Your baby is now a toddler! How quickly time flies! Over the course of the next 6 months, your toddler will gain even more independence. They will further test their boundaries, and assert themselves throughout the house.
Developmental Milestones of your 18 Month to 2-Year-Old:
- They may begin to use 2-word phrases.
- Their gross-motor skills will significantly improve. For example: they can walk more steadily, they can kick a ball, they squat when playing with their toys.
- They can feed themselves using a spoon, or fork.
- They will attempt to dress themselves independently.
- They can eat a variety of foods with varying consistencies and textures.
- They have stopped putting things in their mouth as a means of exploration and sensory seeking.
- They “read” books on their own. While they cannot read the words, they sit down and flip through the pages pretending to read the words.
- Can identify loved ones in pictures.
- They may start to develop “stranger danger.” Your child may become wary of new people.
It is important to note that toddlers develop on their own timeline. If you are not seeing any regression in their development, your child is most likely developing just fine. Any concerns or questions should be brought up to their pediatrician.
Activities for your Toddler
- Sensory activities: As your toddler becomes steadier on their feet, sensory activities can involve them walking on a variety of textures. Let them walk outside without shoes, or create different sensory boxes that they can step inside of. You can use water beads, sand, or cooked macaroni noodles. Be as creative as you want!
- Play: By now, your child will be interested in playing with other children. However, they may still be in the stage of not wanting to share. This is a great time to help them learn to play nicely with their peers. Eventually they will begin parallel play. Parallel play is where your child begins to play alongside another child, but they are not playing together.
- Reading: As mentioned above, toddlers will begin to “read” on their own. They will hold a book (sometimes upside down) and pretend to read the pages. They will imitate the inflection that you use to read to them. They may even try to read a book to you.
- Gross motor and fine motor activities: Toddlers will start attempting to ride tricycles. Depending upon how much practice they have had, they may be able to successful peddle and steer the tricycle. They will also become good at kicking a ball, and jumping. Again, it is important to understand that they will develop this skill on their own timeline.
As your toddler develops, they may begin to have more temper tantrums. Understand that their frustration is not any indication of poor parenting skills, it just comes with the territory. Often their desires are too advanced for their actual physical capabilities, so they will become frustrated. Often, they are unable to communicate their frustrations verbally, so they kick, cry, and hit to communicate. Help them label their feelings, and work through their frustrations. It will help to reduce these bursts of big emotions. Most importantly, stay calm and understand that you are doing a great job of guiding their growth and development.