Toddler Development: Your 14-month-old
It's time to begin parenting! Toddler development at 14 months calls for boundaries as well as lots of hugs and kisses. Find out what other exciting things your tot can do now.
Get yourselves ready for the next stage in toddler development: the nitty-gritty of parenting is about to start. Your toddler is developing a personality and you could suddenly discover that your adorable wee one has a mind of his own.
It’s time to step up, and start teaching your cutey pie about rules and boundaries. But don’t worry–the terrible twos are a long way off! Your toddler exercises his mind and his heart, showering you with hugs and kisses.
By now, most toddlers can walk a few steps unaided. In fact, his gross motor skills are expanding rapidly! Not only can he probably walk, he could also be able to stand up by himself from a sitting position.
And if he’s mastered that, it’s only a small toddler development leap to learning how to bend over and stand up again–without toppling over.
Other skills you could begin to keep an eye out for are walking up stairs with the aid of an adult and dancing. Yes, if your family loves to play music, you may catch your wee one jigging along. He doesn’t have a sense of rhythm yet, but that won’t stop him from enjoying himself!
Don’t worry if your little one wobbles around like a cute little ducky when he walks (it’s all part of toddler development). This is completely normal. Not only is he still bow-legged (his legs will straighten out the more he walks upright), but he’s probably also wearing a fat diaper!
Fine motor skills are also coming along quickly. Your little one might be beginning to scribble with crayons (if you let him, that is!) or stacks two blocks on top of each other.
He may be able to turn the pages in a book. Be sure to use board books though, as he does not know his own strength and might tear the page accidentally!
His favourite thing to do is most probably make a mess. There are many ways to do this, and most of them involve his developing fine motor skills.
Your toddler may attempt to feed himself at dinner time, using utensils in addition to his hands. He may discover how to open cupboards and drawers and empty those. He may also put things back, though generally not in the original order.
Try to be patient. Your toddler does not know the difference between utensils and toys yet. He is still discovering the world and all its categories, and thus is in an exciting stage of toddler development.
A common solution if you really need to do some household errands is to fill lower shelves and drawers with things like plastic cups or plastic utensils for him to play with.
Your child may develop some skills sooner than others. This is completely normal–not all children develop at the same pace, and this has no bearing on development later in childhood.
Continue reading to learn more about toddler development at 14 months. Next up is cognitive development
Your toddler is filled with wonder and curiosity. His growing physical skills enable him to discover a whole new part of the world: the insides of things. He can get into cupboards and drawers, open things, empty things, put things back into things.
He is also observing you doing all these things, and imitating what you do. All this information means his brain is busy-busy-busy, and you might notice that he has a shorter attention span than he did before.
Don’t worry, it’s just that there’s so much to see and do, and so little time to do it all between naps and dinner time and bath time and bed time!
Your little one is still in the middle of this toddler development stage: sensory exploration of the world. This means he sticks everything in his mouth. He loves small things, picking them up off the floor, studying them.
Your lovely little one will also begin to experiment with his new-found identity. He has finally realised that you and he and the world are three separate things, so he is figuring out his own place.
He does this in many ways; he might be yelling a lot, so he can hear his own voice. He might be bringing you his toys and books to play with you. He might be refusing to eat any kind of green vegetable, even if just yesterday it was his favourite food.
This is the time for parents to begin setting boundaries. Your child is still too young for time outs or other types of consequences, so right now, you could be repeating yourself a lot.
Don’t worry. This early effort will pay off at a later stage.
Try to agree with other care-givers on the same rules, but don’t worry too much. Even at this age, children are smart enough to know that there is one set of rules at your house, and another set of rules at your parent’s house.
Continue reading to learn more about toddler development at 14 months. Next up is social, emotional, and language development
Social and Emotional Development
You are still your child’s favourite person in the whole world! He loves to play with you. Do spend some time with him where he gets to take the lead.
It is very educational for him and will develop his sense of autonomy and self confidence. This will give him the best possible grounding for achievement in later life.
Your toddler learns most by looking at what you do and imitating you. So this is your chance to model the behaviour that you want him to show.
One behaviour that he already shows is a willingness to help you. Try and let him take part in your household errands. It probably means more work for you, but at the same time, it’s quality time with him.
He might also begin to play by himself for a few minutes here and there. This too is part of his newfound independence. However, with independence may come fear of the dark.
Your little one could be scared of the dark stair well or the unlit corner of the void deck. Don’t worry, this is normal at this toddler development stage.
Independence comes with limits. If your child crosses these limits (and he will, often!) remind him of the rules, but do not yet give time outs. His brain doesn’t understand those kind of consequences yet.
Remember that really your cutey pie just wants to be around you, because you’re his favourite person ever. If you are happy, all is well in his world.
So if he does break the rules, or makes a mess, it’s not meant to upset you. He may not know how to express regret yet, but you can be sure that he is sorry.
Language and Speech Development
Personhood comes with wants and needs, and your toddler will be trying hard to make you understand him. His vocabulary is growing, and he is exercising his voice by yelling.
He might even be stringing sounds together to make new ones. He is on the cusp of speaking. Some toddlers might even say a few recognizable words by now. So this is, indeed, an exciting part of toddler development.
You could try playing sorting games with your little one, such as stacking rings on top of each other or a shape sorting cube.
Your toddler is probably able to respond correctly to one step verbal commands, such as “give the ball to Daddy”. He loves it when you make animal sounds and may even point at the correct ones in his book.
Continue reading to learn more about toddler development at 14 months. Next up are health and tips for parents
Health and Nutrition
At this toddler development stage, your child is insatiably curious, so be sure to have child-proofed your home. He might even have figured out how to twist and open bottle caps, so all manner of cleaning liquids should be locked away.
Make sure you have your paediatrician’s phone number in your phone, as this is the time when you might need an emergency consultation.
Put all your lovely nail polish, shoe shine and shaving kit out of reach. And if you like to have tooth paste in the morning, it might be a good idea to put that somewhere up high, too!
Your toddler’s quest for independence could lead to picky eating. However, this same urge for doing things by himself could also solve the problem: he might eat a lot better if you let him feed himself.
If you fear the resulting mess, put newspaper under his high chair. Afterwards, scoop it up and throw the mess away.
Tips for Parents
This is the time to start agreeing on boundaries–emotional, but also physical–for your child. The physical ones you can reinforce by putting a gate on the play room door, or the kitchen door, so your child cannot get in harm’s way.
All children develop at their own pace. Some little explorers figure out how to open doors before you’d like them to, some toddlers are content to play with the toys they are given.
Some toddlers prefer mummy’s company, other toddlers can entertain themselves for short whiles.
None of this is any indication for their future development or education. Legend has it that Einstein did not begin speaking until three years old!
Have a look at our articles on toddler development at 12, 18 and 24 months to find out more about early warning signals. But if you are concerned, make sure to consult your paediatrician.
Republished with permission from: theAsianparent
Do you have questions on this toddler development guide? Share with us in the comments!