Family meals are important for your baby. Let him eat with you. This helps him learn. Don’t make mealtime a battle. Let your baby feed himself. Your child should use a spoon and drink from a cup now. Continue fluoride supplement if there is no fluoride in the water. Your child may now be ready for chewable fluoride.
Children at this age should be learning many new words. You can help his vocabulary by reading to him as well as showing and naming new things. Help your child be active by playing games and sports with him. Take him outside as often as possible. Give him choices that are acceptable to you. Let him learn to choose for himself rather than force him to abide by your choice.
- Praise your child for doing good things. Make an effort to catch him being good. Minimize the “no’s” and try to be positive and praising. Continue to set limits, as this will give your child security. Children at this time often say “no” or refuse to do what you want them to do. The following are suggestions to help them learn about rules and to keep them safe:
- Child-proof the home. Go through each room and remove valuable, dangerous or messy things. Children are curious and will get into things that you do no want them to if they are available.
- Divert and substitute. If a child is playing with something you don’t want him to have, replace it with another object or toy that is acceptable. This will avoid a power struggle and avoid your child having to say “no.”
- Teach and lead. Have as few rules as necessary and enforce them. These rules should be rules that are important for his safety. If a rule is broken, after a short, clear and gentle explanation, immediately find a place for your child to sit alone for 1 minute. It is very important that punishment come immediately after a rule is broken.
- Be consistent with discipline. Don’t make threats that you cannot carry out. If you say you are going to do it, do it.
At 18 months, most toddlers are not yet showing signs that they are ready for toilet training. When toddlers report to parents that they have wet or soiled their diaper, they are beginning to be aware that they prefer dryness. This is a good sign and you should praise your child. Toddlers are naturally curious about the use of the bathroom by other people. Let them watch you or other family members use the toilet. It is important not to put too many demands on a child or shame the child during toilet training.
- Keep plastic bags, balloons and small hard objects out of reach.
- Avoid peanuts and other foods with a choking potential.
- Keep hot appliances and electrical cords out of reach.
- Turn your hot water temperature down to 120 degrees.
- Hold your child’s hands when approaching a street or you are near traffic.
- Provide a play area where balls and riding toys cannot roll into the street.
- Always watch your child around water. Never leave your toddler alone in the bathtub.
- Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, etc. locked away.
- Purchase all medicines in containers with safety caps.
- Keep the number handy for the Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222.
Your child may need the following immunizations:
- DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis)
- Hepatitis A
CALL OUR OFFICE IF:
- Your child has a reaction to his vaccine.
- Your child gets a fever that lasts longer than 48 hours.
- Your child is in an accident where you suspect a broken bone or he has bleeding that cannot be quickly controlled.
- Other questions about your child’s health.