Baby Calendar Month 18| 3, April 2011
Your 18 month old's language skills are likely exploding. You can assist with that by helping stretch those new words into sentences. When your child asks for milk, say "You want more milk?" Also this is a great time to introduce the concept of manners such as saying please and thank you. Praise her when she uses these special words to make sure she's motivated to continue.
Your child loves doing things for himself. Try not to jump in too quickly when he is struggling with a new skill. For instance if he is trying to put on his jacket you can hold open the sleeves but let him figure out how to wiggle his arms through. Next time give him a minute or two to try the whole procedure for himself. It's perfectly OK, even good for your toddler to struggle a bit in learning new things. If you always jump in to help, she won't learn anything except that she needs your help. You want to encourage independence.
Also let your child develop more problem solving skills by supplying your 18 month old with puzzles and sorting toys. You can let your toddler help you sort laundry or even change. Just watch carefully that he doesn't swallow a penny in the process. Toddlers are notorious for this sort of thing!
Well Baby Check
At this month's well check you can expect the typical physical checks on height, weight, and growth patterns. Also, the pediatrician will check your child's vital signs and look at his gait, muscle tone, hearing and sight.
Likely you'll get lots of questions about your child's diet, sleeping patterns and development. Some developmental questions include how many words your child knows, if he responds to his name and other sounds appropriately, if he is able to stack blocks, is walking well, and discipline issues like are you experiencing tantrums or stranger anxiety. Ask away.
You probably are wondering about if your child is getting enough nutrients from her diet, sleeping enough and growing at a normal pace. Don't be afraid to get tips on how to help your child control his temper, getting her to sleep more soundly or if it's time to potty train yet.
Pediatricians don't just deal with the physical concerns of your child but developmental ones as well. In fact the pediatrician is the most likely person to screen and catch any developmental or other issues that may be of concern.
Tips for Mom and Dad
Your little one is a real, full-fledged toddler now halfway between one year and two years old. According to Zero to Three, parents deal with challenging behavior from their toddlers every 3 to 9 minutes. No wonder parenting a toddler can be such a frazzling experience! Part of the frustration at this age is actually a positive thing.
Your child is having such an explosion of learning that it can be difficult to stay on an even keel. He is developing so much more control of his world and an increasing understanding of it that when things don't quite go his way or he can't do something by himself he is frustrated. Also, he is sort of between baby and child and there are times when he'd just rather run to you and be comforted too. All this back and forth, running away and challenging, running to you and clinging can be confusing for both parent and child. Just aim for a balance in your little one's life. Make sure she has a balance of active and quiet play in her day.
Give her a balanced diet, knowing of course she may only eat peas for a week then yogurt the next. Make sure she's rested, but expect that morning nap to go by the wayside anytime now. Let her explore but expect her to check in frequently with you for reassurance too, especially in new situations or around new people. Monitor your child for signs of fatigue, hunger or bored and act appropriately and you'll head off many a temper tantrum. Beyond that, remain consistent in your rules and expectations and the consequences for infractions. Be firm but fair and keep your own emotions in check.
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