Your Baby's Development Between Two and Three Years

It's thrilling to watch your baby grow and develop, as they learn about you and the world around them. 

The information below shows some things your baby may be doing at two years of age and up. Keep in mind that every baby develops differently. Your baby may reach any of these milestones significantly before or after this age. Chances are, her development is proceeding perfectly normally.

Between two and three years: 

Vocabulary grows rapidly and child starts combining nouns with verbs to form three to four-word sentences 
Begins to use pronouns, such as "I" and "me," and other parts of speech 
May begin to ask "why" questions 
Pays attention to what others say, whether to him or to someone else

Your baby's motor skills encompass all sorts of movement, from supporting her head, to crawling, to holding a crayon. 

Gross motor skills involve control of the large muscle groups active in kicking, crawling and walking, among other movements. Fine motor skills typically cover movement and manipulation of objects with the hands -- skills such as reaching, grasping, picking things up and pointing. 

Between two and three years: 


Constantly on the move 
Loves to be chased 
Enjoys going down slides, swinging and running around playgrounds
May pedal small tricycle 
Learns to walk on tiptoe and may be able to stand on one foot 
May count stairs and jump off the final step 
Jumping in place still takes great effort and coordination 


Child learns to coordinate movements of his wrist, fingers and palm
May unscrew lids, turn knobs, unwrap paper

Babies are highly aware of their surroundings from the beginning. Given time, stimulation, love and interaction with the people in their lives, their understanding of the world grows surprisingly quickly. 

Between two and three years: 

Starts to solve problems in his head 
May understand number concepts like ordination (one dog, two dogs) and the process of classification (a cat is an animal)

Helping Your Child Avoid Allergens

Keeping Kids' Allergies Under Control
Pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander are the most common allergens. Here are 9 ways you can help your child avoid allergens—and avoid allergy flare-ups.

Improve the air quality.
Keep windows closed and use air conditioning (fans can stir up dust). Filter the air from air conditioning and heating vents with cheesecloth or HEPA filters. Clean air filters frequently, and air ducts once a year. Use a dehumidifier (especially in basements) to keep humidity below 50% and prevent mold growth. Don't allow tobacco smoke in the house.

Keep it clean.
Vacuum frequently. Wash bed linens and towels in hot water (at least 130° F), put laundry in the dryer right away so it doesn't grow any mold - and don't hang laundry outside to dry where it can collect pollen.

Allergy-free decorating.
Avoid venetian blinds and curtains that can't be washed, storing firewood indoors, carpeting, throw rugs, and indoor plants.

Keep pets outside as much as possible—and especially keep them out of the bedroom. Brush pets outside to remove loose hair, dander, and other allergens. Consider using an air filtration system.

Places your child should avoid.
Allergen-heavy areas like basements, crawl spaces, garages, barns, and compost heaps. Freshly cut grass.

Choose your child's outings wisely.
Check weather forecasts and pollen counts. When possible, keep kids indoors on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are highest.

Time your child's outings wisely.
Try to keep kids indoors between 5a.m. and 10a.m., when pollen counts are highest.

Leave the allergens outside.
Have your child shower and change clothes right away after being outdoors for extended periods. This will remove pollen and prevent it from spreading around the house.

Keep allergy medicine handy.
Always keep a few doses of your child's allergy medicine with you—especially when traveling. That way, even if your child's allergies flare up, you can keep him comfortable.

Baby's First Portrait

Baby's First Portrait
Sometimes sitting in front of the camera can be a bit scary for your baby or toddler, especially if she is in a new place and there's a photographer, rather than you, taking the picture. To keep your little one calm, one mom suggests talking to her ahead of time about the experience and offering a reward, such as visiting a favorite play place after the picture has been taken. Another mom recommends going in the afternoon after your child has had a nap and a meal. You can also play games that she's familiar with at home, such as peekaboo, while the photographer snaps a picture.

Getting Your Baby Ready

Make sure your baby is looking her best for her portrait by giving her a bath beforehand. Try using a gentle, moisturizing baby cleanser to nourish and cleanse your baby's skin, such asJOHNSON'S® Moisture Care Baby Wash. After her bath, you can moisturize her skin with JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion, which has that wonderful baby-fresh scent. For drier skin, you can tryJOHNSON'S® SOOTHING NATURALS™ Nourishing Lotion.

