’t for everyone, but it’s worked really well for our family. We loved having a nanny for the first year of his life! But, I wanted him to be around more kids more often, and selfishly, wanted him out of the house a couple of days of the week so I could actually focus. When we had a nanny, I was leaving to go to a coffee shop to work every time and it got old.
It’s ended up being the best decision! He absolutely loves going, his language has exploded and he’s a lot more outgoing, curious and creative than I think he would be at home with me. Mostly because I could never come up with all of the different activities they do all day long! He has cute little friends now and has learned so many things that I would have never thought to teach him.
For the most part, his school is play! They have “math” and “science” but all of those things are play based and encourage counting and identifying shapes and guessing what’s going to come next in a “science” experiment! It’s so cute! If you’re on the fence about it, I couldn’t recommend it more! Of course, do your homework to find out which school is best for you guys, but we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Food & Eating
Another area I feel very lucky in is food. Owen is a great eater and pretty much always has been. He’s definitely pickier now than he was when he was littler and requests specific things, but he eats a lot, and the only time I worry about him not getting enough calories is when he’s sick and doesn’t have much of an appetite.
Here’s what a typical day of eating looks like:
For breakfast he has one apple cinnamon waffle with almond butter and maple syrup, 1/2 banana and water (occasionally he’ll eat more waffles). On the weekends he usually has this same breakfast, and then for an early lunch/big snack, he’ll have scrambled eggs when we eat our breakfast around 10:30am.
Most days he eats lunch at school, so he gets to try a bunch of new stuff! At home, I’ll do turkey lunch meat, pickles, pretzels and some fruit. If we’re out, we’ll order him chicken fingers or a burger patty with fries, because what kid doesn’t love French fries?! He doesn’t get it that often, so I’m not worried about it not being the healthiest.
The kid loves beef! Literally, he asks for “meat” every night, ha, so, we do a lot of meatballs with marinara, or ground beef with taco seasoning. He loves broccoli with lemon juice, sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon and boiled carrots. I usually give him a little bit of fruit when he’s done or a piece of dried mango (literally his favorite thing ever!). He also likes salmon and chicken, so when we’re having those, he’ll get that instead.
He typically has a snack in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Our go-to options are: apple, banana, dried mango, pretzels, fiber bars or a pouch.
Is he picky?
Sorta. Not too bad though! For the most part, he’s pretty good about eating what I give him, but admittedly, I do give him a lot of the same stuff because I know he likes it. Eventually when he eats a little later and we can all sit down at the same time, I’ll just feed him what we’re eating, or at least part of it, but for now this is working for us.
As for milk, because several people asked about that. He has about 1/2 cup a day. We give it to him around 7pm before he goes to bed, but he’s just not a big milk drinker. He doesn’t really like yogurt or cheese that much either, which is fine with me. We don’t eat much dairy over here and personally, I think milk is disgusting, haha! But, I know he needs some calcium, so I’m glad he’ll have a cup at night.
Toys & Activities at Home
I wasn’t expecting to be such a minimalist with toys, but we don’t have too many. Plenty, but not mounds of them. I find that when there’s less, he’s actually more interested in them. I love the idea of the Montessori thing where you swap toys every couple of weeks, but I haven’t been able to keep up with it. Instead, I just keep a few out and as I notice him not playing with one, I hide it for a while.
His favorites are Lego Duplos (“mommy pway Wegos?” ahh so stinking cute!), and his train set. He still loves his “beep beeps” which are his Hot Wheels cars, but he’s not as into them as he once was. One thing he’s really gotten into lately is his books which makes me so happy! He loves reading, and we can sit on the couch and read 3-5 books in one sitting. I can tell this has definitely been huge in his language development.
If we go outside, we almost always bring his scooter! He has the Micro Mini, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get their kid a scooter. We also have this helmet. It’s great quality and he picked it up so quickly. Now, he’s super fast and we literally have to chase him down the street. We’re working on knowing to stop at the street corners, but right now, it’s a lot of yelling “WAIT! STOP!!!!”
As for other activities, we’re not home much! He goes to daycare 4 days a week, and on Thursdays we’re home together, but we do a My Gym class in the morning with some friends and then in the afternoon he has a swim class, so we keep ourselves busy.
What He’s Getting for Christmas
Like I said, I’m mostly a minimalist when it comes to toys, so he’s not getting any! We just don’t need anything right now. I am getting him some books, actually heading to the bookstore today to pick a few out! And, I’m grabbing him some new jeans because his are suddenly 2 inches too short.
Our friends over at State of Play Kids sent us this adorable sweatshirt (he’s wearing it in the first image in this post) and if we didn’t already have it, I would totally have bought one! He’s wearing the 2T and it fits pretty perfectly, maybe a little big, but room to grow and layer is good. I just need a matching adult one!
Owen is a terrific sleeper. I don’t know what we did, if we just lucked out, or if sleeping is genetic (Rob and I are both very good at it, ha!), but we lucked out and got a great sleeper. I do think that sleep training him early on was a big help. He’s slept through the night since he was 14 weeks old and never wakes up at night. Or, if he does, he just rolls over and goes back to sleep. I couldn’t tell you the last time I even heard him at night—it was definitely in the infant days.
