Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 16 months old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Development & Behavior

What should my toddler be doing right now?

Fear of loud noises sometimes surfaces unexpectedly. Your 16-month-old may cower, cry, and act downright terrified at the sound of a vacuum cleaner, a thunderstorm, a siren, fireworks, or a popping balloon.

Sometime between 15 and 18 months, your toddler is likely to drop the morning nap. One midday or afternoon nap will be enough. At first, that one nap may stretch longer than it used to. Take care that it does not fall so late in the day that he is not sleepy at bedtime. You may need to cut short any afternoon naps that last too long during this transition time.

What should my toddler be preparing to do?

Your child may be easily startled or develop more fears. The best way to support your child is by offering calm reassurance. A hug and an acknowledgement of his feelings – “Wow, that was a scary surprise, wasn’t it?” – may be sufficient. Show your child how he can cover his ears to give him some control. Your toddler will eventually outgrow a fear of noises as he gains an understanding of where they come from and that they’re harmless.

Bedtime will go more smoothly if you establish a routine your child can count on. A good bedtime routine is long enough to ease your child into a relaxed state, but not so long or complicated that it is a chore for you – or impossible for a babysitter to replicate. Twenty to thirty minutes is a good length of time.

Your child may still need a rest break around the time the morning nap used to take place. Serve a snack and plan a quiet activity, such as listening to soothing music, looking at books, or resting on a blanket on the sofa (rather than in bed, which has a strong sleep association). Avoid car rides during the former nap time – your child may fall asleep and then skip the afternoon nap and be cranky in the evening.

Doctor visits

What should happen to my toddler when I visit my doctor?

You should tell your doctor of any signs of abnormal behavior. If your child seems healthy and normal, check if it’s time for a regular checkup. Your child may be afraid of visiting the doctor. He probably thinks he will get another vaccination shot. You can use some tips to comfort your little one:

  • Don’t get there early, just in time of your appointment. Make that time spend faster by interacting with your toddler as much as you can.
  • Bring her favorite toys, since our child will be preoccupied and comfortable.
  • Try to keep the same doctor. That way your child can get to know the doctor (and vice versa) and the surroundings.
  • Redirect your baby’s attention when she has a shot.

What should I tell my doctor?

At 16 months, you should know that your child might not need his morning nap. Instead he will need a small snack to re-energize. During this age, an afternoon nap is enough to keep your little one energized and healthy.

You should try to schedule the afternoon nap early. Late afternoon naps may affect his bedtime. But make sure he doesn’t skip his naps. Just like you, your child will be cranky and mood if he doesn’t enough rest.

What to expect

What health concerns should I expect?

You may be concerned about now is how much TV your child is watching. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), television or DVD is not recommended until after 2 years old. This also includes using the Ipad. Try to limit screen time for your child. A few times here and there is not going to hurt but you do not want your child to become addicted.

Encourage outdoor activity such as playing ball, swimming or running around the playground. You can also turn on music to have your child sing or dance.

Reading a book is also recommended. There more interactions you have, the more your child will absorb new concepts and words. All of these activities are much better than a TV show.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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