As you're getting her ready, pick out one of your favorite outfits for her to wear. Make sure it fits well and avoid any busy fabrics or large frills, as these can detract from your baby's smiling face! If it's a group shot, try to get coordinating colors for everyone. Keep your baby's hair trim and simple, ribbons and barrettes shouldn't be too big. Use JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo when bathing her to leave her growing hair soft, shiny and clean.

Having your baby's picture taken is quite a momentous occasion. You'll be left with a beautiful photograph you'll want to keep forever.

To get more advice on having your baby's portrait taken,

For more articles about caring for your baby, visit THE JOHNSON'S® GUIDE TO NURTURING CARE™.

Baby's First Birthday

Baby's First Birthday
Planning the Party

Planning your baby's first birthday can really depend on how much you'd like to spend. Some parents like to go all out, but most prefer to keep it simple. One way to keep things simple is to have the party in your home or, if the weather permits, in your backyard. Food doesn't have to be too complicated – pizza, hot dogs or hamburgers are easy items that typically go over well. Just be sure to cut up all food (especially hotdogs) to avoid a choking hazard. And remember you don't have to invite everyone – you may want to consider inviting only a few close friends and family members. You don't want to overwhelm your baby. Too many people, too much attention, and too many loud noises can sometimes give her a bit of a scare.


Decorations should be kept simple and fuss-free. Balloons are a fun, cheerful and inexpensive option, but make sure they're placed away from where your baby could pop them (off the floor, for example). The loud bang from a popped balloon could turn your baby's cheers into tears. Also, pieces of a popped balloon are a choking hazard, so be sure to pick them up if one pops. Watch out for small pieces of ribbon or bows as well, as they can be a choking hazard. When choosing balloons, consider getting foil balloons since they're harder to pop and tend to do so with less of a bang.

Getting Her Ready

It's usually a good idea to give your baby a nap before the party and to keep the party fairly short. The last thing you want is a fussy birthday girl. To get your baby ready for the party, pick out one of your favorite baby outfits and give her a bath. When bathing her, use a gentle cleanser specially formulated for babies, such asJOHNSON'S® Moisture Care Baby Wash and a gentle shampoo formulated not to sting her eyes, such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo. After the bath, you can give her that wonderful baby-fresh scent by using a gentle baby moisturizer, such asJOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion, or for drier skin, try JOHNSON'S® SOOTHING NATURALS™ Nourishing Lotion.

Getting a Little Messy

Things are sure to get a bit messy, especially at eating time (and when there's cake involved), so you may want to put a washable sheet or cloth under the dining area. Also, you may want to hand out a few washable bibs to other parents for their little ones, and you may want to put a bib on the birthday girl as well. You can use any JOHNSON'S® cleanser for a gentle hand and face washing before and after mealtime. Because there are bound to be a few germs passed back and forth amongst the young guests (especially during playtime), it's also important to wash your baby's hands to help keep her healthy. Encourage adults at your party to wash their hands as well, as they can also pass along germs.


You're baby is sure to receive plenty of gifts – although she may be more interested in the wrapping paper than the present itself. Be sure to pick out age-appropriate items for gifts. Consider choosing items that promote learning and encourage creativity, such as books, stackable items and blocks.

Your baby's first birthday is an exciting moment. Be sure to take pictures and have lots of fun. It's a moment you'll never want to forget.

For more articles about caring for your baby, visit THE JOHNSON'S® GUIDE TO NURTURING CARE™.

Tips for Breast-feeding Success

It's helpful for a woman who wants to breast-feed to learn as much about it as possible before delivery, while she is not exhausted from caring for an infant around-the-clock. The following tips can help foster successful nursing:

Get an early start
Nursing should begin within an hour after delivery if possible, when the infant is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though the mother won't be producing milk yet, her breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains antibodies to disease.

Proper positioning
The baby's mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for the mother. A nurse, midwife or other knowledgeable person can help her find a comfortable nursing position.

Nurse on demand
Newborns need to nurse frequently, about every two hours, and not on any strict schedule. This will stimulate the mother's breasts to produce plenty of milk. Later, the baby can settle into a more predictable routine. But because breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breast-fed babies often eat more frequently than bottle-fed babies.

No supplements
Nursing babies don't need sugar water or formula supplements. These may interfere with their appetite for nursing, and that can lead to a diminished milk supply. The more the baby nurses, the more milk the mother will produce.

Delay artificial nipples
It's best to wait a week or two before introducing a pacifier, so that the baby doesn't get confused. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than real ones. Sucking at a bottle could also confuse some babies in the early days. They, too, are learning how to breast-feed.

