AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 18)
Wise and wacky, your little one is chock-full of surprising quirks and commentary. (Yes, she has been been talking about the solar eclipse since August, thank you very much.) But while this verbosity can be adorable, it can also be…exhausting, and we don’t blame you for tuning her out from time to time. Still, do your best to appreciate her precociousness and, when it comes to discipline, speak logically and with humor, as you would to an older kid or even a peer. And never underestimate the effect of storytelling to get your point across—Aquarius kids love narratives, and will want to get in on the plot development. (P.S. Nothing makes this water sign happier than a long bath or day at the beach.)
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20)
Exceptionally kind and creative, Pisces kids are just as gifted at the art table as they are at making friends. Their rich, dreamy imaginations can bring about some weird fixations (think: hypersensitivity to sounds and textures or a penchant for wearing a particular item of clothing), but this will pass as they get older. In other words, go ahead and indulge it now—even if it means he wears the same Star Wars tee every day for three months. One last word to the wise: Only use screen time as a last resort. Ipads and TV will bring out the lazy side of your little fishie and thwart his innate creativity.
ARIES (MARCH 21 – APRIL 19)
The “spark” of the zodiac, this rambunctious kiddo is up with the sun and, oftentimes (shudders), before it—jumping into mom’s bed, of course. Strong-willed with a serious need for speed, Aries tots are the life of the playground, and making friends tends to be a piece of cake. Your biggest challenge? Dealing with those fiery demands and keeping your policies firm and consistent. (If bedtime is 7 p.m., ya better stick to your guns on that.) Oh, and make sure you childproof your surfaces, mama. This itty-bitty Ping-Pong ball of a human bounces off the walls and coffee tables like no other sign.
TAURUS (APRIL 20 – MAY 20)
Ruled by Venus, this grounded kiddo is a big ball of snuggles, and his love and allegiance for family rears its head at an especially young age. (Hence, the reason he’s often happiest hanging out at home with mom.) Lucky for you, these guys are deeply in tune with their bodies, and don’t hesitate to run to the potty when they have to go or initiate naptime all on their own. A note of caution: While they mean well, the bulls of the zodiac can be, well, bullish when they feel threatened. If hitting/kicking ever becomes an issue, be loving but firm in your reaction—give them a pillow to use as a punching bag.
GEMINI (MAY 21 – JUNE 20)
“Why are you putting on mascara?” “Why do I have to eat broccoli?” “Why don’t dogs have fingers?” “Why” is hands-down this inquisitive air sign’s very favorite word. Help your little detective explore the world around her by indulging her questions and curiosity. Maybe this means reading two (or, OK, six) extra bedtime stories. Maybe it’s giving her leeway when she bounces from activity to activity at daycare. Either way, let her ask questions and answer as many as you can. A word to the wise: This fast learner is a major mimic, so let an S bomb slip at your own risk.
CANCER (JUNE 21 – JULY 22)
As you’ve surely noticed by now, your little Cancer loves playing grown-up, whether that means “cleaning” the kitchen with a diaper wipe or taking Elmo and Mickey on a stroller walk around your backyard. They can’t help it—they’re nurturers by nature. But the flip side of all this emotional connection is that they also have the tendency to attach to mama at the hip, and separation can be tough. Your major challenge? Sleep. Ruled by the moon, these guys can be weary of rest and are susceptible to night terrors. Make their beds and bedrooms extra cozy; crabs need comfy shells to feel safe, after all.
LEO (JULY 23 – AUGUST 22)
Think your Terrible Two-Year-Old throws exceptionally terrible tantrums? Well, that’s because he does. Leos are some of the most outgoing, happy and charming tykes of the zodiac, but their early age dramatics are unparalleled. (Hell hath no fury like a lion who’s been told he can’t have ice cream for breakfast.) Two ways to keep the theatrics at bay? Showering him with healthy praise for good behavior (he’ll respond well to it) and jam-packing his days with activities, so he can fall asleep at night and not be cranky in the morning.
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 22)
Highly particular by nature, your little one loves cleaning up her toys, making her bed and telling you exactly when she’s ready for an afternoon snack. The downside? She’s pretty inflexible when it comes to fluctuations in schedule. (Remember the epic meltdown that time you skipped bath and went straight to teeth-brushing?) Work to teach these routine-cravers adaptability (“At grandma’s house we take naps in a big-girl bed, and without our white noise machine”) while also respecting her need for order. One more note. You’ve got a great little helper on your hands: give her chores young and she’ll do ’em willingly for life.
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 – OCTOBER 21)
You know those kids who are totally terrified of strangers? Not this guy. Sweet, friendly and generally happy as a clam, little Libras are expert friend-makers, and you’re going to have to work overtime to teach them who and what to trust. As the sign of justice, these toddlers have an extra hard time understanding why they can’t do the things they deem “fair” (think watching Moana for the third time in a row or eating an entire bag of M&M’s). When they get irrational, ask them to explain their feelings. Good old-fashioned logic tends to work best—especially when you let them pick a (mutually agreed upon) alternative.
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 22 – NOVEMBER 21)
The token mysterious sign of the zodiac, these little introverts are perfectly happy playing alone, or latching onto one particular friend or family member. As for big overwhelming play dates? We don’t have to tell you how those go over… Clever and introspective, Scorpios tend to be super gifted in the arts—so fill their play areas with instruments, clothes for dress up and art supplies galore. The biggest hurdle for mama? These kids are prone to developing a major “mine!” complex. Work hard to model generosity and praise them heartily when they do let cousin Todd play with their favorite Thomas train
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 21)
The preeminent explorer of the zodiac, this kid freakin’ loves being a kid. Full of energy, Sags are always sneaking into mom’s closet or breaking out of the playground and making a run for it. (How jealous are you of the moms who can look away for one second?) But they also love to make friends and are great at keeping themselves occupied—meaning you just might get some time to yourself if you play your cards right. A mixture of freedom and consistency is extra important for these fun-loving children who, by nature, are not programmed to listen to “no.”
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 – JANUARY 19)
See ya later, Daniel Tiger. These earth babies thrive on—and need—time spent outdoors. Responsible from the get-go, Cap kids love to make people proud (“Mommy, look what I did!”), but they can also fall into some serious moods, get down on themselves for sub-par doodles and become overly fixated on a singular book, song or toy. Show these ambitious tykes that grown-ups act silly and goofy, too, by getting down on the floor and engaging in playtime. If you’re all business, your mini me will only follow suit.