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Challenges Up To Two Years

The First Six Months

Parenting your new baby will be a surprisingly hard job. Fortunately you, your partner and your baby learn together.

In the first 6 months, all your baby needs is your time, your attention and your love. Pick baby up whenever you think he or she needs it. Babies cannot be spoiled in the first 6 months.

The Second Six Months

Your time and attention are still baby’s main needs. At about 6 months, you will start setting guidelines for baby. This is when baby can reach further and may start to move around. Babies are very curious and will get into everything.

Saying “no” is only one approach. Very soon, you will get tired of hearing yourself say “no” a hundred times a day. Here are some ways to set guidelines without saying the word “no”. Baby may not understand the words at first but will get the message from your tone of voice and your actions.

  • “You can wait for a minute. I’ll be right there.”
  • “Glasses are not for babies. Rattles are for babies.”
  • “You may not play with that, but you can play with this.”
  • “Sorry, playing there is not allowed, come play over here.”
  • “This is what is for dinner. You may get down if you don’t want to eat.”
  • “When you get down from the table, your dinner is over.”
  • “I love you very much. Time to sleep now.”
  • When your child is about to touch something hot, or starts to walk into the street, a loud strong “NO!” will stop the child. Keep the “no” for times when your child could get hurt.


Search institute (online), 2016

Children are the key to our future.

Into the Second Year

Toddlers want and need to explore their world by using all of their senses. They have just learned to walk but are still a bit unsteady. They are trying very hard to talk. As a result, they feel very frustrated. This frustration can result in their biting or having temper tantrums.


Biting often starts when the child is teething (see “Baby Teeth and Teething” section). An older child may bite when he or she wants a toy that another child is holding. Adults should respond to biting by saying, “No, we never bite people because it hurts them.” It is OK to use a firm voice.

Supervise your child when he or she is around other children. Give your child praise for not biting. Try to be consistent about how you respond to behavior. That will help your child know what he should and should not do.

Temper Tantrums

Between 18 and 30 months, toddlers may have temper tantrums. This time is often called the terrible twos. Temper tantrums may get worse if parents pay attention to them.

Tantrums are normal. They are more likely to happen when your child is tired or hungry. Try to be consistent in handling them. If the child is safe, parents should try to ignore him or her and continue with what they were doing. Do not talk to, touch, bargain with or threaten the child. Absolutely, do not give in.

Goals for Parents

With time your baby will grow into a child, a teenager and an adult. Research shows supporting children’s assets give them the tools they need to grow. For more information visit

Asset Categories

Reprinted with permission from The Asset Approach: 40 Elements of Healthy Development. Copyright © 2002, 2006 Search Institute®, Minneapolis, MN; All Rights Reserved. The following are registered trademarks of Search Institute: Search Institute® and Developmental Assets®.

Baby You’re the Best

Give the Positive

Experts believe that children start to gain self-confidence early in life.
Boost your children’s confidence and self-esteem every chance you get. By paying attention to them, maintaining realistic expectations and loving them unconditionally, you’ll be setting the stage for a bright future for your children.

The best way to see the kind of behaviour you want from your child is to catch them being good. Let them know that you like what they’re doing.

  • “Awesome.”
  • “Terrific.”
  • “Perfect.”
  • “Good job.”
  • “Fantastic.”
  • “Excellent.”
  • “Well done.”
  • “Way to go.”
  • “Good for you.”
  • “Looking good.”
  • “You’re on it.”
  • “You tried hard.”
  • “That’s correct.”
  • “You made my day.”
  • “Nice manners.”
  • “I’m proud of you.”
  • “You make me happy.”
  • “Good sharing.”
  • “You make me laugh.”
  • “You’re growing up.”
  • “Now you’ve got it.”
  • “You figured it out.”
  • “That’s a great job.”
  • “You mean a lot to me.”
  • “You’re doing so well.”
  • “I knew you could do it.”
  • “You learned it right.”
  • A big hug / a big kiss
  • “I love you.”


Canadian Paediatric Society (online), 2016
Search Institute, 2016
WebMD (online) 2016

Services for Parents

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children – Prenatal to School Age

This is a program designed to give children a better start in life, working with a Public Health Nurse and Family Home Visitor.

Public Health Nurses

With your consent, hospitals across Ontario in cooperation with public health agencies screen every baby at birth for problems that might affect their growth and development.

Upon hospital release, parents will receive a phone call from a Public Health Nurse and a home visit is offered.

Public Health Nurses can provide information about:

  • Breastfeeding.
  • Infant nutrition.
  • Growth and development.
  • Postpartum care.
  • Child safety.
  • Community programs.
  • Parenting issues.
  • Public Health Nurses may offer some families an in-depth at home assessment with support from a Family Home Visitor.

Family Home Visitors

Family Home Visitors are experienced parents who have special training in helping families meet the needs of their children. They may be recommended by a Public Health Nurse to support your family.

Family Home Visitors provide:

  • Encouragement and support to families.
  • Translation and interpretation of information to families.
  • Prenatal information.
  • Parenting information.
  • Information about community programs such as food resources, support groups and child care.
  • Information about child development and safety.

Parenting Classes

For local parenting classes, please call Haldimand-Norfolk REACH, Ontario Early Years or Children’s Aid for times and dates.