I started jotting down important tidbits, tearing sheets from the magazines, compiling all of the information I thought pertinent to raising a wee one. And being a list-maker and an organizer, I made these "fact sheets" by age, so that when my baby reached the target age I could pull it out and re-read all the information that I had collected relevant to that age.
By no means am I an expert on parenting, but much of this came from experts through my reading/research. Take it or leave it, but I thought since I'd compiled it I'd share it. On that note - if anyone has information they feel is important, I'd love for you to share it in the comments section!
I am copying this from a word document - if you decide to use it, you could simply paste it back into one and print it (this is the last in the series). I have continued to collect information beyond this age, but what I've done is create a series of file folders labeled by age (1, 2, 3 year olds, etc.) and when I jot something down or tear out a magazine article I want to remember, I tuck it into the age-appropriate folder to pull out when she reaches that age. I have found, as I parent, that I do not always take the advice in these sheets, as will you. Modify and learn and practice as you go, but this was a good starting point for me.
- If baby isn’t pointing by 16 months, talk to pediatrician.
- Dropping/throwing objects is part of learning cause and effect. Teach baby what he can/cannot throw, and where it’s okay (outside, not from high chair).
- Engage in back and forth conversation instead of just talking to baby (ex. That’s a leaf. Want to touch it?)
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.
- Don’t scold baby when she makes a mess, or label (ex. Little troublemaker) – this squelches her confidence.
- Point out objects constantly – talk to baby as much as possible.
- Point, wave and gesture a lot.
- When read to baby, ask him questions about the story.
- Don’t rush to correct baby when she makes verbal mistakes.
- Start doing much less for baby to encourage independence; let him experience some frustration while he figures things out.
- Encourage baby to help you dress him.
- “Help” clean – give spray bottle with water and a rag and let clean floor while you clean house.
- When toddler is upset, talk about it (label his feelings and give them a reason) – “I know you are upset that I have to change your diaper, but if we don’t you will get a rash and it will hurt.”
- Let baby play by self independently while you do household chores.
- Needs exposure to other kids/play groups.
- Transport house into maze with pillows, chairs with blankets draped over, etc.
- Play dress-up.
- Give yogurt/pudding and a silicone basting brush to “paint” with on high chair tray.
- Tape paper to table/floor and give chunky crayons or finger paint.
- Play outside (or inside!) and ask questions that engage senses – “What does the soil feel like? What does the flower smell like? Is the pebble smooth? Does it make a sound if you drop it on the driveway?” The more she uses her senses, the more she’ll become a trained observer.
- Play in the tub and learn about buoyancy, volume, gravity, cause and effect, etc.
- Pretend play – let kiddo take the lead in whatever he’s interested in. Don’t always guide play, but be a willing participant and do what interests your child, to help him feel that he’s important.
- If you’re happy and you know it
- Itsy-Bitsy Spider
- Pop Goes the Weasel
- This Little Piggy
- Which hand is it in?
- Hide objects under blankets
- Sort by size/color and explain
- Blow bubbles (outside, in bath tub)
- Encourage baby to use a spoon with sticky foods – rice cereal, yogurt, applesauce, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes. Have them practice at beginning of meal when most hungry. Don’t worry about the mess.
- Can start weaning from breast IF want – no longer the primary source of nutrition now.
- Start to incorporate 2 snacks into diet (amount may vary depending on whether still breastfeeding).
- Continue with the EASY routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time) – probably go through three times/day (wake in am, breakfast, activity, nap; wake, lunch, activity, nap; wake, supper, activity, bed).
- If baby is only taking 1 nap, encourage a second “rest period” in the crib, even if baby doesn’t sleep (can attach toys to crib).
- Should sleep 12-14 hours/day.
- If haven’t already, introduce a lovey to sleep with.
- Don’t leave the TV on – this decreases baby’s attention span and inhibits interaction.
- Defiancecorrelates with increased test scores later – don’t get discouraged!
- Don’t give into temper tantrums.
- If not already, should be brushing regularly with water or fluoride-free paste.
- Ask doc – should take liquid omega-3 supplement (500-700 mg)?
- Don’t medicate a cold in babies/kids under 4 years old – keep the nose clear with a bulb syringe/nasal suction, steam, saline solution, honey (once 1 year old), and vapor rub.
- Schedule a dentist’s appointment.
AGE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
By 18 months should walk well and run, and should be able to name some objects.