Family meals are important for your baby. Let him eat with you. This helps him learn that eating is a time to be together and talk with others. Don't make mealtime a battle. Let your baby feed himself. Your child should use a spoon and drink from an open-rimmed cup (not a sippy-cup).
Children at this age should be learning many new words. You can help your child's vocabulary grow by showing and naming lots of things. Children at this age can engage in pretend play. They will look where you point and then look back at you. They will try to get your attention when they want to point something out to you. Children have many different feelings and behaviors such as pleasure, anger, joy, curiosity, warmth, and assertiveness. Praise your child for doing things that you like.
At 18 months, most toddlers are not yet showing signs that they are ready for toilet training. When toddlers report to parents that they have wet or soiled their diaper, they are starting to be aware that they prefer dryness. This is a good sign and you should praise your child. Toddlers are naturally curious about the use of the bathroom by other people. Let them watch you or other family members use the toilet. It is important not to put too many demands on a child or shame the child during toilet training.
Toddlers sometimes seem out of control, or too stubborn or demanding. At this age, children often say "no". To help children learn about rules:
Toddlers have short attention spans, so stories should always be short, simple, and have lots of pictures. The best choices are large-format books that develop one main character through action and activity. Make sure the books have happy, clear-cut endings.
It is best if children under two years of age do not watch television. Talking, playing, singing, and reading books help your child to develop.
Your child should now be completely off a bottle. After 12 months of age, your child should be seen by a dentist every 6 months or as often as the dentist recommends.
You can also help your child by following these tips:
Child-proof the home. Go through every room in your house and remove anything that is valuable, dangerous, or messy. Preventive child-proofing will stop many possible discipline problems. Don't expect a child not to get into things just because you say no. Remove guns from the home. If you have a gun, store it unloaded and locked. Store the ammunition in a separate place that is also locked.
Choking and Suffocation
Fires and Burns
At the 18-month visit, your baby may receive shots. Children during the first 2 years of life should get a total of 3 flu shots. Ask your healthcare provider about influenza shots if you have questions about them.
Your baby may run a fever and be irritable for about 1 day after the shots. Your baby may also have some soreness, redness, and swelling in the area where the shots were given.
You may give your child acetaminophen liquid to prevent fever and irritability. Always read and follow the label. Use only the dosing device that comes with the product. For swelling or soreness, put a wet, warm washcloth on the area of the shots as often and as long as needed for comfort.
Call your child's healthcare provider if:
Your child's next visit should be at the age of 2 years. Bring your child's shot card to all visits.