Your Baby's Second Year: What To Expect At Eighteen Months

Your child is growing every single day. When he/she is eighteen months old, what kinds of developments can you expect?

Your once-infant is now a strapping one and a half year old who has gone from lying down all day to crawling to running around the house in the matter of a few months. At one point, she used to be like a little campfire you and your spouse would watch as she smiled in her sleep or reached out to grab your finger tightly. Now, she is starting to strive for independence as she runs around the house like a small tornado leaving a destructive path of toys, crayons and books in her wake. As your child reaches eighteen months old, what new developments can you expect?

As your child spends more time with other children in daycare or at her playgroups, she is slowly beginning to form relationships with the other kids. More than anything, an eighteen month old is simply curious of the other similar-sized beings around her. While some sweet eighteen month-olds have been known to hug other eighteen month-olds, don't be surprised if your child simply tolerates the other children around her. Make no mistake. Your one and a half year old still wants to be the center of attention, so she probably will not have an easy time sharing her toys or having you divide your time between her and another child. However, this time together socializing with other children her own age is very crucial as this will help her to eventually develop those social skills she will utilize later in life.

Because of this socialization, your child's separation anxiety will slowly begin to dissipate. While she used to cry and scream when she saw you leaving her at her babysitter's or at her daycare, now she has grown to understand that you are not leaving her there for good. She has started to realize that you will, indeed, be coming back to pick her up later on the day, so she has started to feel a little more at ease about being left with others. This, of course, refers to children who have begun to stay with other people or regularly socialize with other children. If you have yet to separate from your child for any length of time, she will probably still suffer from separation anxiety.

Be sure to continue reading to your child on a daily basis. She is beginning to add to her vocabulary and string simple words together to form sentences. Now, instead of saying "food" to signify that she is hungry, she may begin to say, "I want food" or "I am hungry," depending on how extensive her vocabulary is. Point things out to her on a daily basis so she can learn new words and concepts. Her mind is like a little sponge ready to be filled with knowledge, so continue to teach her.

As you have probably noticed in the previous months, she frustrates very easily. This will continue in her eighteenth month as she gets frustrated with her toys or with you and your spouse when she is not allowed to have her way. She may continually attempt to test you to see how much she can get away with, so bear this in mind.

It is crucial that you take your eighteen month old to her one and a half year well child visit. During this visit, you can discuss any health or development concerns or questions you may have with your pediatrician. He/she will check your child's height and weight to ensure she is developing correctly. Your pediatrician will also check her heartbeat and inquire as to your child's sleeping and eating habits. In addition, your child will be given any necessary immunizations at this visit.

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