Your Baby and Your Gear at Eighteen Months
How your baby is developing: Your toddler's ability to communicate needs and wants is rapidly improving. They will still have meltdowns when they can't express something or feel you don't understand them, but the message is getting clearer and clearer everyday.
You may notice your toddler becoming increasingly uncomfortable when they do their business in their diaper. They will start letting you know when they are wet or poopy and ask to be changed. Although they are beginning to communicate when they have already filled their diaper, they are still a little too young to actively potty train. Most toddlers are not ready to start potty training until closer to two years; many toddlers aren't ready until closer to two and a half.
Your toddler's manual dexterity is improving as they become more curious and seek to figure out how things fit together. Instead of just emptying the contents of your cupboard onto the floor and leaving them, your toddler will attempt to fit them back into the cupboard.
Most toddlers are too busy moving to sit still and solve simple puzzles. Their idea of solving puzzles involves exploration and creation. Sitting down and piling blocks on top of one another, pushing buttons on telephones, VCRs, televisions, microwaves, and turning door knobs, locks, and faucets are the big excitement this month.
Simple puzzles are also a big hit this month as your toddler tries to master fitting small items into small spaces. Nesting cups and shape sorters are always fun, but simple wooden puzzles with large pieces will challenge and interest your toddler more. Anything they can put together, and then take apart will amuse and entertain upwards to an hour.
The improvement in dexterity this month means your toddler will be able to drink from a cup without spilling and self-feed using a spoon without missing their mouth.
Language acquisition and understanding is improving as well. Your toddler will join in when you sing and maybe sing to you without prompting. They are beginning to understand the meaning of the word "now" and "stop" as well, and will come or stop what they are doing more and more by the end of the month.
Fun games and activities to play: The interest in simple puzzles shows your toddler's dexterity and ability to understand complex processes are improving. Encourage your toddler's interest in puzzles using the following activities.
- Give your toddler a thick piece of cord and an assortment of large wooden beads to thread onto the cord. Make sure the holes in the beads are large enough to offer a challenge, but not too small to be frustrating.
- Make muffins and let your toddler help spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
- Sit down with some paper and washable markers or crayons. Make a line or circle on the paper and encourage your toddler to trace or copy the shape you drew.
- Designate a floor level drawer or a cupboard for your toddler. Fill it with plastic bowls, wooden spoons, a dustpan and broom, measuring cups, and other household items. Let your toddler know this is their drawer or cupboard to play in when you are both in the kitchen and watch what they do.
Your toddler enjoys using their hands. Encourage their dexterity by keeping simple puzzles and stimulating baby products accessible.Baby Care
- A light sweater with big buttons that your toddler will want to button and unbutton repeatedly. Make sure the buttons are very well attached so your toddler can't pull them off.
- A baby jacket with zippers that your toddler can unzip and zip up (after you've threaded the zipper for them).
- Activity mats or soft activity cards that offer areas to zip zippers, lift flaps, remove items from pockets and unbutton buttons offer age appropriate tasks that will challenge your toddler.
- A large format train set with cars that connect easily with a simple track so your toddler can easily keep the train moving.
- A toddler sized chair will make your toddler feel important and special.
Help your toddler work on their grasp-hold-drop skills with toddler products for your nineteen month old.