MONTH 13 - MONTH 15
keep in mind that all babies are unique. Whether your baby
reaches milestones early or late, he has her own developmental
path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are
very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your
baby’s development, please check with her health care provider.
babies are walking around this time -- or rather toddling.
If your baby is on the cusp of walking or still prefers cruising
around furniture, please be patient. As humans, we are programmed
to be upright creatures. Your child will let go and take those
first precious steps before you can say, "someone get the
children do not walk until 18 months or even later. This is
a time when it is especially important to respect baby's unique
development. If you have concerns, check with your child's
health care provider who can do an assessment of your child's
developing motor skills. Again, our advice is to enjoy this
time. It won't be long before you will be running after your
little moving target.
to keep toddlers occupied is to give them an irresistible
pull toy to help them practice their new walking skills. When
she can really move well, she'll love carting around her dolly
or favorite stuffed animal.
Body and Eating Habits
child is becoming more active and rapidly developing amazing
gross motor skills, you may notice a change in her body. She
may lose some of that scrumptious baby fat on her legs and
arms. She may also seem less interested in eating at times,
while ravenous at others. When you take your child in for
an exam, chances are you will notice that she is gaining weight
at a much slower rate. Pretty soon, she'll no longer look
like the pudgy baby you love to cuddle. But she still loves
your hugs during downtime and while she is refueling.
your toddler is interested in eating, try offering her a spoon.
This is a wonderful exercise in fine motor and self-help skills.
There are also some safe, toddler-friendly forks on the market
so your toddler can stab her broccoli or meatballs before
devouring them. If she tosses the spoon or fork over the side,
take a deep breath, and remember this is very developmentally
appropriate for this age. She may have wanted to find out
what would happen if she threw the spoon, or she may have
been frustrated and decided to use her trusty fingers as her
utensils. Messiness at eating is very common at this age.
Stock up on large bibs and splat mats that go under baby's
chair to keep the mess contained. And if you eat out, you
may want to skip white tablecloth restaurants during this
stage in development.
toddlers have a few words in their vocabulary by now, but
again, there is enormous range for language development. Often,
the first words (outside of mama and dada) are related to
their interests -- truck, car, book, duck, doggie, etc. It
is very important to repeat these words back to your child.
Besides helping her master how to say the word, it is validating
and gives her a sense of pride and accomplishment. Besides,
it is so darn cute hearing toddlers speak.
are still one of the best ways to support language development.
Again, pick out books based on your child's interest. You
may learn more than you ever thought you would know about
vehicles used in construction or all the exotic animals in
a zoo. Children are sponges for this knowledge and enjoy practicing
to say new words. She may ask you to read the same book over
and over -- until all of you know it by heart.
of how many words you child has under her belt, she has amazing
receptive language abilities. One fun activity for her right
now is to be your little helper for tasks she can easily manage.
If she wants you to read her a book, ask her to go pick it
out and bring it to you. Or if your hands are full and you
drop something (that is easy to hold, like a sock), ask her
if she can pick it up. She will have an enormous sense of
accomplishment when she sees you smile and say "thank you'"
for helping her. This is wonderful for laying the foundation
for positive self-esteem and self-concept -- ideas of the
self that are shaped from early experiences with important
people, like parents.
of Self and Others
the end of these three months, your toddler will be able to
recognize herself and others in photos or when she gazes at
her lovely image in a mirror. Photos are a wonderful way to
help your toddler understand about her family, friends, and
herself as a separate individual. Children love looking at
pictures through photo albums that protect pictures from bending.
are a wonderful way to help children in childcare and separated
from mom or dad feel closer to their parents. It is especially
supportive if they can hold the photos in their own hands.
Childcare providers can talk about who is in the photo and
remind the child that Mommy or Daddy always comes back. Often
toddler programs and preschools encourage parents to keep
photos of family members and other loved ones (let's not forget
the family dog or cat) in the child's cubby.
parents are often surprised to hear this word from their child
as early as 13 to 15 months. They may ask themselves, "Isn't
this a two-year-old's word?" But just as your toddler is mastering
the concept of herself as an autonomous individual, she is
figuring out the tools to assert her independence. She may
say "no" to almost every question that you ask her. This too
of asking a yes/no question, you may want to give her choices.
For example, "Rahul, do you want to drink juice or water with
your snack?" Also, let your child feel in control of whatever
it is you need her to get done. "Rahul, please pick out some
socks to wear today." Okay, she may pick out purple socks
to go with the green and yellow outfit, but at least she is
wearing socks. And she felt that she was in control of this
task. As parents, we have to pick our battles. But be clear
and don't offer choices when there really aren't any.
we can model with our own responses to her. It can be very
difficult to refrain from saying "No" to children, especially
when they are doing something that really pushes our buttons.
If possible, think of other ways to redirect the behavior.
"Rahul, balls are for throwing outside. You can roll the ball
inside." Obviously, if a child is doing something that is
not safe, it is important to communicate quickly to stop the
behavior. This may be the time for a stern, "No."
molars, which can make their appearance anytime now or as
late as nineteen months, are often the source of discomfort
for your toddler and a few sleepless nights for both of you.
These are the large teeth located on the top and bottom that
have double edges. You probably already know from previous
bouts of teething how specifically to support your toddler
during her discomfort. Some parents recommend rubbing the
gums with their fingers to relieve the pressure or offering
a cold teething ring (frozen mini bagels work well too) or
teething biscuit. If these techniques do not work, consult
with your child's health care provider on other ways to support
a teething child, including over-the-counter pain remedies.