No one can deny that we are really on our way now. We have hit a special milestone…18 months, which is 1 and 1/2 years of age. It’s a time when we wonder ‘Where on Earth has the time gone?’ And we watch in amazement as our little bundles become independent, little, human beings.
I’m finding this stage the most incredible one of all. I haven’t sit back in such awe since my twins were first born. There is so much they have learned, and so much that they can do…even if it scares me!
1. Speech development.
Your 18 month old toddler or twin tots have come a very long way since ‘mama’ and ‘dadda’, and while no they aren’t yet quoting any poetic verses they are surely making big strides every month now. Their vocabularies should be growing by leaps and bounds, and you may find yourself trying to keep up with all of their new words, but find it very hard to do so.
Common words you may hear:
(Of course, still mama & dada)
Your no longer ‘baby-baby’, though I still call my own this, are increasing their words all the time. 18 months is a pivotal time for speech, and you are now here. Your child should be saying at least 10 – 20 words according to doctors, though some toddlers may say between 50-100 words, believe it or not. If yours is a little behind please don’t panic, just bring it up at your next well-baby check up. If you have a preemie give your child or twins extra leeway here.
2. Linking words.
You may also notice something else around this time. Your toddler or twins may be linking two words together. An example is when my twins go, ‘All mine.’ Now at 19 months they say, ‘Mine all mine’, so the changes happen fast now. You may start noticing this around the 18 month mark. Small words being put together in your child’s vocabulary. If not yet, be patient, and keep reading to your tot and encouraging learning through play.
3. Independence begins.
I found and still find this a little sad. Toddlers at 18 months or thereabouts start getting into this ‘I want to do it all myself’ phase. I like feeling needed so it’s hard for me. They may start peeling your hands off them when they are attempting to climb on something, go down a slide, or accomplish any given task.
I remember how sad it was when I put my twins on a duck to rock back and forth on and they both screamed at me, pulled away my hands, and shooed me off like ‘Mom, I got this. Leave us alone!’ Felt a little like rejection x’s 2, but it’s really just a part of growing up. Suck it up moms and dads!
I kiss their feet and say, ‘My pigs.’ They both shake their heads and go, ‘NO..MINE,’ adamantly. I find this so sad, but it starts around this time. They still need you and love you, but they want to explore the world more on their own, and have developed a sense of doing for themselves, not always relying on you to do for them, but still be there, naturally. They may no longer want you spoon feeding them and insist on doing it all for themselves. This is a healthy and normal part of toddler development.
4. Toddler can take off some clothing items. Maybe put their shoes back on to.
Your 18 month old may now be able to help undress him or herself, and will pull off an open onesie with help, some without help, and easily take off shoes and socks. We love the bare piggies best, don’t we? Hey they all need air. They may be pulling their pants down and if you are unlucky like me, as in one of the twins, yanking off more then just the pants but the diaper to screaming, ‘PEE-PEE…POO-POO.’ I can’t tell you how many diapers we go through with that one.
Some may be able to put back on their shoes but don’t hold your breath on it. It may take a little longer yet, but you certainly notice that you have a helping and hindering set of little hands now. Give them a box of hats. They love trying on hats, taking them on and off, and looking in the mirror. At least my twins surely do. Fashionistas already!
5. It’s ‘mine.’ Fighting for ownership.
At around this age toddlers start feeling a sense of ownership towards personal possessions, food, sometimes even people. It’s no wonder this is a crazy time for twins. They now are claiming ownership on something or someone that there is only one of, and things can get a little sticky. Yes there may be shoving, slapping, and pushing matches now to gain control of a certain toy or household item. Maybe your lap to!
Regardless of if you have twins or not, this is NOT too early of an age to teach sharing and taking turns in small ways. Twins about this age start to realize what it means to wait for theirs, not that they always will gleefully, but they become more patient then a typical singleton just because they have had so much practice waiting already. Go ahead and put words to it. I say, ‘It’s Allie’s turn’ and the right baby steps up to the plate. The other waits nearby, so they DO understand.
If you have 1 baby encourage him or her to share with you, cousins, little friends, and older siblings. It definitely helps things out come the future, and they do understand more now then you realize. It’s not too soon. A common sight now may be your child pointing at his or herself and shouting, ‘Me’ or ‘Mine.’ They are not self centered, they are being totally normal children.
6. Who knew you gave birth to a mountain lion? Climbing professional!
Stairs don’t even pose a challenge anymore. Check out the video below to see the insane things my twins are already up to. They scare the life out of me, but fortunately I have someone in the background helping the crazy lady behind the camera out at times. I’m usually following their tails relentlessly, but I wanted you to get a gander. We were on guard though. Tots of this age may easily climb up into kitchen chairs, they may get up onto beds, small tables, into their stroller, just most anything in their field of vision.
Watch out world..here 18 month old’s come!
Some are more adamant about being dare devils then others. One of my twins doesn’t insist on being as daring though she has the strength to copy her sister if she wanted to. One of them is simply part baby, part kangaroo. Watching her is a treat, but is often frightening to. Let your little ones explore and have fun, but always be there to protect them. It’s a zany, fun, yet dangerous time for toddlers. Whether they know it, or want it, or not..they need our protection for quite awhile to come.
7. Toddler shows great affection. The twin bond grows.
Now this is funny because sometimes everybody in the room will get showered with kisses and then I ask for one and am left hanging. They will do that pucker, lean near, then follow through with that run and laugh thing to me. This is a time where you will see affection rise yet independence rise along with it, so you may just be left hanging as well. In the end your child will still come running to you when they are scared or simply need you, which is often. They are still babies at heart and should be treated as such, no matter how much more grown up they appear.
Letting babies and children see large amounts of affection in your home between mom and dad, and other siblings, is a great way to have a happy, well adjusted, lovey and huggy child. They may not always be in the mood for it, but now you should notice more kisses and gestures of love then ever before. If you have twins the affection between one another should be greatly increased as well. I’m loving that part of things!
8. Other things you may notice at 18 months…
a)Baby likes to scribble with crayon.
b)Baby knows various parts of the body and can point to them.
c)Baby may test your limits by trying to do something you do not want them to, and look your way as they start doing it in almost slow motion, watching you like a hawk.
d) May turn pages of a book about 2-3 pages at one time.
e)Nap time may decrease. I get about 20-30-40 minutes a day now…one time only. I’m envious of those who sleep longer.
f)Imitation is HUGE now.
Older siblings are now either a good or a bad influence. My daughter has them jumping off the couch so bad influence. They follow everything she does to a tee, which makes my life a little harder. Talk with your big kids about trying to set an example for little ones, and also try and do that yourself, as no one is more fun to imitate then yours truly..MOM. Watch your mouth and your actions, and enjoy this momentous time. The 2 year birthday will be here before we even know it. As the song says, ‘These are the times to remember.’ Make them last!