Toddler Development – Month 18 – What’s Happening This Month?

Thursday August 16, 2018


Reading Time:
3 minutes

Absorbing everything like a sponge!

Wow! Your toddler is eighteen months old already and hasn’t the time raced by! Looking at them now, their physical changes are amazing especially as they are now losing their baby looks. They are becoming such an individual character especially as they are now starting to laugh spontaneously and to mimic the ways you say things – even if it is an amusing stream of babble with real words tossed in! Many toddlers of this age have a vocabulary of about 20 words and will now start to refer to themselves by name – or a variation on it!

One of the new words in their ever-increasing vocabulary will be ‘why’ because they are so keen to learn about everything and they absorb ideas, facts and information like sponges! Keep your answers short and easy to understand and you will be surprised and delighted by how much they retain. My son loved the question ‘why?’ so much that my father used to limit him to ‘ten whys a day’ which was a fun way for him to learn how to count too!

Toddlers of 18 months can usually walk well and are starting to run but inevitably there are plenty of tumbles too and ‘magic kisses’ on the injured knee are a fun way to finish the First Aid treatment. They are able to climb on and off chairs too and will eagerly scramble up to enjoy a book with you – especially as they can now turn the pages well. Despite all their confidence, it is not unusual for them to suffer from ‘separation anxiety’. Always let them know when you are leaving and give them a hug and a kiss telling them how special they are and tell them how long you are going to be away too. There will be tears each time, but eventually, they will understand that what you are saying is true and that you are not leaving forever! It is not unusual for them to be agitated by sudden loud noises such as vacuum cleaners or food processors, so it is a good idea for you to tell them when you are about to switch them on and give them their favorite toy to cuddle to make things easier.

Whilst crayoning and building towers will still be popular, you can introduce their first simple wooden jigsaw puzzles which you can enjoy doing together. Another interesting new word will appear around now – ‘my’ and this will indicate ownership of all your toddler’s favorite foods and toys! When it comes to getting dressed, your toddler will be taking a great interest in helping to put their clothes on or to take them off and many get so good at this that there will be regular impromptu stripteases! It is fun to create a dressing up box for them with hats, gloves, shawls etc. It is good for your toddler to meet other children at this stage, but don’t worry about them being lonely because, in reality, two toddlers in the same room will always play independently – children do not usually play together until they are about three years old.

Interestingly, it is about this age that your child will understand when they are doing a pee or a poo. Some children hide when they recognize the sensation and others will tug at their soiled nappy. Whilst some toddlers are ready to be potty trained at 18 months it is unusual and on the whole, boys are about three months behind girls. The important point to make is that each child is individual and potty training should be relaxed and stress-free- and when they are ready. It doesn’t matter if you are a little late in training them and your toddler is more than ready because it means that it will all be accomplished more swiftly and with fewer puddles!

As another happy day with your toddler draws to a close, don’t forget that by now they will spot it if you try to turn over more than one page at a time! As you give them a kiss goodnight…you will be rewarded with a really affectionate kiss back.

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Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen is an established writer from the UK. She now lives in the south west of France. She has three children and four grandchildren. She has worked with children much of her life as a Guider, Playgroup Leader and House Mother for an international boarding school. When she is not writing she can be found gardening, cooking or trying to improve her French.

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