Now that the birthday celebrations are over, your little one isn’t so little anymore. It’s hard to believe that just a moment ago they could barely stand. There is still so much more to learn…
Motor skills - your children will begin to crawl, sit and even stand on their own. Now, it’s time to take things up a step - they will start standing without using furniture or your assistance. Later on, they will also begin taking their first steps independently.
At this stage, they will move back and forth between growing independent to hold onto you - their parents. They are standing and walking independently (even if they are using furniture to do so) but they still don’t want to get too far away from you and always come back to seek reassurance.
Language - Your child’s vocabulary will gradually develop. Now they should be saying 2-3 words and learn new words every day. They will make many sounds that maybe only you can understand. Give them time to pronounce the words and encourage them to pronounce words correctly. The more time you spend on reading books together, the more words they will learn and soon they might be able to put a few words together to make a short sentence. Teach them the names of different body parts and objects, and practice together while playing. With time you will find yourself using less “baby talk” and having more of an adult conversation with your children so they can learn the correct way to speak. In addition, they will learn simple verbal instructions such as take, give and bring, and they can practice in every daily activity. Even though they already learned so much, they still can’t pronounce many things they want to say, so be sensitive to other ways they use to show you what they want. For example, by pointing to a bottle they might be telling you they want to drink or lifting their hands up for you to pick them up.
Cognitive - it’s time to expose your children to a variety of games at different levels. They can choose which ones challenge them. Remember that a big part of the learning process is done through imitation. In the upcoming months, they will start mimicking activities they see - combing hair, “speaking” into the phone etc.
Playtime! Many skills are acquired at this age through social games. Vocabulary will grow by learning the names of different objects around the house and names of body parts, and also by reading and being exposed to new and challenging games. Make time for family games. Make sure they make eye contact during this time and try to challenge them so that they don’t get bored.
Your child is unique and special. He will learn and develop at his own pace so if he's a little quick or still isn't doing everything written above - don’t worry!
You should see a pediatrician if your child is already 18 months old and still hasn’t achieved the following milestones :
Walks while using surrounding objects
Says 2-3 words
Knows at least one body part
Points at known objects when asked
Shows what he wants using words or gestures
Makes eye contact while playing
Last updated: May 2017
Authors - Tamar Sudry BA MED, Dr. Yair Sadaka MD Ph.D., pediatrician, Pediatric neurologist
The Israeli ministry of health