These skills tend to be quite variable. But at this age the typical child:
- Walks alone, stops and starts, stoops and explores.
- Self-feeds with fingers and drinks well from a cup.
- Has a three- to six-word vocabulary.
- Points to one or two body parts.
- Understands simple commands.
- Attends to a story being read.
- Indicates wants by pulling, pointing, grunting or vocalizing.
- Stacks two blocks.
- Gives and takes a toy.
- Pats a picture in a book.
Injury prevention is proactive. Consider the following:
- Review car safety; make sure infant is in a size-appropriate seat restraint.
- Use locked doors or security gates at stairwells or entrances to hazardous areas.
- Install window guards on upstairs windows.
- Do not offer foods that potentially can be aspirated like nuts, popcorn, gum, hot dogs, grapes, raisin.
- Put safety caps on medication.
- Poisons, medications, toxic household products should be kept locked up or out of reach.
- Never underestimate a child's ability to climb.
- Set hot water thermostats to 120°F.
- Keep hot liquids out of reach during meal preparation.
- Do not carry children and hot liquids at the same time.
- Do not set hot liquids on tablecloths which may be pulled down.
- Turn pan handles toward back of the stove.
- Keep children away from hot stoves, space heaters, irons, curling irons and fireplaces.
- Protect against falls; be careful where chairs are left.
- Never leave a child unsupervised near water; keep toilet lids closed.
- Beware of plastic bags and latex balloons.
- Lower crib mattresses to protect your child from falls.
These activities provide good examples for modeling important skills and encourage your child to grow in a healthy and happy way:
- Demonstrate how to use toys while playing with your child.
- Good toys include stuffed animals, books, cars, toys that can be pushed and pulled, toys that can be pounded, toys that can be opened and closed, musical toys, pots and pans, riding toys, soft balls and household items such as containers, plastic cups and boxes.
- Encourage imitative activities such as housework or playing with dolls.
- Stimulate language growth through reading, singing and talking.
- Identify everyday objects, body parts and encourage your child to speak.
- Provide freedom to explore in safety.
- Take some time for yourself.
- Limit television viewing to one hour per day; monitor content; use it to educate.
- Show affection.
- Regular bedtime routines are important.
Health maintenance is essential to a child's well-being:
- Brush teeth twice a day with water. Avoid fluoridated toothpaste at this age.
- Perform frequent hand washing.
- Don't share cups, toothbrushes or eating utensils.
- Children may still nap once or twice a day.
Good nutrition is essential to a growing body. Tips include:
- Allow your child to feed him or herself with fingers or a spoon; do not worry about table manners.
- Your child should be eating table foods.
- Your child may only eat one good meal a day; weigh gain is usually small.
- Bottles should be weaned.
- Whole milk should be used.
- Snacks should be healthy with fresh fruit or nonsugary and unsalted foods.
- The three Cs (candy, chips and chocolate) should be avoided.
- Vitamin supplementation is usually not needed unless fluoride is absent from the water.
Childhood behavior may go from one extreme to another. This age is no exception:
- Curiosity and autonomy-seeking are normal behaviors.
- Don't be afraid to set limits; follow through.
- Discipline means teaching; give clear, consistent messages appropriate to your child's understanding.
- Offer positive reinforcement for good behaviors.
- Praise your child for good behavior.
- Work together for a consistent approach to child rearing.
The following items may be useful:
- Campion, Mukti Jain. The Good Parent Guide. Element Inc., Rockport, MA c 1993.
- Caplan, Frank. The Second Twelve Months of Life. Bantam, 1980.
- Christopherson, Edward R. Little People: Guidelines for Common Sense Child Rearing
- Miller, Karen. Ages and Stages. Telshare Pub. Co., Chelsea, MA., c. 1985.
- Segal, Marilyn M. Your Child at Play. One to Two Years. Newmarket Press, N.Y. 1985.