17 Month Old Child Development
Your Growing Baby
Reading is a terrific activity to share with your toddler. Whether you're snuggled up in bed together or in a big, cozy chair at the library, you can stimulate your child's imagination and curiosity through books—and help build his vocabulary too.
If your toddler is antsy and won't sit long for a story, try creative ways to hold his attention: Use silly voices, change the tale to suit his interests or comprehension level, and ask him lots of questions throughout the story. Communicating about the pictures, characters, or theme of the book lets him be actively involved in reading and boosts development of his prereading skills. Ask the local librarian for age-appropriate books your toddler is likely to enjoy.
Reading is just one easy way to nurture your youngster's intellectual growth. Worried you still aren't doing to enough to stimulate your tot's brain? Set your concerns aside; experts note that the best way to bolster a toddler's brain development is by fostering his natural curiosity and interests. Together you can get out the crayons and scribble a work of art, sing along to your toddler's favorite music, sort the laundry, dash through the sprinkler on a hot day, or walk to the playground and talk about what you discover along the way. This personal time spent with you is necessary for your child's emotional, social, and cognitive skills to blossom—but best of all, it's fun for you both!
Health and Safety Info
Food & Seasonal Allergies
When your toddler's body identifies an allergen and attacks it, chemicals in his system cause allergy symptoms such as itchiness, hives, swelling, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. How miserable! A severe allergy attack can involve your child's respiratory and digestive systems and lead to breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you suspect your kiddo has allergies, thoughtful observations can help you and your child's pediatrician pinpoint the allergens that are causing your child's symptoms. Note when and where you child suffers, the weather and season, if other family members have allergies, and if your toddler reacts after being exposed to animals or eating certain foods (milk, eggs, wheat, nuts, fish, shellfish, and soy are the most common culprits of food allergies). Based on your detective work, an allergist might choose to use this information to treat your child or continue with skin testing to learn more about what's bugging your toddler.
Once you know what allergens cause your child's sniffles and sneezes, you can take action. With mild environmental allergies, treatment might include an over-the-counter medication recommended by your child's physician to relieve symptoms. The doctor might have other suggestions as to how you can prevent exposure to airborne allergies, such as using certain air filters, removing rugs or carpet in your tot's room, bathing your little one after he's been outdoors, or using artificial tears to wash irritants out of his eyes.
If you child struggles with more severe allergies—including food allergies, which can be serious—an allergist will explain how to remain vigilant about exposure to allergens and teach you how to treat a dangerous allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis.
How to Conquer Stress & Feel Better
Your toddler's screeching, the phone is ringing, somebody's at the door, and you need to get to the store because there's only one diaper left in the house—talk about stress! If you find yourself frazzled, try these stress-busting solutions.
Relaxing music, a hot shower or bath, a massage, meditation or prayer, a run, or deep breathing can calm an overwhelmed mom. Don't discount the value of eating well and getting regular exercise to boost your mood and relieve stress. Even a brisk walk around the block with your little one in the stroller is good for you.
Superwoman is a myth; don't pressure yourself to be the perfect wife, mommy, or housekeeper. Playgroup at your home will still be fun if your living room isn't spotless and you serve pretzels and milk as a snack instead of fancy, homemade treats. Your priority is to have a healthy, happy environment for your family and to enjoy time spent together—so don't worry about a little dust.
Ask for help. Your husband isn't a mind reader, so tell him (nicely!) exactly how he can lessen your stress. If you need time for yourself during the day, let Grandma sit with your toddler for a few hours or check with a friend to host your kiddo for a playdate. (Swapping child care with a mom-friend is a free way for you both to get some precious time alone.)
Get organized. Declutter and simplify your space. The less stuff you have sitting around, the less there is to maintain.
Smile! A sense of humor and a positive outlook can work wonders for your state of mind.
If you're so overwhelmed that it's taking a toll on your physical or mental health, talk with your doctor about other solutions that might help you.