Your tiny tot is always on the go, running, dancing, climbing. His/her energy levels are up, up, up! Your busy 1 year 7 months old toddler wants to be everywhere, go everywhere, see everything. Cabinets are opened, laundry baskets overturned, and you see that adorable smile peek out from under the sheets. Other than creating cute chaos, what other developments and milestones should you expect to see from your toddler this month?
19 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?
This is a great time to explore the outdoors, go to the park and meet friends at the playground. Your child can run around, throw a ball and practice catching. At this point, he/she is still much better at throwing than catching! Swings are another toddler favourite, but teach your child to be careful when approaching someone in mid-swing.
At this point, your 1 year 7 months old toddler may have developed an interest in brushing his/her own teeth. This is fine, as long as you do a second brush afterwards.
At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows:
– Length: 83.3 cm (32.8 inches)
– Weight: 11.2 kg (24.6 lb)
– Length: 81.7 cm (32.2 inches)
– Weight: 10.8 kg (23.9 lb)
And your child’s head circumference* should be:
- Boys: 47.5 cm (18.7 inches)
- Girls: 46.4 cm (18.3 inches)
- Toddlers’ fine and gross motor skills can be enhanced with ease around this month. Give them objects to play with of different weight and sizes. Your toddler will love to pick up, throw and drop things. These actions will help him/her understand weight and size concepts and develop his/her grip.
- All of this action means your 1 year 7 months old tiny tot needs a fair amount of sleep. Usually, toddlers at this age sleep 12 to 14 hours, including one nap at midday. Each child is different, so don’t worry if your tiny tot is a sleepyhead or a night owl.
- In fact, for some toddlers, their daytime activities creep into their dreams. You might find your little one wandering around at night! Gently bring him/her back to bed and let his/her body get the rest it needs. Night wakings are not unusual at this age.
- Toddler development at 1 year 7 months goes by so quickly. It is important to update your child safety measures around the home and garden every two months.
- Though it might be too early for him/her to potty train, he/she might be able to alert you when he/she wants to pee or poo. Best to tell your tot to inform you before doing so.
- Your child will love gnawing into toys and anything he/she can get his/her hands on. It’s best to regularly keep the toys and other furniture and floor as clean as possible to avoid an upset tummy.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child,
- Snores! Yes, some toddlers snore quite loudly. Generally, this is harmless, but if you are worried, check with your paediatrician.
Brain development has been rapid in such a short time, and now your 1 year 7 months old toddler knows so much more than he/she did a few months ago. For example, he/she knows the different body parts, and can point at them when you name them.
Your little one better understands the role of various household objects, showing how his/her comprehension levels have improved. Notice how your toddler knows how to use utensils? He/she knows a spoon is for feeding, and a bottle for drinking.
Your toddler may also pretend that the remote control is a phone (or the phone a remote control!), indicating the beginning of a wonderful imagination. He/she also loves to imitate the things you do, such as brushing a doll’s hair, or feeding the teddy bear.
Memory skills have also developed and your little one will recognise favourite faces, as well as characters from books. Mums and dads, remember that at this age, cognitive development is best boosted through plenty of face-to-face interaction rather than digital or other screens.
- Try singing songs such as “Daddy Finger” or “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, but go slowly, especially in the beginning. It might take your child a moment or two to catch up!
- By now, your little one should be able to respond to short verbal commands, such as a request to sit down. He/she might not stay seated for long though, as toddlers live in the moment. “Now I’m sitting, now I’m not!”
- Get your toddler big blocks or puzzles. Building towers and putting puzzles together is wonderful for cognitive skills development.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child,
- Does not react to what you say.
- Cannot pile a couple of blocks on top of each other.
Social and Emotional Development
There is a whole lot of loving going on in your toddler’s life! Your little one adores hugs and kisses, though he/she might squirm if the cuddles go on for too long. He/she prefers many short hugs to long cuddles.
And while your toddler is perfectly at ease with you or other loved caregivers showering him/her with kisses and cuddles, your child might not feel the same way about others wanting to do the same – and this is perfectly fine. If your child is going through a “don’t touch me” phase with others, you could try telling them gently about it.
Your little one enjoys playing with peers, although his/her patience might run out quite fast when in a room with other toddlers! Don’t be surprised if a friendly play session ends in tears! Some toddlers this age would rather play alongside other kids (parallel play), rather than with them. This is fine, too.
- Common recommendations are to read to your toddler for twenty minutes a day, but that can be hard with such an active little child. It’s fine to break this up into several short bursts. This gives you a chance of multiple cuddles as well. Don’t force your child to sit down if he/she doesn’t feel like it.
- At 1 year 7 months old, your little one might still prefer to interact with adults. He/she may be showing the first signs of social awareness though, sometimes handing over a toy or an item to another child.
- It’s never too early to start teaching your child manners. Say “please” and “thank you” in your interactions with others and with your child, and soon you’ll see your little one emulating you.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child,
- Dislike social interaction of any kind, including with you.
Speech and Language Development
Most toddlers learn to speak between the ages of eight and 24 months – it’s quite a range! So don’t worry if your little one is not yet talking like a pro. Speech delays are very common. In fact, they are the most common type of developmental delay. But as always, if you are worried, do consult a specialist or paediatrician.
Having said this, in general, little ones this age can manage a few words, like “mum”, “dad” and “hi”. Your child can also understand far more than he/she can articulate, which is why it’s so important to keep speaking to your little one, even if he/she replies you mostly in toddler-talk.
