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Your toddler now
Many 21-month-olds are hearty and adventuresome diners, but plenty of others are quite picky. Your child may get upset if two foods touch each other. She may go on jags, eating just one or two types of entrée or only white and yellow foods (bread, pasta, mac 'n' cheese). Like many kids this age, she may refuse vegetables, especially bitter greens and other veggies with a strong taste.
Try to avoid making a big deal about her eating habits. Continue to serve the family meal to your child, letting her pick what she wants from it. She won't starve, nor are these fussy behaviors likely to follow her into adulthood.
My daughter is all about dressing herself, and she comes up with some crazy outfits! I have to hide a certain Elmo shirt she wants to wear constantly, because it's long-sleeved and too hot. Usually it works for me to let her choose between two outfits I pick.
How routines help
Try establishing – and sticking to – set times for napping, eating, and going to bed. A regular schedule helps your child feel more secure and in control. She can't tell time yet, so it also gives her a sense of what's coming next.
Routines make your life easier too – and not only because they simplify day-to-day planning. If your child knows what to expect every day, you'll probably encounter less resistance.
You don't have to be rigid. What's most important is that things happen in pretty much the same order at more or less the same time each day. Weekend bedtimes and morning wakeups that are roughly the same as on weekdays help keep the routine on track.
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