Eighteen months. Halfway between one and two. It’s crazy how fast time flies. I have been reflecting this month on how much fun this age is. With new-found independence, being out and about is much easier (or maybe I’m finally getting used to it). Maybe this is just me but I feel like 18 months is a huge milestone for being out and doing the things you used to do, pre-baby.
What to Expect:
- Sleep. Toddlers still need 12-14 hours a day of sleep. Most 18 month olds are down to one nap a day in the afternoon. For us it can range from 1½-3 hour nap. Your 18 month old may have found a special stuffed animal or blanket by this age. For us it’s currently baby Minnie in honor of my husband’s Grandma Jean. Every time she loves on her Minnie we remember her ♥.
- Nutrition. Three meals a day. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. And healthy snacks in between. If you are a family on the go I HIGHLY recommend these snack cups. Best five dollars ever spent, some days we use both! No spills. No mess. Kids love them! The use of plates and utensils (forks and spoons) are so fun! And they CAN do it! Practice. Practice. If you are looking for a great set of utensils check these out from Amazing Child Montessori.
- By 18 months toddlers should be done with the bottle (hopefully earlier)! Practicing with an open cup when possible is important. When using sippy cups too long it can change positioning of tongue and teeth. Straw cups work better for dental health and may help with beginning speech. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting an open cup at 12 months. Open cups are great at meals while sitting, and straw cups may be great when you are out and about.
- Between 16-20 oz of whole milk a day. This is about 2-2 1/2 cups of milk. Whole milk has the dietary fats for growth and brain development. This is what is recommended, however if your child eats a lot of cheese, yogurt, other dairy products they may not need a full 2 cups of milk.
- Offer water in open cup or straw cup if possible throughout the day.
***Keep in mind each child develops at their own pace and is on their own journey!***
12 words or more! I’d say we are currently at 50 words/sounds with my daughter. Typically females excel in this area more quickly than boys. Boy mommas’ don’t be discouraged!
Sentences. It may be babble, babble, babble then one recognizable word. And that’s okay. It is amazing to see language develop into sentences!
Joining in on conversations. My favorite is when we have guests over and we all are laughing. As soon as everyone is done laughing my toddler begins laughing as to “join the group”. It’s adorable.
Model the correct words for your child! Instead of correcting them simply say the word with the correct pronunciation. Remember they are still practicing! Side note: If you are a fast talker, slow down when talking with your toddler. As a previous 3’s teacher I have had many kids come into preschool with speech issues because their parents talk so quickly the words blend together. This can be very difficult for a child beginning to communicate.
Music and songs. Repeating songs over and over again can expand your child’s language skills. Sing them at home in the car, watch and listen to them on YouTube or Pandora. Sing them before bed.
Likes to hand objects to others as play.
Points or grunts to show you what they want.
Shows affection. Responds to others feelings (showing empathy).
Helps you put on clothing (pushes arm through, tries to put on pants).
Parallel play. Has friends, but play next to each other rather than with each other.
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving):
Follows one-step instructions.
Plays pretend! Probably the most popular is “hello” and using anything and everything as a phone.
Can point to some body parts.
Knows what objects are used for. Ex. remote control, phone, spoon, etc.
Reads books with others or on own.
Physical (Gross and Fine Motor):
Walking on own and maybe even begins to run!
Attempts to jump.
Walks up/down stairs holding your hand.
Holds writing and eating utensils.
Can grasp small finger foods.
Yes, you can begin talking and sharing your family’s beliefs now! We read bible and Jesus story books, sing songs, and pray with our toddler daily.
Songs. One of our favorite songs is by Jesus in Jeans:
“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Jesus made you as you are
Great big plans He has for you
if to Him you will be true.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Jesus made you as you are.”
Pray. Pray before meals, at bedtime, when they get hurt, when they are joyful! Teach them how to pray by modeling prayer without ceasing.
18 Month Old Schedule:
7:30 Wake up
9:00 Independent Play, reading, art.
10:00 Healthy snack
12:30 Nap (1½-3 hours)
3:30 Healthy snack
7:00 Bath/Bedtime Routine
Comment below what works for you at 18 months!