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Your toddler now
Wanting to be carried
The thrill of learning to walk and run may have launched your toddler into perpetual motion. She just doesn't want to stop – especially to do something as unexciting as sleep! Then again, sometimes a child perfectly capable of walking on her own two feet wants to be carried. A lot.
Consider the circumstances. In public, your child may feel small and vulnerable or fear being lost. She may truly be tired. She may crave attention or affection. Carry her if you want to, but if you're going more than a block or two from home or the car, bring a stroller to save your back.
Your child might be coaxed into walking just by holding your hand, which could make her feel more secure. Negotiate a little: "Let's walk holding hands until the next stoplight."
My 18-month-old twins are always getting into the laundry, so I put them to work! I show them the pile of laundry and they bring the clothes to me. One of them tosses the items up in the air and I catch them and toss them in the washer. The other tries to get them all the way into the washer by himself. When it's time to put the clothes into the dryer, I hand the clothes to the boys and again, one tosses them near the dryer and the other puts them all the way in. It doesn't take much longer than doing it myself, and they learn that there are ways to help Mommy and be praised instead of being shooed out of the room.
Sunburns early in life are the most likely to cause skin cancer later – and all sun exposure damages and ages the skin – so protect your child's skin outdoors, whatever the weather. Use sunscreen, cover up with lightweight clothing, wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
For sunscreen, choose one with SPF 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays (check the label to be sure). Some experts recommend a "physical block" or "chemical-free" sunscreen made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because it offers broad-spectrum coverage, is not absorbed by the skin, and provides protection as soon as you put it on. If you use a chemical sunscreen, which works best once it's absorbed by the skin, apply it 30 minutes before going out to get the full effect.
Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours (no matter what the label says) when you're outside and anytime your child comes out of the water.
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