Air dry
In the early postpartum period or until her nipples toughen, the mother should air dry them after each nursing to prevent them from cracking, which can lead to infection. If her nipples do crack, the mother can coat them with breast milk or other natural moisturizers to help them heal. Proper positioning at the breast can help prevent sore nipples. If the mother's very sore, the baby may not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth.

Watch for infection
Symptoms of breast infection include fever, painful lumps and redness in the breast. These require immediate medical attention.

Expect engorgement
A new mother usually produces lots of milk, making her breasts big, hard and painful for a few days. To relieve this engorgement, she should feed the baby frequently and on demand until her body adjusts and produces only what the baby needs. In the meantime, the mother can take over-the-counter pain relievers, apply warm, wet compresses to her breasts and take warm baths to relieve the pain.

Eat right, get rest
To produce plenty of good milk, the nursing mother needs a balanced diet that includes 500 extra calories a day and six to eight glasses of fluid. She should also rest as much as possible to prevent breast infections, which are aggravated by fatigue. 

Source: FDA Consumer, A magazine of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Why Babies Cry

Babies cry for the same reason adults talk - to communicate. Crying is the only way for infants to tell us when something is wrong. But while the baby may know what's wrong, it's often more difficult for new parents to decipher the meaning of their baby's cries. As your baby grows, you will learn to recognize and differentiate among her various cries. 

Newborns sometimes cry up to four hours a day, and each cry can send a different message. 

I'm in pain 
Generally unmistakably loud and sudden, with long high-pitched shrieks followed by a pause and then a wail. If you are unable to find a minor cause, you should call your healthcare provider immediately if this type of crying persists and the baby is inconsolable. 

I'm lonely or bored 
Often your baby's coos will turn to a wail if she doesn't get the attention she wants or needs. Rest assured that no amount of love, cuddling, hugging, and caring will spoil your baby in the first six months. 

I'm tired or uncomfortable 
If your baby's cries are whiny, nasal, and continuous, chances are she's overtired, about to have a bowel movement, too warm, too cold, or otherwise uncomfortable. 

I just need to cry 
If your baby is "good" all day, sometimes she just needs to release energy by crying. This usually occurs at the end of the day, or the "witching hour." 

I'm cranky 
Some babies are just fussy by nature. Irritable crying varies in duration and occurs randomly, without an apparent cause. 

I have gas 
Gas is very common in infants, affecting more than half of all newborns. Gas bubbles can cause discomfort, leading to crankiness and crying. Many infants with gas will also pull their legs up, lying in a curled position for relief.

Giving your baby a bath

You'll want to sponge-bathe your baby until his circumcision and umbilical cord stump have healed (usually a week to 10 days). Most parents prefer sponge baths during this time because it is easier to hold the baby without worrying about slippery bathwater. 

Holding the baby's head, use a fresh cotton ball or square moistened with water for each eye. Wipe gently from the inside corner of the eye out. 

Be careful with the soft spot on his head, but don't be afraid to touch it. 

Using a soft washcloth and plain water, gently wipe your baby's entire face. Pay special attention to behind the ears and creases in the neck. Gently pat dry with a soft towel. 
To clean nostrils, use a fresh cotton swab moistened with water to gently wipe just inside each nostril. Be careful not to push the swab or let water drip into his nose. 

To clean ears, use a damp washcloth or cotton swab and clean the outer ear. Use a swab designed to help prevent entry too deep in your baby's ear (such as JOHNSON'S® Safety Swabs). 
Unwrap and remove the diaper. Wet and lather your hand or washcloth and wash the rest of your baby's body, washing the diaper area last. 

To clean the genital area, always wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from the bowel from spreading to the genital area. Rinse and gently pat baby dry. Apply lotions or creams from front to back, too. 

Moving up to the big tub: 
When your baby is about 2 to 8 weeks old, he's probably ready for a small tub. A baby tub can sit in the kitchen sink or in the big tub, whichever is easier for you. When your baby is able to hold his head up and keep his back straight, he can move up to the grown-up tub. Be sure to put a non-slip mat on the bottom. You may also want to use a plastic bath seat. While this will give you an extra hand, it's not a substitute for keeping your eye on your baby at all times. 

At first your baby may feel overwhelmed by the size of the bathtub. The sound and sensation of running bathwater may be disconcerting, so fill the tub before putting him in - just a couple of inches is all you'll need to do the job and let your baby splash without feeling scared.