14 Months with Xavier

Around 14 months of age, your little one will be mastering those gross motor skills. Of course, that’s not too tough to imagine since he has been practicing every moment he isn’t asleep. While you may stay busy keeping him off stairs, out of cabinets and from danger in general this is a good stage for distracting your child while working on fine motor skills. Help your child go from merely dumping objects from containers to sorting small items into container. Give your child some new play things such as big puzzles that are chunky and easy to handle, pegboards, lacing cards and building toys like blocks, connecting toys and play dough.

A related activity is to take advantage of your child’s tactile needs. Your toddler loves experimenting with touch so give her plenty of textures to discover. Make a book of textures by simply sewing together scraps of fabric with varying feels, such as fake fur, silk, velour, terry cloth, faux leather and crinkly materials. When your child handles the pages discuss the different textures, giving him the vocabulary to go with the experience. At 14 months, your child will probably have at minimum a few words beyond the typical “Mama” and “Dada,” can point to parts of the body when prompted, will combine gestures and vocabulary to communicate desires or emotions, and will be walking independently.

Nutrition. Toddlers at 14 months are becoming very independent eaters. They may not be the most skilled at table etiquette but give them the chance to work with forks and spoons and to drink from a cup without a lid. Expect messiness and be prepared by covering the floor around the high chair with protective plastic and invest in bibs that cover the entire front of the child’s shirt, possibly with sleeve coverings and with a deep pocket in front for catching runaway morsels and spills.

Health Concerns. As children grow and are more active and encounter others in public more, germs and accompanying sicknesses become more common. As your child in entering toddlerhood, consider going through the medicine cabinet and preparing in advance for inevitable illnesses. First, throw out all expired medication, and leftover prescriptions. Remember, if the doctor prescribes an antibiotic the child must finish all the medicine. Never stop giving an antibiotic simply because your child seems to feel better. Remember, children under 18 should not take aspirin due to the risk of developing Reye’s Syndrome. Only administer medications made for young children and follow the directions on dosing carefully. Never give a child higher than recommended doses of over the counter or prescription medicines. Always measure out the medicine carefully. Do not use a regular flatware spoon or guess on the amount of medicine.

Tips for Moms and Dads. Expect the sure arrival of toddlerhood. The temper tantrum. Children around 14 months of age are negative little people. One word you are sure to hear more than any other is , “No!” Don’t take it personally, it is just a normal phase in your toddler’s development. Don’t look on every protest, no matter how annoying or loud as overt misbehavior. Of course, there will be more of that as the child grows and discipline at this age is tricky. Your child is too young to try time outs quite yet, and spanking is not going to be effective or healthy. The best option is distraction and managing the environment to minimize behavioral issues. Understand your child’s negative streak is actually a positive sign of his developing a sense of confidence and independence.

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