It was "toddler week" in my office and I was just amazed that the questions from room to room and morning to afternoon were essentially all the same. Forget that these were all different kids with different parents; the concerns were echoed from room to room.
He/she doesn't eat. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters and they also are smart enough to self-regulate. In other words, they only eat when hungry (such a novel idea to us adults, as I sit here eating a four-day-old cupcake just because it was there). If you provide your toddler with a balanced meal three times a day, they may choose to eat it or not, but I promise you they will not starve.
Toddlers seem to grow and gain weight on air alone, and they also really only eat once a day, and pick at the other meals. Who needs a trainer when you know when to stop? A parent's job is to provide the healthy, well-balanced meals and the child will learn to eat a wide variety of foods, over many years. No need to bribe, scream, beg or feel guilty.
Toddlers hit/bite/spit/pinch/pull hair. You fill in the blank. This is what I call "age appropriate, in-appropriate behavior." We all go through this as parents, some more than others. But this is also the time to begin teaching your toddler appropriate expectations as to playing, sharing, and the social graces.
Correct your child when they misbehave. Begin time-out and consequences. Learn to get on your child's level to redirect inappropriate behaviors. Use a firm voice when talking told a child about their behavior, no need to scream or yell, but voice inflection is important as your child learns to listen to you.
Sleep is also a big concern, and most toddlers should be sleeping alone at night. Have a set bedtime and bedtime routine and begin a sticker chart for good bedtime behavior and for staying in their bed.
The toddler years are some of the most important for a child's development and long term well being. Start young, if not it only gets harder.
That's your daily dose, we'll chat again tomorrow.