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Around 18 months, your toddler can recognize when things aren't as they're supposed to be. She may go into a giggling fit when you try to put her pajama bottoms on your head or pretend to eat her toes. To encourage her budding sense of humor, laugh along when she copies the silly things you do. And use it to your advantage: Humor is also an excellent way to defuse a brewing tantrum. If your toddler decides she doesn't want to wear her winter hat, put it on her foot and say, "There, that's right." Your child will likely crack up -- and may even correct you by showing you where it really belongs. --Leslie Gross Klaff
Copyright 2007. Used with permission from the December 2007 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.