Child Development - 18 Months
18 MONTHS DEVELOPMENT
From 18 months to 2 years of age, your baby will probably:
. . . ..be walking and climbing on chairs id stairs, always on the go!
. . . ..scribble on paper spontaneously and vigorously (the wall, too, if you're not careful), begin to imitate your strokes with crayon
. . . . use the words he has learned in short sentences, and point to his nose, eyes, hair, ears whenever asked to identify them
. . . . build a high tower with a number of blocks
. . . . fill a cup with cubes as he's playing
. . . . use fairly good control when eating with a spoon
. . . . turn pages of books to look at pictures
. . . . throw a ball into a box
. . . . never be still a minute!
BABY FOOD FEEDING
He's a big boy now, and should be doing a pretty good, if messy, job of feeding himself. By now you know just about how much he's going to eat, so it's best to put that amount on his plate. Much more than he can handle will tempt him to play with his food.
If he should start to play, take the spoon from him an offer him a few bites to see if he is through eating. If he is, remove the food that's left on his plate.
BABY NOT EATING
A good many youngsters, with good eating habits, become problems at this time simply because their parents don't understand that their children no longer require so much food.
Not understanding this, parents are prone to be worried when their child's interest in food lessens. They start urging, pleading, even threatening the youngster to eat more than he really wants.
At this age when left to himself, your child will probably pick at his food for a few meals, then eat everything in sight for a few meals. Over a year's time, the resulting food intake is the same as if he had eaten three good meals every day.
When parents try to bribe, coax, and tease down a set amount of food every day, the child never has a chance to get hungry. Often he gets so that he hates the thought of food.
Let your attitude from now on be "don't force him to eat." If he hasn't eaten well, ignore it. Keep mealtime a pleasant happy experience to which your child looks forward. Never let it become an issue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says, "Parents should understand that it is their duty to decide what and when the child should eat, but that it is the child's prerogative to decide how much of it he will eat."