Offer small portions of foods from all food groups at most meals. Cut food into small pieces and serve small amounts. Your child should use a spoon and drink from an open-rimmed cup (not a sippy cup). Your child should now be completely off a bottle.
Let your baby feed herself. Don't make mealtime a battle by insisting that your child eat everything on her plate.
Family meals are important for your baby. Let her eat with you. This helps your child learn that eating is a time to be together and talk with others. Don’t have the TV on during family meals.
Children at this age are learning many new words. You can help your child's vocabulary grow by showing and naming lots of things. Your child will look where you point and then look back at you. She will try to get your attention when she wants to point something out to you. Your child will show many different feelings, such as pleasure, anger, affection, and assertiveness. She will be curious and enjoy pretend play. Praise your child for doing things that you like.
Reading and Technology
Talking, playing, singing, and reading books help your child to develop. Your toddler has a short attention span, so stories should always be short and simple and have lots of pictures. Big brightly colored books about kids or animals doing familiar things are best. Books about eating, playing, bedtime, baths, or pets are good choices.
Limit how much time your child spends with technology. Play games, read, or watch TV with your child and communicate with your child while you do. Children this age need to be active because it helps their brains and bodies to develop. Play and interact with your child, and be a role model by limiting your own use of technology.
At 18 months, most toddlers are not yet showing signs that they are ready for toilet training. When your child tells you that she has wet or soiled diapers, it’s a sign that your child prefers to be dry.
Toddlers are naturally curious about the use of the bathroom by other people. Let your child watch you or other family members use the toilet.
Toddlers sometimes seem out of control, stubborn, or demanding. At this age, children often say "no." A gentle but firm, consistent response is a good way to handle a stubborn toddler.
Here are some good ways to help your child learn about rules:
It’s important to take care of your child’s baby teeth because they help your child chew food and speak clearly. They also help save space for the permanent teeth that will come in later. You can help care for your child’s teeth by following these tips:
Your child should see a dentist every 6 months or as often as the dentist recommends.
Child-Proofing Your Home
Choking and Suffocation
Fires and Burns
Immunizations protect your child against several serious, life-threatening diseases. At the 18-month visit, your child may need vaccines to catch-up for previously missed shots. Ask your healthcare provider what symptoms or problems you should watch for after your child gets a shot and what to do if your child has them.
Bring your child's shot record to all visits with your child’s healthcare provider.
Your child's next visit should be at the age of 2 years.