Toddler Development - The 19th Month

Whether you've got an active or quiet toddler, this month you should focus on giving your little one the space he or she needs to do their thing. That means giving them room to play, move around, and explore different toys and situations to further their mental and physical development – within reason, of course. Make sure you offer a safe environment for your child to prosper in, whether they are indoors or outdoors.

 
Mental Development

In addition to developing a larger vocabulary, your child might start using more action words, like verbs such as "go" and "jump". Most 19-month-olds are also adept at using and understanding directions such as "up", "down", "under", "out", and "in".

One thing you'll be happy to hear is that your child might be more willing to help out around the house when he or she sees you putting away laundry or emptying the dishwasher. They will particularly want to help out with jobs that seem important, so don't become impatient if they want to chip in. Instead, find ways for your cooperative toddler to help out, as this is good for their self-esteem.

Another positive development is that your child's attention span will be increasing. Your tot will spend more time playing alone with a favorite toy or going through their baby books. They might even enjoy watching children shows such as Barney or Teletubbies. This means more free time for you!

 
Physical Development

Toddlers love pushing, tossing, pulling and carrying different objects, whether large or small, so vary the types of toys you offer your little ones to give them more of a challenge when they play. Young children also learn by touching, holding, and moving objects from one place to another; this type of play is called "motor learning" and develops your child's motor skills.

Your children will also be testing their locomotive skills, walking backward, sideways and up and down stairs. Keep a close eye on your toddler but don't stop them from experimenting with different ways of moving unless they seem to be in danger. Make sure that your home is childproofed to offer your child a safe environment in which to grow.

 
Eating Habits

It is common for toddlers to go through phases of 2 or 3 days where they hardly eat anything, but they usually make up for it later, so don't worry too much if your child doesn't clean his or her plate. If, however, your little one seems to be losing weight or is lethargic, it might be a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. In general, getting your child used to having three meals a day with some healthy snacks in between will ensure that he or she remains healthy.

Sleeping Habits

Is your child getting 9-11 hours of sleep? If the answer is yes, then your toddler is getting the sleep they need. If the answer is no, however, you're going to have to investigate why that is. Consult with your pediatrician to determine the best way of correcting your child's sleeping habits, or talk to other parents for advice. More often than not, establishing a consistent bedtime routine solves this problem.