18 months old was a little over a month ago, but for some reason I thought I had already published this post. Whoops! Time seriously is just flying. My teeny tiny newborn baby is now a walking, talking, opinion-holding toddler. Overall, motherhood at this stage is both easier and harder than it has been at other stages.
When I vlogged last, we were at a really rough point. E wasn’t yet communicating as well as she can now, so she would get frustrated, and then I would get frustrated. Things are SO much better now. Read on for why…
18 month old developments and milestones
- Communication is a high point of this age. At 15/16 months old, E didn’t have the means to communicate so well. But now she can let us know pretty much whatever she wants, even without having all of the words to do so.
- E recognizes almost every body part and LOVES to kick off a quiz at dinnertime. “Nose” and “hair” are two of her favorites, and she loves repeating “chin” to us, too.
- E and I go to regular swim classes, and she is becoming so much more confident in the water. She used to sputter and get upset if water was poured over her face, and now she actually asks for showers vs. baths some nights! She loves jumping off the side into the pool, floating, and singing silly songs in the water.
- Actually, confidence is a major development at this age. Gone are the days of tentative steps: Now, we’re at the age where it’s running and lack of fear. (Not always a good thing, hah!)
Photo from this post
18 month old vocabulary
Our pediatrician told us that at 18 months old, vocabulary should include about 10 different words. E had about 4 words at 18 months, so we decided to speak with a speech therapist. She said that a word counts as such when a child will say it to 3 people in 3 situations. For example, E will say “doggie” (except without the G sound) to pretty much anyone, and will yell it when she sees a dog, no matter where she is. So that counts as a word. On the other hand, she will say “up” when we prompt her, but not on her own, so that doesn’t count.
One of my apps said that an 18 month old should have about 30 words, but that conflicts with everything else I have read. I will say, speech therapists seem to be very helpful, based on stories I’ve heard from other parents. We started incorporating more sign language, and that has helped our communication even more.
Parenting a toddler
E has the occasional toddler mystery rage (if you have a toddler, then I would bet anything you know what I mean by that!). But 99% of the time when she “acts up” it’s because she’s frustrated about something. It’s very rare that she does something purposely to upset us. We are blessed to have an incredibly sweet child. She loves to give hugs and kisses out of the blue. My favorite is when she’ll stop what she’s doing and come over to wrap her arms around me and lay her head on my shoulder. It melts my heart!
All of that is to say that we haven’t had to implement any real “discipline” like time outs. I honestly don’t know if she would even stay in a chair for a time out, so I am glad we haven’t had to do it. I’m sure the days are coming, but for now I will say #blessup and enjoy this stage!
Photo from this Disney World post
18 month old sleep
This might be one of my favorite things about this age… (kidding!) E sleeps a full 12 hours at night, plus a 2-3 hour nap during the day. When she’s well-rested, she’s fun and silly, so I know if she’s cranky she’s either exhausted or sick. She seems to love getting into her crib, though some nights she will request some additional snuggle time before doing so. Again, not something I ever want to say no to! I appreciate the extra snuggles more than she can know!
All in all, 18 months so far has been a good age. I don’t want to rush time at all, but it is fascinating to see your baby grow up into a toddler!