Toddler Development - The 14th Month

Caring for your toddler will be both a fun and draining affair, so try to involve your spouse in caring for your little one; not only will that give you some time to recuperate, it will also strengthen the child-father bond between your toddler and your husband. This month will be an eventful one as your child learns new things and continues to practice budding skills. Let's take a look at what you can expect these coming weeks.

 
Mental Development

In general, 14-month-olds tend to be loners during playtime, which is completely normal for their age. Socializing with other children isn't high on their list of priorities yet, and as such your child might very well enjoy keeping itself amused at the park or in a play group in parallel to other kids rather than with them. If your toddler doesn't interact with other children often, try joining a play group to expose your child to a variety of social situations that will help it become more at ease with interacting with others as it approaches the preschooler age.

Stranger anxiety will probably become less of a problem this month as your child outgrows its fear of strangers, though some children need more time before they tackle this milestone. There are some things you can do to help your child get used to meeting strangers, such as explaining to friends and new acquaintances that your child is more comfortable with being approached slowly. Hold your child if it seems nervous in the company of new people to reassure it that it's in a safe environment. Expose your toddler to a variety of people in different situations and let it see you talk to strangers in the park, grocery store, and other places to teach it to become comfortable around unfamiliar people.

While your child might only know how to speak a handful of words, its vocabulary will be increasing this month and it will understand a greater number of words. Your toddler will most likely look for opportunities to use the words it does know and will take every chance to repeat them. Its ability to remember people, places and events will also be getting stronger, and this month it might be able to respond to two-part instructions and requests.

 
Physical Development

If your toddler has already been walking for several weeks or months, its confidence and steadiness will have improved. Make sure you provide a safe environment for your little one to practice moving around, which includes covering sharp corners that it can bump into. Your little one should also be getting more adept at moving objects from one place to another and picking up toys without falling. Your toddler might even be coordinated enough to roll a ball to you and might attempt to grab it if you roll it back. It's alright if your child hasn't begun to walk yet, as some children need a few more months before they begin doing so.

Children around this age should be able to wave goodbye and drink from a cup with some assistance. You can enable your little one to improve its hand dexterity by giving it toys that require the use of fine motor skills.

 
Eating Habits

Table manners are still very much a work in progress at this point, and it might be difficult to keep your little one sitting in one place for you to feed it properly. Trying to control your child's wriggling at mealtimes will be a difficult thing to do, so you might want to resolve yourself to having to clean up after mealtimes as your child moves around with its finger food in its hands. If your toddler hasn't learned to walk yet, it will be easier to keep it seated in its highchair long enough for you to finish feeding your little one. Remember to keep things interesting by offering your child different types of food and occasionally adding new dishes to its menu. Most likely your little one will enjoy feeding itself now, so allow it do so.
 

Sleeping Habits

Your child might develop a tendency to throw tantrums when you attempt to put it to sleep, but this is more likely to happen if you haven't already established a regular sleeping routine to settle your little one into bed. Using a nightlight, tucking your toddler in with its favorite toy or blanket, and giving it a nighttime cuddle can help soothe it enough for it to calm itself down and go to sleep. Don't wait until your child is exhausted to tuck it in, as being overtired can make your toddler cranky and unable to fall asleep easily.