For now, he’s still in his crib, and we plan on keeping him there for at least a few more months. I think we’ll try to transition him around 2 1/2 years to a toddler bed, but I’m not in any rush.
I mentioned this earlier, but he’s a good napper. But, he really has to be in a dark room. He’s not great at napping on the fly in the carseat or on the plane. Typically he naps for about 2 hours whether he’s at home or at school. Sometimes a little shorter, and sometimes a little longer—I just let him sleep as long as he will up to 3 1/2 hours.
Bedtime used to be such a blissful time, but it’s definitely gotten a little harder. He used to be so excited to go in his room and read books with daddy, but now he realizes that means bedtime shortly follows and he fights it a bit. So, we’ve been reading books on the couch if he doesn’t want to do it in his room.
Once he’s in bed, we sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star a couple of times (because once is NEVER enough for him, ha!) and then turn on the sound machine, turn off the lights and close the door. He’s usually asleep within 15 minutes.
Behavior & Habits
When Owen first turned two, I joked that a flip had switched and my sweet angelic baby suddenly had a LOT of opinions and had learned to say “no” very well. It’s not as bad as it was for a few weeks, but he most definitely has learned he has a voice!
Several of you asked if he listens to me when I say no. Technically, he does listen, but he’s usually not super happy about it. Especially when I say “no” to Cars (his favorite movie). He ends up crying for a bit, and eventually either finds something else to do, or if he’s really melting down, we ask if he needs to go to “Peace Island”.
We stole this idea from his school and I like it so much better than “Time Out”—at his school, it’s a little carpet that they can go sit on when they’re sad, frustrated, angry, mad, disappointed, etc. I like that it takes the idea of “you are bad” out of it, and is just a place for him to have a moment to regroup.
We have a little spot by our front door that we’ve designated as “Peace Island” and sometimes when I ask if he needs to go there, he’ll voluntarily say “yes” and go sit over there for a bit. I also put him there when he’s being bad and after a couple of minutes, I’ll come over and sit on the floor and talk about his behavior. “Do we hit mommy?” to which he usually responds “no” and then gives me a big hug and smile. If he’s really mad, he’ll say “yes” which is hard not to laugh at, but then we have a couple more minutes in “Peace Island” before chatting again. It’s been working really well!
I’m dreading this guys! We haven’t started yet, and he hasn’t really been showing signs that he’s ready, but I’m planning on getting a potty for him after the holidays so we can start practicing before bath time and just start getting more comfortable with it before we go for it.
We brush Owen’s teeth every night, and more recently started brushing every morning too, though sometimes I forget in the hectic-ness of getting out the door! He likes to do “Owie teeth” first, and attempt to brush his own, but I’ve been trying to convince him to do “mommy teeth” first so I can fully brush them and then let him try, because he tends to just lick the toothpaste off the brush. We use Burt’s Bee’s and only use the tiniest little amount.
He doesn’t love it, so we try to make it a game which has made it easier and more fun!
Several of you asked me last week when he had a low fever if he was getting his molars and I wasn’t sure. But, I brushed his teeth yesterday morning and saw one of the final top molars popping through! So, maybe that’s a big reason why he’s been feeling crappy! Hoping we’re done with those in just a few weeks!
The big one for kids this age, right?! I feel like this is such a big worry for parents, and I get it! I’ve definitely worried that Owen is a little behind. He’s on the younger side of his class, but some kids in there are like really talking proficiently! Even if he’s a little behind some kids, I’m not worried.
Each week, he’s learning new words, trying to communicate more and more, and repeating words and short sentences back from the books we read.
Thankfully my sister is a speech and language pathologist, so I can easily call on her when I’m worried and she always assures me that he’s just fine. She said boys typically develop language slower than girls, but as long as he continues to learn new words and is trying to talk (even babbling) and trying to have conversations with you, it’s a great sign.
She says the only time she’s worried is if they’re non-verbal or only have a couple of words and don’t show any signs of wanting to talk. At that point, she would recommend looking into a speech and language therapist to get evaluated. Obviously, this is not professional advice, but wanted to pass along because I know any information is helpful!
We’re officially out of the days of free lap-seat flights, but at the same time, we’re relieved. Having a wiggly, almost 30lb. kid on your lap is exhausting! Now, he sits in the middle seat, watches Cars, has some snacks and is a very pleasant little traveler. We try to let him burn off some energy in the airport before we board, and when it comes time to board, he actually gets really excited, it’s so cute! He loves looking out the window during the boarding process and standing on his chair to inspect the neighbors.
I have a whole post on our travel essentials here if you’re traveling for the first time with your toddler! Just come prepared and stay calm—you’ve got this!
I think that covered everything you guys asked, but if there’s something big I missed, ask below and I’ll add it to the post! Still can’t believe Owen is two! They say it goes by fast, and they weren’t lying!