It is probably hard for you to believe that your baby is already halfway through their second year! Toddler time really does pass by quickly, since you guys are likely on the move and having nonstop adventures. This month, you can expect several more steps toward independence for your little one. Look out for a huge language explosion during the time, and get ready for the toddler conversations to really start flowing!

At eighteen months of age, your baby may…

Hop like a bunny. Well, probably not with the grace and skill of a bunny just yet, but it will happen soon enough! If your toddler has been walking and running for a few months, around this time he may take his first few timid jumps. He may look a little clumsy and not land on his feet each time, and it’s likely that he won’t understand jumping with both feet until he is a few months older. But this new skill opens up an entire world of possibility when it comes to outdoor play!

Brush their teeth. Although she will probably still need help, and definitely adult supervision, your little one can probably brush her own teeth at eighteen months old. By allowing her to control the tooth brushing experience, there is a better chance that she will enjoy the daily ritual and not let it become a power struggle. 

Play with other children. Until this time, it is highly likely that your child only engaged in parallel play, sitting alongside other children but not completely engaging. Around eighteen months old, toddlers will begin to play with other children in a more interactive way. They may hand each other toys or pass a ball back and forth. Don’t worry if your child does not yet engage with other toddlers! This milestone sometimes doesn’t develop for another year or more. 

Have 5-15 words. About halfway through their second year, your child will possibly have a language explosion. Up until this age, your toddler probably had about 5-15 words in his regular rotation. When this explosion of language hits, he may learn up to ten new words each day. 

Show interest in potty training. Even if you haven’t been working on potty use just yet, your child might start to show interest in training. If he commonly sees others in the bathroom, it is only natural that he will want to try too! If your child is showing a real interest in potty training, now is a great time to foster that excitement and get started!

 

Begin to recognize similarities and differences. Before now, your child might have had one word for all animals… anything with fur or feathers was probably a cat or dog. But suddenly, she is starting to understand that there are differences and similarities between creatures and objects. Different people, places, and things will begin to have unique names, and sometimes the unconventional results are quite amusing.

Reject certain textures. Textures have likely been something your child has explored for quite some time. However, now that he is letting his personal preferences be known, he might start to reject certain feelings or temperatures. Toddlers often refuse to walk on grass, sand, or rocks, even if these textures didn’t bother them at all previously! It is just another part of letting their own opinions be known.

Put two words together. Since your child is now one and a half years old, she might start putting two words together to form simple sentences. You will likely hear phrases like “red ball,” or “big cat,” as your child describes exactly what she is seeing all around her. You can encourage her newest language skills by repeating back what she says, so she gets a verbal confirmation that she is being understood!

Look like a little kid. At just about 18 months in, your child will really start to look less like a baby, and more like a kid. In the past few months they have probably gained a few inches in height, and a few pounds in weight, but their head size has stayed just about the same. Their body proportions are now much more like that of a child than an infant, and they are really growing into their looks!

As you begin to really be able to communicate verbally with your toddler, you are likely going to have some silly conversations. Trying to figure out exactly what they are saying can also cause a few mishaps! Try not to correct any mistakes they make, but instead encourage them by asking more questions when they are trying to interact with you. Now would be a great time to grab a small notebook and keep it handy for writing down the hilarious things your child will soon be coming up with! 

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