- If your child is learning more languages, such as English and Mandarin or Malay or Tamil, word acquisition will be spread out over these languages. Your little one might begin the sentence in one language and end with another. This is fine. By school age, he/she will have picked up on the differences and will know how to keep the languages separate.
- In the meantime, you are your toddler’s most important teacher, so use words when you communicate with him/her. You could point out what you see on a walk outside, or describe a picture in a book.
- If your child still uses a dummy, make sure you slowly wean him/her from it. Prolonged use of a dummy may cause speech delays and dental issues.
Health and Nutrition
Your child needs four small meals per day (¾ to full cup/bowl, each meal) and one to two snacks if needed.
Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 916.8 Kcal/day
- Girls: 881.2 Kcal/day
To meet their daily nutrition needs, your child’s diet should be composed of the following:
Introduce your tot to sources of protein such as poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds, eggs, and tofu. Your little one needs around 20 grams of protein every day. This is equal to a piece of chicken, turkey or fish the size of your palm, or a piece of red meat or pork the size of an older child’s palm, or four to five tablespoons of dry beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas, or one egg.
Providing a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, fruits form an essential part of a balanced diet. Your child needs about three cups (100g/cup) of fruits every day. Avocado, apple, pear, banana, berries are all great and delicious options. Cut the fruit up into manageable chunks before giving them to your child.
At this stage, your child requires 1.5 cups (25g each) of vegetables every day. As with fruits, aim to provide a wide range of vegetables, including leafy greens (like spinach, kale and bok choy), starchy tubers (such as sweet potato), pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
Grains provide an important source of energy and fibre to your active toddler. Introduce up to three ounces of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of wholemeal or wholegrain bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta, rice or cooked cereal like oatmeal. Avoid refined white grains and pick whole grain or whole meal types whenever possible.
Your child should drink a minimum of 400-700 ml (16-24 ounces) of milk every day. If your child has moved on from breastmilk, then fresh, full-fat cow’s milk is an ideal alternative. You can boost your little one’s calcium/dairy intake with other sources also like full-fat yoghurt and reduced-salt cheese.
In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):
- Fruits: 3 cups for boys; 3 cups for girls
- Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys; 1.5 cups for girls
- Grains: 3 ounces for boys; 3 ounces for girls
- Proteins: 20g for boys; 20g for girls
- Milk: 16 to 24 ounces for boys; 16 to 24 ounces for girls
- Water: 1200 ml for boys; 1200 ml for girls
- Even though your toddler might make a mess of meal times, let him/her use a spoon and a fork as he/she will enjoy eating food better this way. Consult your doctor if your toddler needs supplements for vitamins A, C and D.
- Make food fun for them. If your child is a bit picky with fruits or veggies, be creative and blend them into smoothies or mix through oatmeal (yes, savoury oatmeal is yum!).
- Keep introducing new food items. Your child may take some time before he/she is comfortable eating it, but eventually, he/she will try.
- Many kids suffer from constipation around this time, if they do not consume sufficient liquids. It’s best to make your toddler drink as much as water as possible. Restrict juices, and avoid sodas completely.
- We cannot sugarcoat the truth: your little one is a messy eater. If this bothers you, you could put a plastic cover or old newspapers underneath his/her chair for easy clean up. Other tips are to use bowls with tall sides and thick spoons. Remember to use plastic cutlery for your tiny tot, as metal ones can get very hot.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child,
- Accidentally swallows a non-edible object, visit your doctor immediately.
- Is still choking or coughing during meal times.
- Is not getting enough nutrients for his/her age
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
To find out what vaccinations your child should have gotten up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here. As of 18 months, these immunisations should have been introduced to your child:
- DTaP – 1st booster: Immunisation against Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus
- IPV – 1st booster: Immunisation against Poliomyelitis
- Hib – 1st booster: Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine
- MMR – 2nd dose : Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella
Despite being immunised, it’s normal for toddlers this age to get sick, and quite frequently at that especially if they go to daycare or have older siblings.
Some common illnesses they are prone to are throat irritations and tummy bugs (especially if they put objects into their mouths, including grubby little fingers), the common cold, chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth disease. Do read up about hand, foot and mouth disease. Find out what it is, and what you should do in the event your toddler has it.
You shouldn’t medicate your sick toddler yourself, unless you are a medical professional. Bring your child to the doctor first, even if it just a cold and stick to the treatment plan the doctor gives.
Ease your child’s symptoms with gentle home remedies if your wish. For example, chicken soup for general wellbeing and to ease congestion, sponging for fever and breastfeeding to up those illness fighting antibodies and to comfort your little one. A humidifier in your child’s room can also help ease a stuffy nose.
- Do NOT use medicated vapour in children under two years of age.
- Always finish a course of prescribed antibiotics, even if your child seems well.
- Speak to your doctor about the seasonal flu vaccination for your toddler.
- Ensure your child does not get dehydrated when ill. Keep offering fluids even if he/she refuses solids.
- Do not give Aspirin to your child. Never overdose your child on fever medications. Stick to the time interval between prescribed dosages.
When To See a Doctor
If your child,
- Is not eating or drinking at all, with signs of dehydration (such as decreased urination).
- Shows excessive crankiness or sleepiness.
- Has persistent ear pain
- Has a phlegmy cough that lasts for more than two weeks.
- Has fever of or above 38 degrees or the symptoms seem to be getting worse.
Development milestones vary from child to child. If you have any concerns regarding your little one’s growth, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician.
*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.
Source: Toddler Development And Milestones: Your 1 Year And 7 Month Old Toddler
Reference: WebMD, FDA
READ: Poor Oral Hygiene Can Seriously Affect Your Child’s Health