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What’s With The Towers, Kids?

We get to the bottom of some of your toddler's seemingly strange behaviour...

20/10/2016 12:03 | Updated 28 October 2016
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Being a parent of a toddler is fabulous (your baby is becoming more of an individual, learning new words and new skills seemingly every day) but it can also be quite an exhausting time as that newly discovered independence brings with it very decided tastes and expectations! Alongside the famous toddler tantrums, come some strange behavioural traits that aren’t so well documented.

From vigorous head shaking to licking, these weird and wonderful toddler habits are surprisingly common. And while they might be a little disconcerting at the time, most are actually perfectly logical...

  • 1 Getting naked everywhere
    Marc Romanelli via Getty Images
    Toddlers love taking their clothes off anytime, anywhere. And it makes sense. They don't yet have any sense of body shame (lucky them!) and they're still learning the difference between public and private behaviour. If it feels nice to take your clothes off in the supermarket, why wouldn't you, especially if Mummy has told you how clever you were at bathtime? Taking clothes off is also a source of great pride at this age - all those buttons and poppers cleverly undone. Until your toddler can understand why stripping naked isn't always an option, set clear guidelines on when he can be naked (yes at home, not on the street) and offer him clothing alternatives to aid cooperation.

    You may also find that your toddler wants to wear the same slightly eccentric outfit all day - that silky, swingy superhero cape and princess dress are often favourites. As long as they're not harming themselves (a coat in winter has to be insisted on), console yourself that this phase will pass too.
  • 2 Head-shaking or spinning round in circles
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    It might look decidedly odd, but head-shaking, head-banging and spinning in circles are all ways for your toddler to self-soothe. When they're feeling tired or anxious, it's a way for toddlers to calm themselves down. As long as they're not hurting themselves, don't order a stop (that would be a green light to continue!), just ignore it or come up with alternative soothing methods (stroking Bunny's ear or listening to music, for example.)
  • 3 Inserting things in holes
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    Ears, noses, Daddy's Xbox, that enticing gap between the floorboards, the choices are limitless for posting or poking little fingers or treasures like toys, coins, that plastic card Mummy puts in the wall. At this age, your toddler is learning about the world around him and his own intriguing body. It makes sense to explore it. You're probably used to keeping an eye out for potential choking hazards, but you may need to up your vigilance as your child becomes increasingly curious and quick on their feet. If you suspect your toddler has inserted something in her ear or nose, go straight to your GP rather than trying to get it out yourself.
  • 4 Licking things
    Tiina & Geir via Getty Images
    From your face to the decidedly unhygienic standing pole in the bus, your toddler may discover a love for licking things. Irritating though it may sometimes be, it does make sense as your toddler is exploring the world around them with all their senses, including taste. When you spot her taking a taste of something in public, be quick to explain why it could make her ill. As with all these phases, it will pass.
  • 5 Again! Doing everything on repeat
    NatalieShuttleworth via Getty Images
    This will be surely be one of your toddler's favourite phrases, along me with 'me do it, 'mine' and 'NOOO!' Toddlers seem to have an indefatigable thirst for the same book, song and that funny face Mum just pulled. Toddlers learn through repetition, familiarising themselves with the same book and fitting the words to the pictures. Repetition also makes them feel safe and comfortable. So console yourself on the 100th reading of Room On The Broom with the knowledge that your toddler really does need this.
  • 6 Building towers just to knock them down
    LEGO DUPLO
    Through constructive play like building with LEGO® DUPLO®, your toddler is developing his concentration and problem-solving ability, finding out how pieces of different size fit together and how patterns can be made with alternate colours. Once they've mastered the skills of building, expect them to want to build the tallest tower ever, again and again and again. Word of warning: they may love knocking towers down and starting it all over again but it is not part of the game for Mummy or Baby Brother or Sister to do the same. Oh NOOO!
  • 7 Developing impossible-to-guess eating rules
    Westend61 via Getty Images
    Presenting food to a toddler often feels unwinnable - they're fickle, finicky and outraged at your failure to get their meal moods. Loved blueberries on the favourite blue plate? What could have possessed you to think your toddler would like that? What they'll eat and what they won't is one of the first times toddlers get to flex their independence. Just don't turn their eating habits into a power struggle.  Continue to offer a variety of healthy foods and remind yourself that this pickiness is text book toddler behaviour. Often it's because your child doesn't yet have the communication skills to explain that they're not hungry for the blueberries right now, rather than they hate them and never want to see them again.

Being a parent of a toddler is fabulous (your baby is becoming more of an individual, learning new words and new skills seemingly every day) but it can also be quite an exhausting time as that newly discovered independence brings with it very decided tastes and expectations! Alongside the famous toddler tantrums, come some strange behavioural traits that aren’t so well documented.

From vigorous head shaking to licking, these weird and wonderful toddler habits are surprisingly common. And while they might be a little disconcerting at the time, most are actually perfectly logical...

Whether you’re building a tower together or rescuing a princess from a castle, LEGO® DUPLO® is your perfect Partner in Play. With its chunky bricks and bright colours, LEGO® DUPLO® encourages the discovery of new abilities by educating, entertaining and engaging your toddler, every time they play.

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