Your baby isn’t really a baby anymore ? you have a fully-fledged toddler and your days are probably taken up with trying to keep up with their boundless energy and changing notions! It is an exciting time and so much is happening in all areas of your child’s development.
Your little one will have moved on from those wobbly first steps and dangerous-looking runs to be confident and daring on their feet. Stairs and steps are no longer an issue (although you should still use stair gates and supervise especially when your child is going down a flight of steps) and may now be able to jump, walk backwards and creep along on their tiptoes.
Toilet training is probably on your mind, and is likely to be on theirs too so keep an eye out for signs your child is ready to potty train and get started as soon as your child appears ready. Signs include your child being aware that they are wet or dirty, showing interest in the potty or toilet and talking about all things toilet related (it can become quite an obsession at this stage!).
Dexterity will be developing all the time, and by now your little artist can most likely hold a pencil correctly, can stack blocks to around 8 high and can feed themselves with much less mess using a fork and spoon. They will also now be able to use a glass with one hand, drinking confidently. New skills when it comes to personal care will be developing too ? you may find that your child is making very good attempts to dress and undress themselves.
Your child will be talking in sentences now, using familiar phrases often and putting words together to create their own sentences of 3-5 words. The vocabulary is constantly expanding with new words almost daily ? it helps that they love to imitate your own speech and that of others. Questions may be very common, including the dreaded ?WHY?? which may follow your every statement and cause your little rascal much hilarity!
Social & Emotional Development
Your child will still be learning how to cope with emotions and may find it difficult (or impossible) to wait for things, share belongings or co-operate during play when taking turns. These things will be improving all the time with practice so be patient. Your child will also be keen to play with others so they will get lots of practice in interacting and dealing with feelings and emotions, both of them-selves and others. Your child will be aware of the fact that they are a boy or girl and will be keen to establish their own role in the family by taking on little chores such tidying up toys.
As your toddler asserts their independence, there is bound to be friction. Try to view any tantrums or upsets as signs your little one is growing up and reassure yourself that it is normal to encounter a certain amount of resistance from your little one as they develop their own unique personality.
The HSE have more information on their ‘Caring for your Baby and Child’ page