Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baby Fact Sheet 13-18 months

When I was pregnant I read everything I could get my hands on about a) being pregnant, b) the birth process, and c) the early stages of infancy, so that I would be prepared.  After giving birth I read (and still read) everything I can get my hands on about a) what to expect at various stages, b) "how to" books (for raising happy/well-adjusted/green children), c) nutrition books for babies/toddlers, and d) various parenting magazines I've received, mostly for free.

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.

  • Songs/games:

  •                 If you’re happy and you know it

  •                 Itsy-Bitsy Spider

  •                 Pop Goes the Weasel

  •                 Pat-a-cake

  •                 This Little Piggy

  •                 Which hand is it in?

  •                 Hide objects under blankets

  •                 Peek-a-boo

  •                 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.


By 18 months should walk well and run, and should be able to name some objects.

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