Learn everything you need to know about your 14 month old toddler. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Dinner is a wonderful opportunity for your family to spend time together and socialize -- especially now that your tot is perfecting the skills needed to eat independently (allowing you more time to eat your own meal while it's hot!). While you continue to encourage your child to eat with a spoon, don't forget that she enjoys the ease of eating with her fingers. Serving nutritious, manageable finger foods alleviates your toddler's frustration as she learns to master utensils and helps her develop fine motor skills too.
Don't be surprised if your kiddo doesn't have the patience to sit in her high chair for long; there's a big world out there that needs to be explored! Toddlers are notoriously high-energy people, and your kiddo's abundance of curiosity, a very normal part of her development, might seem to you like a short attention span. Your child -- once a captive audience for a reading of "Pat the Bunny" or "Goodnight Moon"-- might now sit for half a story before hopping off your lap to check out her colorful stacking cups, the sound of a truck rumbling down the street, or a sibling playing in the next room.
Interestingly enough, your toddler will sometimes embrace her new feelings of independence and at other times yearn for the security of being near Mommy and Daddy. She might even develop separation anxiety, bursting into tears and tantrums when you leave her with someone else, even for just a few minutes. This reluctance to be apart from you can be frustrating and heartbreaking, but it is a common, normal part of a little one's maturation. Continue to encourage your toddler's independence while offering her plenty of reassurance and love.
By now you're accustomed to seeing your toddler scoot, crawl, and even cruise the furniture -- but what if she has yet to take that first big step by herself?
You might worry that your cutie pie is lagging behind in development, but there's no cause for alarm. Most babies learn to walk sometime between 1 year and 15 months, while some kids don't put their best feet forward until 16 months or later. Heredity, determination, body composition, and experience all factor into the age at which a toddler begins walking independently. If your child is a top-notch crawler, for example, she might not feel a strong desire to walk because crawling serves her needs well. You can encourage her to get up and go by moving her toys up a bit higher, allowing her to pull up on a sturdy table, chair, or couch to reach them. And of course practicing walking with your little one and offering lots of smiles and cheering will motivate her too.
So exactly when should your toddler see the pediatrician about delayed walking? Your tot's feet, ankles, and legs will be checked over as part of a normal well-child appointment, but if you have concerns between visits, trust your instincts and approach your child's physician about them -- especially if you notice a significant delay in development such as not walking by 18 months, your toddler favoring one leg over another, limping, or walking only on the toes for an extended period.
Chances are your youngster will be running circles around you before you know it (and you'll fondly remember the days when she was content to sit in her baby seat and coo at you)!
If it feels as though your days are running together and you're lacking focus, take a look at how you've been using your time. Do you aimlessly move from one chore to another, scramble at the last minute for dinner ideas, and spend just minutes here and there with your family? Time to reevaluate your schedule, Mom!
Juggling parenting, family time, housework, and additional jobs can be a challenge. The key to productivity is time management and finding balance in your day. Begin by outlining a schedule of routine household tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, and grocery shopping. If you struggle with completing mundane chores, set a timer (to give the chore an end time) and put on some music (good for motivation). Clean as you go and you won't be overwhelmed by a mess at bedtime.
If mealtime is a frequent struggle, make a list of meals that your family enjoys and refer to it when you need ideas. Don't forget: the freezer and slow cooker are your friends! If you're whipping up a batch of chili, make an extra for the freezer and pull it out for those hectic days when you're short on time. Or try putting a roast and vegetables in the slow cooker in the morning. You'll get the prep done (and cleaned up!) and still have a filling, healthy meal come dinner.
Good time management will give you more opportunities to enjoy with family and friends. And in addition to keeping your own sanity in check, managing your minutes properly serves as an important lesson for your child. Even at a young age, your tot is watching and learning from you -- and you can give her the tools for self-discipline that will help her throughout her childhood and well into adulthood too.