MY 18 MONTH VISIT
What I can do now
- I can point to one or more parts of my body when you call them out.
- I can understand simple things you tell me to do.
- I can walk well, stop and get up again, and climb stairs and run slowly.
- I can stack 3-4 blocks.
- I can feed myself with my fingers.
- I can use a spoon and a cup.
- I like to look at pictures and name the things I see.
- I can throw a ball.
- I can imitate strokes with a crayon and scribble away.
- I may be exploring my genitalia.
Help me learn what to eat
- Let me eat with my family as often as possible.
- Make my mealtimes pleasant with small talk at the table. Be sure to talk to me too.
- Give me 2 or 3 healthy snacks between meals, but avoid using them as a reward.
- Avoid giving me extra salt and sugar in my food.
- I like to touch, feel, and taste my foods so that I may be messy.
- Do not give me cookies or sweets when I have not eaten well that day.
- Please do not force me to eat. Sometimes I want more, sometimes less.
- Do not give me peanuts, popcorn, hard candy, gum, chunks of meat, raw vegetables, grapes, hot dogs, or anything else that could lodge in my throat and choke me.
Protect my teeth
- Please do not put me to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. Do not allow me to carry around a bottle or sippy cup with fluids other than water. These practices will harm my teeth
- Please brush my teeth with a soft toothbrush and a little dot of toothpaste with fluoride every day. I will do it myself when I get older.
Concerns for Mom and Dad
- Start or keep up my bedtime ritual. Do not let me watch TV just before bedtime. It stimulates me, and I may not be able to sleep.
- Quiet time or a story before bed will help me wind down.
- I may have occasional nightmares or night terrors. Reassure me and put me back to bed.
- Please do not start to toilet train me yet. It will frustrate us all!
- I will let you know when I am ready to potty train when I am between 2 and three years old.
- When I am ready, I will be able to hold my urine for at least two 2 hours, pull my pants up and down, know when I am wet and dry, signal to you when I need to go and can follow simple directions. I should want to learn before starting to train.
- Consider getting me a potty to sit on with my diaper on.
- Please use discipline to teach me and keep me safe. Be positive and praise me often. Redirecting and keeping me out of tempting situations are still the best strategies.
- Praise me when I do something you want me to do again or accomplish a new task.
- Let me make choices when possible.
- Ignore undesirable or negative behavior that does not hurt others.
- When I need limits set, offer alternative activities, gently restrain me, or separate me from the object until I am calm.
Help me learn and play
- Encourage me to play. Spend some time playing with me every day. Listen to me.
- Limit television. Do not substitute TV for human contact.
- Do not expect me to share my toys yet.
- Help me to express my anger, joy, sadness, fear, and frustration.
- Read to me every day. Sing with me. Talk to me. Tell me about the items you put into the cart at the store.
- Teach me the names of my body parts, including reproductive organs.
- I enjoy toys and games that allow me to throw, kick, dance, hide and be found. I also like to imitate you doing tasks.
- Consider a parent-toddler playgroup.
- Continue having me play with blocks and using large crayons.
- Take me to the playground, but watch me carefully at all times.
- Show affection for other members of the family so they do not feel jealous.
- Spend some time with each member of the family.
- Please do not leave me alone with other children less than 12 years old.
- You need some adult time without me. That will help you to relax around me.
- Help me settle fights with siblings without taking sides.
Keep me safe
- Never leave me without adult supervision in the bathtub or around a toilet, a mop bucket, or a pool.
- Protect me from burns by setting the water heater to no more than 120° F, and keeping me away from hot stoves, fireplaces, iron, curling irons, and heaters. Also keep matches, lighters, and cigarettes out of my reach.
- Protect my skin from sunburn with sunscreen. Choose a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours.
- Choose my babysitters and day care carefully. Never give them permission to hit me.
- Teach me to be careful around dogs and other animals that might bite.
- Please do not smoke around me or inside the house or car.
- Hold me or have a hand on me when I am in the pool. Don’t trust floaties to keep me safe. Always be sure everyone in a boat has a life vest on, including me.
- Never swing me by my arms. It can dislocate my elbows.
Before my 24 month visit I may...
- Go up and down stairs one foot at a time.
- Follow simple directions and be able to follow two-step commands.
- Use 2-word phrases. Imitate adults in everyday activities.
- Kick a ball.
- Speak at least 20 words.