Toddlers’ growth rate is slower than that of infants and is accompanied by a reduced appetite. This change can sometimes be surprising to parents and lead to the development of poor eating habits. However, children between the ages of two and three need 1,000 to 1,400 calories, while children between the ages of four and eight need 1,200 to 2,000 calories (Mayo Clinic, 2016a).
- Summarize overall physical growth
- Describe the changes in brain maturation
- Describe the changes in sleep
- Summarize the changes in gross and motor skills
- Understand when a child is ready for toilet training
- Describe sexual development
- Identify nutritional concerns
Overall physical growth: Children between the ages of two and six tend to grow about 3 inches in height and gain about 4–5 lb in weight each year. Just as in infancy, growth occurs in spurts rather than continually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000) the average 2-year-old weighs 23–28 lb and is 33–35 inches tall. The average 6-year-old weighs 40–50 lb and is 44–47 inches tall. The average 3-year-old is still very similar to a toddler with a large head, large stomach, and short arms and legs. By the time the child reaches age six, however, the torso has lengthened and body proportions have become more like those of adults.