22 Things to Do Before Your Child Turns 2

You’ve spent the last 20 months figuring stuff out: who you are as a mom, who your kid is as a person, how to fold a Pack 'n Play (or jam it into a closet unfolded). But while you’ve been wrestling with big parenting questions (separation, sleep training, what was that she just put in her mouth? She swallowed it? Never mind), their little lives are rolling on by. Yours, too. Ready for more parenting advice? Here, 22 things you simply must do before your baby becomes a toddler.


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1. Establish a sleep schedule.

2. Screw the sleep schedule to show her fireworks or constellations.

3. Take an honest-to-goodness trip with your kid.

4. Take an honest-to-goodness trip without your kid. (And without feeling guilty about leaving her behind.)

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5. Take a music class with your child (and beat those bongos like you’re Matthew McConaughey).

6. Then record your little guy singing what he learned.

7. Take him to meet your oldest living relative.

8. Hire a photographer—or a talented friend—to take beautiful family portraits.

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9. Visit your local firehouse (they’ll let him climb into the truck; they know the drill).

10. Find a non-judgmental pediatrician.

11. And an equally non-judgmental super-mom, to whom you can send all your crazy middle-of-the-night questions.

12. Watch your child’s face at an aquarium.  

13. Ditto at an ice cream parlor.

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14. Switch from a diaper bag to a chic "it" bag (that can still hold diapers).

15. And develop a system for keeping it stocked with Cheerios.

16. Spend a day alone staycationing (café + movie + pedicure > therapy).

17. Swap out the sippy cups for a fresh set (and the plates and cutlery, too, while you’re at it).

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18. Save a lock from his first haircut.

19. And get a haircut for yourself that proves you still have style.

20. Spend a night out in high heels with your husband.

21. Learn to cook something secretly healthy that your kid will actually eat.  

22. Hold her while she sleeps, knowing full well she’ll soon be too big to fit quite this snuggly in your arms.