Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 17 months old baby?


Development & Behavior

What should my toddler be doing right now?

Your child is now 17 months. You might notice a particular sound coming from your child. Yes that was the sound of a scream. Until now you thought you were lucky and you didn’t have a screamer. Well guess what? You are now a parent of a screamer. Don’t worry this phase will not last. Your child is discovering his voice and testing how loud he can be. He might like the immediate attention he gets. The best way to handle this is to ignore. The more you pay attention, the more he will want to scream.

What should my toddler be preparing to do?

As your child’s tongue and mouth muscles develop, enunciation should improve. Help him out by repeating what he says. This model corrects pronunciation and helps out daddy and other frustrated listeners. With time and patience, kids almost always outgrow this situation.

Your child may be screaming in your ears Explain that yelling hurts your ears and tell your child that you cannot respond until he uses a normal voice. But take care not to yell your instructions. You can also say, “That is your outside voice. It is okay to use your outside voice when we are playing at the park.” In fact, if you really want to get your child’s attention, try lowering your voice to a whisper to talk to him.

Do try to present a fairly good mix of foods at every meal. If you offer a variety of healthy options from different food groups, chances are your child will get all the nutrition she needs, even if he eats vegetables at one end of the day and grains at the other. More important than the nutrient mix at a given meal or even on a given day is what your child consumes over the course of a week. Given healthy choices, toddlers are naturally good at selecting the nutrients and amounts they need.

Doctor visits

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

You can discuss with your doctor the following issues:

How is your child sleeping? 

Most toddlers at this age sleep about 11 hours at night and nap for about two hours during the day. Bedtime is usually a battle, though, since children this age prefer being active and on the go. Your child may also fight sleep because she’s afraid of the dark and of being alone.

How is your child eating? 

The doctor will ask this question to find out whether your child is getting a balanced and varied diet. He may suggest some healthy snacks to serve or ways to get your busy child to sit long enough to eat, since most 18-month-olds resent being buckled into a highchair for mealtimes.

Is your child showing any signs of toilet training readiness? 

Many toddlers develop the physical and cognitive skills necessary for toilet training, such as being able to pull their pants up and down easily, between 18 and 24 months of age, but some are not ready to start until they are as old as 4.

Is your child walking? 

By now, your toddler should have taken his first steps. Children learn to walk between 9 and 18 months. If he is walking on his toes or lists to one side, mention this to the doctor so he can evaluate his motor skills.

Has she been saying “no” a lot or throwing temper tantrums?

Most 18-month-olds have discovered the joy of saying “no,” and they like wielding this powerful word. It’s a sign of independence and language development.

What should I tell my doctor?

You should know what to expect at your doctor’s visit. Your doctor may do the following:

  • Weigh and measure your child to make sure he isgrowing at a healthy rate;
  • Check his heart and breathing;
  • Check hiseyes and ears;
  • Measure your toddler’s head size to keep track of his brain growth;
  • Give your child another round ofimmunizations including DTaP, hep A, and any others he missed at previous appointments;
  • Address any concerns about your child’s health, including how to spot symptoms ofear infections, colds, and the flu;
  • Answer any questions you may have abouttoilet training or discipline;
  • Offer insight into your toddler’sdevelopment, temperament, and behavior;
  • Screen foranemia and lead poisoning with a blood test if your child has any risk factors;

What to expect

What health concerns should I expect?

You may be concerned about accidents your child may get in. Accidents often occur during busy periods or times of transition or stress: during the morning rush, before dinner, at parties or when you have guests, and on vacation. These are times when parents tend to be momentarily distracted.

Among the common accidents that happen all too easily to toddlers are falls from windows, down stairs, from tables and chairs they’ve climbed up on, and so on; burns caused by grabbing hot pots and pans from the stove; poisoning.

Just being aware of this fact can help you slow down and play it extra safe. Your 17-month-old is not too old to go in a play yard if you know you won’t be able to keep a close eye on him for a few minutes.

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

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