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Toddler losing skills in lockdown

(18 Posts)
DennisTMenace Sat 02-May-20 09:46:13

I have noticed that since lockdown, my toddler is falling over more. We are obviously in the house or small garden all day. Do go on occasional walks, but I prefer to have dp with me as it is difficult to keep an eye on both kids and dp still goes out to work, so not around during weekdays.

Now I am noticing that they are not able to say as many words as before and getting harder to understand. No more nursery, seeing family or friends, dp often home after bed time and screen time has increased as I still have to work.

I don't think it is anything neurological. I know some things like autism can lead to loss of skills, but it has coincided with lockdown, so I think it's more due to the loss of stimulus and opportunities. What can I do to help improve again?

Mummy5hark Sat 02-May-20 09:49:26

I've worried about this as well. Can only suggest lots of games and activities with him and talking with them as much as possible

CMOTDibbler Sat 02-May-20 09:53:17

I'd get some reins and start getting out for a walk everyday, both for the exercise and the stimulation that being outside gives

Reversiblesequinsforadults Sat 02-May-20 09:53:24

Talk to them as much as possible and reduce screen time so they are talking while playing. If there are two kids, do they not talk to each other?

FTMF30 Sat 02-May-20 09:54:21

I actually personally think TV has helped with my toddlers speech. During lockdown we've let him watch a little more TV and he does often repeat what he's heard the next day or when he recognises something on TV. He loves Bing at the moment. Also shows on Cbeebies where the presenter talks addresses those watching and ask questions.
As long as you do other stimulating activities during the day, I don't think TV is such a bad thing.
Signing songs has also helped.

MsJuniper Sat 02-May-20 10:05:50

Mine (just 2) seems to fall over more but I thought that was because she is at an age when she's speeding up and being more adventurous (in a confined space). Also because I see her more - I'm sure she would be taking some tumbles at nursery too.

Speech-wise she has come on apace and that's with a LOT of CBeebies while we work. She knows all the theme tunes 😳 We are quite a chatty family though.

MRex Sat 02-May-20 10:20:58

How old exactly is your toddler? There's a big difference in language between just 2 and 3-going-on-4.

My 2yo gets clumsier whenever he grows, for the physical side are you sure there hasn't been a growth spurt? You really need to take them out and have them running in the house though if you can. Could your DH and you manage if you each went to 4-days each per week for now so he can have an extra 4 half days of attention and just one day where he's watching TV?

Regarding speaking, occasionally getting lazy and grunting for stuff when tired is one thing, but any sustained speech regression is concerning. If you ask them quietly for something, can they hear you ok or could they have an ear infection? My DS is actually speaking many more words, but that's because he's only just 2 so still just learning how to talk. He's singing a song and it's definitely the bit of screen time he has that's taught him "chugga-chugga choo-choo". The same seems to be true of other toddlers his age whose mums I talk to, they're all constantly developing language at the moment. It would be worth calling the health visitor to discuss specifics; you might be over-thinking something minor, it could be useful to have someone thinking of ideas, or there could be a real problem and they'll know the signs.

DennisTMenace Sat 02-May-20 10:49:27

@MRex turning 2 this month.
@CMOTDibbler reins don't work unfortunately, just lies down and screams until we take them off. Does not like to be contained! Same with attempts at play pen etc. I just need to be braver about taking them out more.
@Reversiblesequinsforadults they do play together, but toddler is too young for proper interactive play. Still very much in the "mine" stage.

I know it's down from not much to begin with and plenty of kids aren't even talking at 2, but I want to help if I can. For instance "mummy bix more" (wheetabix) would now just be "more". And often just seems to make sou ds when asking for things, not recognisable to the word being attempted. Then when I ask to say again I just get yes and nod of head.

I am not concerned enough to discuss with the health visitor, I presume the 2 year checks have been cancelled anyway. Just another side effect of this bloody disease.

mindutopia Sat 02-May-20 11:48:56

I would keep an eye on it for the next few months and see how things go. Keep in mind that being around children all the time may mean you miss things you might otherwise notice, because it's so hard to pay attention when you are pulled in a million directions at once. He may be speaking plenty, but it just may be you aren't noticing as much as you normally would. If there is something going on, I can't imagine it's anything to do with lockdown.

My toddler's speech has improved considerably while he's been home. That's not because of anything I'm doing. He's home with me and older sibling and I am meant to be working. He's watching a lot of tv and generally just roaming around by himself while I try to work or do school with older one. It's just he's at that age for a language explosion (he's 2 years and 3 months). But keep in mind that what's happening now probably is pretty normal historically speaking. Kids didn't used to be in nursery. They used to be stuck at home while their parents worked whether in the house or on the farm or in a shop. They mostly just roamed around and were kept alive until they were old enough to start working themselves or go to school. If things haven't improved or have gotten worse in a few months, it's something to discuss with the HV. 2 year checks usually happen around 2 years 4 months, so hopefully things will be starting to get back to normal by then.

NeurotrashWarrior Sat 02-May-20 12:01:11

Don't forget they go through phases where they repeat a skill a lot and then abandon it for a while while they work on something else. It may not always be obvious.

My ds is almost 2 and his language has hugely come on in lockdown but there's other things he's stopped doing. He's forgotten how to get out of the climbing frame house for eg. He was dutifully saying please and thank you and is now glossing over that. But has learn a number of new skills. And they do go through clumsy phases as body parts grow or get heavier.

See what he's like in a couple of months; I bet he'll have moved on loads.

I've been using some walks as a training opportunity to teach him when I have to carry him over a road and where he can walk on a pavement, which he's getting, but my eldest was a nightmare so I know they're all different!

UndertheCedartree Sat 02-May-20 12:16:31

Is there a park you could walk to with toddler strapped in buggy and then let them loose for a run around at the park.

MRex Sat 02-May-20 13:21:39

I know from very slightly older toddlers that the health visitors are doing the ages and stages questionnaire by phone (and asking for people to book just a height and weight check once life resumes), so whatever's going on you're likely to still get it around 27 months. Not quite 2 is much less concerning, it might just be that they're learning a different skill at the moment like throwing a ball or riding scooter or whatever, and will go back to learning how to talk again soon. Just keep an eye on it for a bit.

Mummy5hark Sat 02-May-20 16:00:34

2 year old checks are still taking place, it's my DS birthday today and his is taking place over the phone on Monday.

moita Sat 02-May-20 20:00:43

My first thought was glue ear. My daughter suffers with this (2 at the end of the month) and I know it's bad when her balance is off. I definitely get an ear test when you are able to

Cornishmumofone Sat 02-May-20 20:02:37

Do their shoes fit? My toddler started tripping when she had a sudden growth spurt and her shoes were too small.

NeurotrashWarrior Sun 03-May-20 08:53:35

Yes we've just had exactly that. Bought next size up and he's now tripping as he gets used to them!

Isadora2007 Sun 03-May-20 08:56:17

I doubt it’s lockdown as such. Many toddlers have managed to learn to talk walk and develop normally without going to nursery before the age of 3/4 and with their main input as their immediate family.

BrooHaHa Sun 03-May-20 09:06:10

Mine is talking a lot more since lockdown. Not sure if that would've happened anyway though. Try to encourage more speech- if you do what she wants with just 'more' why would she bother saying the rest? I'd reply, 'more what? What do you want more of?'

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