Friday, 4 August 2017

My Toddler at 18 Months

At 18 months I’m calling it, I have to face that Little is now much more of a toddler than a baby. The short hair makes her look younger, but her expressions and behaviour are definitely toddler like. We have had a lovely month and spent a lot of time with Big Sister and G thanks to a family holiday. My little monkey loved being on holiday and all the activities at Centerparcs. She seems to communicate more every day and finds new ways to cause chaos.

A toddler sitting on wooden floor next to her big sister while big sister colours in her colouring book

Activities

Little spends a lot of her time running around and climbing. Only a few seconds is enough for her to have climbed somewhere she shouldn’t be. The positive side of this is she is getting more stable and better able to climb down again. While we were on holiday we spent a lot of time in play areas and Little showed her skills off by climbing onto play equipment which was clearly designed for children older than 18 months.

Little now knows the actions to lots of songs and often surprises me with the actions she knows when a song comes on. Not when we are out though, at groups she prefers to watch others do the actions, silently absorbing it all for later. She loves music and every time she hears any she starts to dance.

Drawing continues to be popular and we have had a few more incidents this month where Little has drawn on things she shouldn’t have done. It doesn’t matter how well we hide the pens she still manages to find them. I guess this is one of the challenges of having a large age gap between your children.

Little has loved spending a lot of time with Big Sister since school finished for the summer. At times they annoy each other, particularly when one wants space but the other one wants a cuddle, but the bond between them keeps growing and is so lovely to see. As Little gets older she is better able to play with her big sister and Big Sister is getting better at choosing appropriate games.

Other things Little has been working on this month are: jumping (she's managed a couple), high fives (she's good when in the mood) and tickles (she says 'tickle tickle' but generally does the movement in the air above your skin or pokes you in the belly button).

Little continues to help around the house and can be persuaded to tidy up (when we sing the tidy up song) she also knows how to turn the washing machine and dishwasher on, helps feed the cat and puts rubbish in the bin.

Communication

Little continues to mimic what we say and use new words correctly. She has even joined a few words together with the most impressive sentence so far being “Mummy no go!” when I left her with her Daddy so I could do something. Other phrases include: “I want Mummy” and “Bye Bye Daddy”. She loves to say “No” even when she doesn’t mean it. Little also says: down, cuddle, dog, wow (I love that one), hello, mine, tickle, yes, water, strawberry and night night. 

I now understand quite a lot of what Little asks for and increasingly other people are understanding what she is saying too as her words are getting clearer.

A collage of 9 pictures of my toddler: wearing sunglasses, drinking a juice box in Loch Fyne, sitting in the sink of her mud kitchen, sulking with make up on her face after having it taken away from her, sitting in the sea, on a merry go round elephant, wearing a life jacket, on a climbing frame and on a bouncy castle

Growth

I have finally sorted the clothes out so Little is now wearing 18 to 24 month clothes. It’s funny that we have lots of Pyjamas passed down from Big Sister, but not that many other clothes. Big Sister was at nursery at this age so lots of her clothes were ruined from food or play stains.
Little weighs 12.5kg and measures 85cm. I don't know how many teeth she now has, but there are definitely a couple more in the process of coming through, every time I put my finger in her mouth to count her teeth she says "ouch" Her hair is finally the length that her sister’s was at birth. It’s so fine and blonde though it’s not very obvious. Little is still often called a boy when wearing neutral clothes.

Feeding

There doesn’t seem to be a reduction in breastfeeding, in fact over the last couple of weeks I think Little has been feeding more than normal. I suspect there is a growth spurt happening. She’s still eating lots of food, but shows a preference for foods she shouldn’t really be having like processed meat, crisps and chips. She absolutely loves fruit and some veg, but that doesn’t really balance out the other foods. I’m starting to try a lot harder to give her a balanced diet and enough exercise, this is harder when we are out as she still doesn't have dairy so chips end up being a 'safe' food.

Sleep

On an average night Little will wake between 4 and 5 in the morning. If I feed her and put her back in the cot she normally sleeps for another hour or so. Some nights she will wake up a couple of times, sometimes none at all. While we were on holiday she shared a bedroom with Big Sister. It worked ok, but I tended to go to Little Sister faster when she stirred because I didn’t want to risk waking Big Sister. It gives me hope that one day we might be able to have them sharing a room. 

While we were on holiday Little didn’t get much of a chance to nap, but on a normal day she goes down for an hour or two at lunchtime still.
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