What Your Toddlers May Be Doing Now
By the end of this month, your toddler… should be able to
- Pull up to Standing position
- Get into a sitting position
- Cruise (move from place to place, always holding on)
- Clap hands (play ‘patty-cake’)
- Indicate wants in ways other than crying
Note: If your toddler has not reached these milestone or doesn’t use his or her hands for purposeful activities like picking things up, consult the doctor or health visitors. This rate of development may well be normal for your child (some children are late bloomers), but it needs to be evaluated. Also check with the doctor if your toddler seems unresponsive, doesn’t smile, makes few or no sounds, irritable, or demands constant attention. (Remember, the one-year-old who was born prematurely often lags behind others of the same chronological age. This developmental gap progressively narrows and generally disappears entirely around age two.)
….will probably be able to:
- put an object into a container (by 12 1/2 months)
- imitate activities (by 12 1/2 months)
- stand alone (by 12 1/2 months)
- use 1 recognizable word
….may possibly be able to:
- Drink from a cup
- use 2 recognizable words (by 12 1/2 months)
- point to a desired object (by 12 1/2 months)
- walk well
…. may even be able to:
- use a spoon/fork (but not exclusively)
- remove an article for clothing
- point to 1 body part when asked
- use an object in imitation
Intellectual development: Early in the second year, toddlers are explorers and scientist, picking up, studying, testing, manipulating, may be still putting in their mouths, everything in their path. Cause and effect is a major focus. They live in the here and now, and do not show much imagination or abstract thinking as yet.
Emotional development. As the world begins to open up, the toddler, who has come a long way from the eat-cry-sleep newborn, opens up, too, displays a wide range of moods, feelings and behaviours. Except them and accept them – they are part of growing up. This range includes a displays of affection, independence, frustration, fear, anger, protest, stubbornness, wilfulness, sadness, anxiety and puzzlement.
What You Can Except at a One-Year Check Up
Your child won’t necessarily have a checkup at one year. Health-care teams in the UK now take a flexible approach and offer health reviews and advice to suit the individual child’s needs, although attendance for immunizations is often used as an opportunity for a checkup.
Preparing for the checkup.
Keep a list of concerns (about behaviour, health, eating, sleeping, family visit issues, etc.) that have come up since the last visit to your child’s doctor or health visitors. Be sure to bring the questions with you to this visit so you will be ready when the doctors asks, ‘Any concerns?’ Also jot down new skills your toddler is displaying (clapping hands, waving bye-bye, blowing kisses, walking, climbing) so you won’t be at a loss when you’re asked, ‘What’s your toddlers been doing?’ Bring alone your child’s home health, weight, immunizations and any other information gleaned from the visit can be recorded.
What the checkup will be like.
Procedures will vary, depending on your child’s doctor or health visitors who conducts health checks, but in most cases, the twelve-month visit will include:
- An assessment of growth (height, weight, head circumference) since the last visit. These findings may be plotted on growth charts and the child’s weight for height evaluated and compared to previous measurements. You can expect that the rate of growth will slow in the second year. Note that children don’t grow gradually, but rather in spurts. So your toddler may remain the same height for a couple of months, then suddenly pick up a full inch or more virtually overnight.
- Questions about your child’s development, behaviour, eating habits and health since the last visit. there may also be question about how the family is doing in general, whether there have been any major stress or changes, how siblings (if any) are getting along with your toddler, about how you are copying, about child-care arrangements (if any). The doctor or health visitor will also want to know whether you have any other questions or concerns.
- An informal assessment, based on observation and interview, of physical and intellectual development, and of hearing and vision.
- A finger-stick blood test (haematocrit or haemoglobin) if the child is at risk of anaemia
- If you live in an old home or block of flats, a blood test (blood test is drawn and sent to a lab) may be given to screen for lead .
- A Mantoux tuberculin test (a simple skin test) for children at high risk of TB, such as those who have traveled abroad or have parents who work in a hospital or jail.
- Hib (haemophilus influenzae b); may be given at least 15 months instead. Hib is now routinely given (along with DTaP and oral polio) at two, three and four months.
- Men C (Meningitis C).
Other need-to-know advice.
The doctor or health visitors may also discuss such topics as good parenting practices; your toddler’s emerging struggle for independence; discipline; communicating with your toddler; nutrition, weaning and fluoride supplementation, if appropriate; injury prevention; ways of stimulating language; and other issues that will be important in the months ahead.
The next checkup.
If your toddler is in good health, the next visit will be at least 15 months. Until then, be sure to call the health visitors or doctor if your child shows any signs of illness.