I'd been dressing my 19-month-old son, Cobi, nearly every day of his life. So I was completely surprised when one day my babysitter remarked, "You know, he can put on his own shirt and pants." I guess I was so accustomed to thinking of him as a baby that I didn't realize how capable he'd become.
"Kids begin to master a wide range of basic skills at this age," says Amy Susman-Stillman, Ph.D., associate director of the Irving B. Harris Training Center for Infant and Toddler Development at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis. To encourage your child, leave more time for daily tasks such as eating, bathing, and brushing his teeth. Then, once you've shown him the ropes, stand back and marvel at what your little one can do.