McKenna Toddler Summary: 2 Years Old!

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You read it right. McKenna is now two. Wow. A word that really describes McKenna is “fun.” She loves to have fun, she is fun, she is always having fun, and people around her have fun. She makes people laugh and smile constantly. Sometimes her drive for fun leads her to do mischief, but she is relatively easily brought back to the right track.



McKenna is still eating well. I can tell she is getting more skeptical about things, though. Rather than grabbing anything put before her and scarfing it down, she might turn her head a bit and give it a sideways glance while she thinks it over. She does end up eating everything put before her; she just thinks about the new or unfamiliar stuff, which I think is a good thing.



Last month, we moved to a booster seat. She is doing well with it, though she has introduced issues I have never faced before. She likes to squirm around and try to stand up sometimes. I have never had a child do that. Buckles work, as does taking the child right out and ending meal time, which for a child like McKenna (one who loves to eat) is enough to cure her of the desire to push the envelope on this topic. [Added–I want to make clear I am talking about a booster seat at the dinner table, not in the car]



Independent play and sibling play are both great. McKenna absolutely loves to be outside, so we are both looking forward to perfect weather so we can spend a lot of time outside. She is the type (as I think most children are–but not all) to just stay out no matter how cold she is, so I have to monitor her and not just wait for her to decide she is cold enough.


On a playing-related topic, McKenna had a couple of weeks where she was an absolute tornado. Absolute. She was a masterful mess maker. She likes to clean, so she would help clean-up, but I have never had a child make a bigger mess on their own! She was going through cupboards and drawers and closets…she could empty something in 60 seconds easily! She happily snapped out of the tornado thing. Now we just have normal sized messes.


Night Sleep

The time change was this month, and night sleep stayed great.



Naps, on the other hand, did not. I don’t want to complain because she is still napping 2.5 hours. However, she was napping 3.5-4 hours until the time change.


Not only that, she was waking up crying. I watched her on the video monitor and she was literally waking up crying.


She had no sickness and no teeth that I could see. She could have been having bad dreams. 


My conclusion, though, was that she was just off because of the time change and not sleeping well. I gave it time, and as of right now, naps are still “short,” but she is not waking up crying. That is good. 


I also taught her that instead of crying, she needed to say “Mommy! Up please!” After only explaining it once, she started doing it! I was very shocked. 




McKenna had her 2 year well-visit with the doctor and all is well. She is in the high 50s for her size, so just above average. The doctor is surprised at how much she talks (but honestly with the amount of talking my three year old does, it seems like nothing–just wait till I have two fluid female talkers competing to talk to me!).



Learning continues to explode. She is suddenly able to identify most colors and can now count to 7 consistently, sometimes beyond. These little toddlers are amazing! This is one reason I just love the toddler age. 


Birthday Party

McKenna had her birthday party. She loved every last second of the attention and fun. 


Our Schedule

9:00–bath/get ready
10:00–sibling playtime with Kaitlyn
10:30–independent playtime11:30–learning time. Sometimes lunch is later and she watches Elmo here.
12:00–lunch. Then play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
4:00/4:30: get up

5:00–Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00–in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.


Times are approximate







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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. grace
    March 30, 2011 / 2:25 AM

    hi, just a quick one on the "mess during play"does that happen during IP/roomtime? she empties the cupboards etc but she helps to clean up?sometimes I wonder if I'm too strict on these things and if it's an age-appropriate action, i should allow it and probably teach my girl to clean-up together instead of being mad at her.thanks.

  2. Noob Mommy
    March 30, 2011 / 3:10 AM

    I'm surprised that she had such nice long naps! Noob Baby often sleeps from 2-4 ish, but would keep going. I go in and wake her because we usually put her to bed between 7-7:30. I figured that if I let her sleep past 4, she'd be up till 9 or 10. Maybe I should just let her nap later and see what happens!

  3. GCCandleMommaof3
    March 30, 2011 / 8:54 PM

    I really love your website! I also have 3 kiddos (5, 2.5 and 4 months). Totally not passing judgment, but unless your 2 year old has outgrown their 5pt harnessed carseat (usually 40 lbs) she should be not be in a booster yet. Most peds say 4 years AND 40lbs and should stay harnessed longer if possible. My son is HUGE for his age (45lbs and 46in) and he's still in a Graco Nautilus 5pt harness carseat. PLEASE check out this website and watch the video regarding the 5 NEW AAP car seat recommendations released 3/21 (affects birth-12). The link below has a video on their main page. It is VERY informative…learned some unbelievable statistics about carseat misuse."The most important thing you can do as a parent is not just use a carseat, but use it properly!" -The Car Seat Lady, Dr. Alisa Baer

  4. Plowmanators
    March 30, 2011 / 9:17 PM

    She isn't in a car seat booster–it is a booster seat at the dinner table–instead of the high chair 🙂 My four year old is still in a 5 point harness 🙂

  5. Plowmanators
    March 30, 2011 / 9:21 PM

    Grace, she did have a huge mess-making tornado time in her room during IPT, too. I think that is normal and developmentally normal. It takes time to learn things like that you shouldn't take everything you can reach and put it on the floor 🙂 She helped me clean up each time and I never got mad for the mess. She either outgrew it, expanded her attention span, or figured out cleaning up huge messes wasn't quite as fun as making them–though I don't think it was the last one. She likes to clean.

  6. Plowmanators
    March 30, 2011 / 9:22 PM

    Noob Mommy, give it a try! You might find yourself with an extra hour to get things done! 🙂

  7. destina23
    May 22, 2011 / 10:47 PM

    just curious, does it say in babywise anywhere why once a toddler is down to one nap there awake time after that nap is less than in AM, but yet they have no trouble going to sleep? they seem to be more tired with less time up in the afternoon? i don't remember reading about it.i was curious cause my almost 2 year old was having a hard time falling asleep at night, taking 45-hour to settle down and i thought that maybe he was under tired? his schedule is7 (used to be later, but started earlier with this going on)7:30-eat10-snack11:30 or 12-breakfast1-4 nap5:30-dinner7:00-non-sweet snack, usually crackers7:30 bed routine8 in bedWe did try darkening room even more, didn't help. Checking temps too. For the past two days we tried to put him down at 1:30 (he was begging to take a nap) and he slept till 4:30 and went down quicker for bed.I'm so confused!thanks!

  8. destina23
    May 23, 2011 / 4:42 PM

    Spoke too soon. still took about an hour (8:50) to fall asleep again last night. and we do a non-rushed bedtime routine every night.Maybe push up the bedtime to 7:30 in bed?

  9. Plowmanators
    June 3, 2011 / 10:39 PM

    It doesn't say anywhere, but that is TOTALLY normal. I have a post on it. Most two year olds do this for reasons unknown to me 🙂 They do outgrow it, though, and go back to normal. I find it best to just ignore the chatter and try to not stress about it 🙂 I know I worried with Brayden, but with McKenna, I totally expected it.

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