Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 18 months old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Development & Behavior

What should my toddler be doing right now?

You may observe a spurt in physical development this month. On average, your child’s measurements may look like the following:

  • Weight: 10kg to 14kg (boys), 9kg to 13kg (girls);
  • Height: 77cm to 87cm (boys), 74cm to 86cm (girls);
  • Head Circumference: 46cm to 50cm (boys), 44cm to 49cm (girls);

If your child does not fall in these ranges, don’t worry. This is only an average. It’s important that your child is growing and active. Please discuss with your doctor about any concerns that you may have.

Your toddler is most likely steadier on his feet. He can probably hold a ball with his two hands and throw it to you. He will probably remember objects even after it is out of sight. This is a great time to play head and seek with his favorite objects. You can also incorporate color and textures to help him develop his senses.

What should my toddler be preparing to do?

Sometimes, a child perfectly capable of walking on his own two feet wants to be carried. You should consider the circumstances. In public, your child may feel small and vulnerable or fear being lost; and he may truly be tired. He may crave attention or affection. Carry him if you want to, but if you are going more than a block or two from home or the car, bring a stroller to save your back. You can convince your child to walk by holding his hand, which could make him feel more secure. You can also negotiate by saying “Let’s walk holding hands until the next stoplight.” This can extend the distance a bit.

Your child may start to show his dislikes such as not wanting to drink his milk, even if he liked it before. If this happens, don’t make a big deal. It is one of those small ways toddlers exert their independence. Continue to serve milk, but do not force him to drink it. At the same time, make sure that he is getting plenty of calcium by providing plenty of other dairy foods such as cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Disguise milk in shakes or puddings for desserts.

Doctor visits

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

You will probably have a regular checkup at this time. Your doctor will probably ask you the following questions:

  • How is your child eating? Is he a good eater?
  • Is your child physically active? Is he getting enough time outdoors?
  • Is your child watching TV or using the Ipad? How many hours a day?

These questions will help your doctor evaluate your child’s behavioral development. Every child grows and develops at different rates. Your doctor will determine if your child is reaching all the developmental milestones. Please discuss with your doctor about all your concerns.

What should I tell my doctor?

Your child probably already received all the important vaccinations. Here are some vaccinations you should know about:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) vaccine: If he hasn’t already, your child will get the fourth dose of this combination vaccine that protects against diphtheria (a disease that can cause a thick covering to form over the back of the throat and interfere with breathing); tetanus (a disease caused by exposure to a bacteria found in soil, dirt, or dust); and pertussis (also known as whooping cough), a bacterial disease that’s characterized by violent coughing.
  • Varicella (also known as chicken pox) vaccine: If your child didn’t get this shot at his last well visit, he will get the first dose now to protect him from this common, but potentially serious, childhood illness.
  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV): If your child hasn’t already, he will get the third of four doses of IPV, which protects against polio, a viral disease that can cause paralysis.
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine: If your child hasn’t already, he will get the last of three doses of this vaccine, which protects against hepatitis B, a liver disease.
  • Influenza (also known as the flu): Your child should receive this on a yearly basis, and if this well visit coincides with flu season (which usually starts around October or November), he’ll get vaccinated now.

What to expect

What health concerns should I expect?

Sunburns early in life are the most likely to cause skin cancer later – and all sun exposure damages and ages the skin – so protect your child’s skin outdoors, whatever the weather. Use sunscreen, cover up with lightweight clothing, wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade as much as possible.

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

msBahasa Malaysia

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