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Your baby is now a full-blown toddler, and it is easily evident by the mess he has created all over the house. At this age, you will find that your child easily gets smitten by something, and just as quickly disregards it for something new- short attention spans seem to be the defining feature at this age, in terms of how your child behaves.
This is also the time when your baby starts to develop a humour sense, which means that he is sure to understand the funny side when you sing a silly song or make a funny face. His giggles will seem out of this world, although they can just as quickly start crying for the smallest things.
Let us take a general look at how a 19-month-old baby should be treated, and how far he is supposed to have progressed in terms of growth.
19 Month Old Toddler Development
For 19-month-old babies, milestones are more like general guidelines rather than rules which define how much the child has grown. Your child will be able to do a number of activities and understand much more about the world around him. He should be able to understand many more words than he can say, and should also be able to use a spoon and a fork to feed himself without making too much of a mess.
In many cases, the child will also be able to notice when something is wrong in his surroundings- say if his doll has lost an eye or an ear, he is bound to notice it soon. Many of his decisions will be made by himself, and in terms of movement, he will be able to run unaided by supports.
Depending upon the speed of growth of your child, he might be able to do much more. He may be able to wash and dry his hands, and also let you know when he wants to pee. Using the words he knows, he may also be able to point out the items he sees in books.
Let us take a detailed look at how far your child may have progressed in various aspects of his growth.
The major development in this month is in terms of his running ability.
- He will be able to run unaided and move in different directions. He might be able to walk backwards, sideways and even climb stairs on his own.
- His running is more enthusiastic than graceful, and he is sure to fall somewhere while galloping.
- Even though he can run, he does not have complete control over his movements. Gauging distances accurately will not be his forte, so he will not be able to apply the brakes to avoid collisions in most cases.
Considering this situation, it is important to ensure that your child has a safe space for him to try his running skills out. You have to pad the edges of the coffee tables and low furniture so that he does not collide harmfully anywhere. Fireplaces and other edges should also be covered well. Gates near stairs can also ensure that your baby does not fall down the stairs due to over-enthusiasm.
- For the 19-month-old baby, weight gains are not as quick as it was in his first year.
- At this age, his gripping skills will also have developed considerably. He will be able to grip and even dump the contents of a container and have enough dexterity to stack block one over the other.
- You can encourage him to use his fingers more by buying the appropriate toys for him, which can improve his dexterity.
Social and Emotional Development
In terms of emotional growth, your baby will have grown by leaps and bounds in the leading months. The most important thing to notice about his behaviour is his desire to help you.
- He is sure to offer help whenever he sees you doing something. He would have learnt a lot about these activities by watching you keenly for a few months and is sure to try to imitate you in the activity.
- If he sees you fold your clothes or wash the car, he will definitely ask you to let him be a part of it.
- His enthusiasm for the activity will be considerably more than his ability to do the task- even then, you should find a way to make him feel involved so as to make him happy.
Try to get him involved in chores, as you might as well indulge him when he is willing to help you- else, the result might be your 19 month old not talking to you. You can make him do simple, harmless activities, like putting him in charge of cleaning the tires or even holding the hose while washing the car.
- Even though his desire to be the centre of attention will have waned over the months, it still makes an appearance every now and then.
- Do not scold him when he craves your attention, as it may discourage him in the future.
- This situation becomes harder for your child if you are expecting another baby- therefore, there are a few things that you can do in order to prepare him for the arrival of his sibling.
- Make him fold the clothes of the baby, and show him images of his items and tell him that ‘his’ baby will need them soon. You can even get him a special doll so that he gets accustomed to loving a child.
Cognitive and Language Development
At this age, it is hard to gauge how far your baby is supposed to have developed.
- Your child might have a vocabulary of anywhere between ten and fifty words.
- He might be able to construct simple phrases, using his understanding of verbs. Using pronouns, he will be able to get his idea across for you to understand.
- A sense of direction and words to help him identify them will also be in their vocabulary.
- In order to help him develop further, you can point out various images on his books and describe them to him using simple phrases and words. Also, try to make him understand the words for colours.
- Exploring is also an important part of his learning process, and he will try to understand and perceive the shapes and other physical features of the various items around him. A sorting box in which he is supposed to place the right objects in the right spaces will make a great toy for him.
At this age, your child will be trying to be more independent and self-sufficient. Therefore, he will not respond well to any commands that you make- instead, you can try to compromise for a more amicable response. Explain to him what you want, and make him understand that discipline is the limits of acceptable behaviour.
Do not get exasperated or harsh at your kid, and understand that he is still developing. Ensure that you do not come across as angry to your child, even when you are trying to discipline him- instead, make him feel loved and accepted no matter what.
Food and Nutrition
In this age, your child is suspicious of anything that he comes across- so if you want him to try new food items, make sure that he sees it for a few times before he is made to eat it. Since they have a short attention span, they will be sure to lose interest in eating within half an hour. Therefore, limit meal times to 20 minutes and time to consume light snacks to around ten minutes.
If your baby is still breastfeeding extensively, he might not have much appetite at meal times and may not even be getting adequate amounts of minerals like iron. So consult with the doctor regarding your 19-month-old baby’s food, so that he grows up healthily.
Ensure that your child gets around 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day, combined- most of the growth occurs when he is sleeping. His sleep schedule should not be erratic and should be consistent for best results. Ensure that he has a safe sleeping space, and consult with the doctor if there are any persistent disruptions in his sleep schedule.
Potty Training Readiness
You will notice that your child has started gesturing to you about soiled diapers, at this age. This means that he is growing uncomfortable with the whole diaper arrangement, so you can start potty training him at this age. Remember to handle this process with care and encouragement, though.
Play and Activities
There are a few 19-month-old baby activities which can be carried out in order to develop his skills further. Some of these are given below.
- From the time he wakes up, keep him busy with activities that can help him develop. Simple thoughtful toys like shape boxes and kitchen sets can keep him engaged for a long time, while also developing his cognitive and mental abilities.
- Always keep an eye on him, as he is surely up to some mischief if you do not hear noises in a long time.
- Encourage him to complete your sentences- you can point to an image on the book and say a sentence, and pause at the end so that he completes it with a pertaining word.
Tips for Parents
- Ensure that your child is never constipated by providing plenty of fluids and fibre in his diet.
- You can give him a tricycle or a walker to move around, as the physical activity not only helps him coordinate his leg muscles but also increases his appetite.
- Give him age-appropriate toys, as he still might have the habit of chewing or biting whatever he gets.
- Baby-proof your child’s surroundings to prevent activities.
Consult a Doctor If
Your baby is sure to be extremely active in this stage, so accidents are plausible- if you come across anything larger than a small cut or a bruise, or see your baby crying for long periods for no perceivable reason, give the doctor a visit. Remember to trust your motherly instincts over logic- it is always better to be safe than sorry, so give the doctor a visit just to be sure even if you have the slightest doubt.
This age is characterised by the extremes, as your child will try to be more independent even though he requires a lot of your attention. Always keep an eye on him, as you cannot be sure of what he is up to. The first memories of a child could be formed at this age- so make sure to indulge in a lot of humour and click a lot of pictures of your baby!
Also Read: How To Develop Social Skills In Children