Your toddler: 14 months old

Toddler demands, separation anxiety and diaper changes on the go. Life with your 14-month-old is next-level.

Photography by Nicole Duplantis/Clothing by babyGap and Joe Fresh

When kids are this young, every day brings exciting new developments in their little world. And let’s not forget you: At this stage, parents may still be getting used to being back at work, settling in as a stay-at-home mom or dad or, if you opted for a longer parental leave, savouring the last few months with your babe before everyone’s schedule changes. Either way, life with a toddler is next level.

14-month-old development & milestones

Milestones update

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, by the end of this month, kids should be able to:

  • Crawl on their hands and knees or scoot on their bums (if not walking yet)
  • Pull up to a standing position
  • Climb stairs with help
  • Feed themselves using their thumbs and forefingers
  • Put objects in a box or container and take them out
  • Push toys
  • Drink from a cup
  • Begin to use a spoon
  • Scribble with crayons
  • Copy when playing
  • Have favourite toys
  • Test their limits (yup, misbehaviour!)
  • Take off their socks
  • Come to you when you call their name
  • Say at least a couple of words with meaning (mama, dada)
  • Stop when they hear “no”
  • Shake, bang, drop and throw objects
  • Explore cause and effect

No offence but…

Escargot book cover 36 best books for toddlers Yeah, your kid is totally self-absorbed these days—they’re not into sharing, they want all your attention (whining every time you turn your head is getting annoying) and they don’t seem into playing with other tots. But all that’s normal—little ones at this age are demanding. Even though they insist on doing things themselves (that independence is starting to shine through), most don’t want to lose sight of their moms or dads for too long. Yup, separation anxiety may rear its ugly head, if it hasn’t already. More on this below.

The “Don’t go!” phase

They may not be able to say it when you’ve got a foot out the door, but those sad, nervous cries speak volumeswelcome to the separation-anxiety phase. You might start to notice quiet whimpers when you leave the room or dramatic tear- (and tantrum-) filled daycare drop-offs. Separation anxiety (though super-hard on parents) is normal, and it won’t last forever. Some developmental psychologists believe we’re programmed to be weary and cautious of new places and strange people. You can understand how bizarre it would be for a tot to have someone other than mom, dad or nana change their diaper. Here’s the thing: Getting through separation anxiety doesn’t feel good when you’re the parent since many childhood experts believe that showing your anxiety or lingering makes it worse on your kid. Instead, stay as calm as you can (hard task, we know) and show excitement about their new surroundings (say “Wow, look at all these crayons! Can you make me a picture?” or “Look, there are superhero capes at the dress-up centre!”

Confidence boosting

If your kid has been walking for a couple of months or even just a few weeks, you’ll notice that they’re getting super-confident and much more steady by the day. They’ll be able to start and stop with ease and bend to pick up toys, dropped snacks and pet the dog without falling. Their new obsession will be pushing stuff (pretty much anything they can get a hold of) across the room. Encourage this exploration, but keep an eye on them—they’ll be inching their way toward the stairs in no time. Oh, and we’ll remind you again: Walking as early as nine months and as late as 18 months is totally normal.

A knack for coordination

Mom holding baby Sleep and feeding schedule for your 12- to 18-month-old babyThere are lots of fun activities you can do with your tot to help them work on their hand-eye coordination. Try these easy activities that you can do while sitting on the floor together to help them build important skills.

  • Give your baby a pile of blocks and get them to stack them as high as they’ll go.
  • Get your kid to sit with their legs apart while you sit opposite with your legs apart. Roll a ball back and forth and tell them to stop it and roll it back before it reaches them.
  • Toss or pass: Take a few steps away from each other and get your tot to bring you a ball (or another toy). Send them to their spot and then take the ball back to them.

Toddler-proofing

Make no mistake: Soon, your child will be getting into everything. Your lower kitchen cupboards, bathroom cabinets, stairs and coffee table are prime areas for exploring, so be sure to keep your kiddo safe with our childproofing guide.

Screen time

A group of kids on smartphones and iPad An age-by-age guide to kids and smartphones We’re certainly not saying that we’ve never used TV (hello, Little Baby Bum) to entertain our little ones while grabbing lunch, running to the bathroom or even taking a much-needed parenting break on the couch to scroll through Instagram, but the Canadian Paediatric Society says that kids under two shouldn’t be using screens at all, including TV and smartphones. According to their research, there’s no benefit before the age of two. They also say that kids two to five should only use these forms of entertainment less than an hour a day. All that said, don’t feel guilty if you sometimes have to rely on the canine gang from Paw Patrol or those two parentless bunnies to keep your kid occupied while you make dinner or hop on a quick call—we promise we’ve all been there.

Your life after baby

Postpartum anxiety

So this is the stuff that no one talks about, but you should. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t be ashamed of your feelings—you’re certainly not alone. Postpartum anxiety is three times more common than postpartum depression and affects 17 percent of new moms after birth. While some anxiety is to be expected (you are a new parent, after all), it can creep up on you and quickly become crippling. You can read about another mother’s account here.

If you feel like your worries are starting to take control and you’re obsessing over your child’s well-being, speak to your healthcare provider—it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. You’ll be referred to someone who can help you get through it.

Stuff no one tells you

Diaper changes on the go

Yup, those days of diapering your kid while they’re lying down staring up at you with a smile are over. There’s no stopping this tot now, even when they’re running around with a soggy, droopy diaper. Luckily, parents who’ve been there have shared ways to get it done in a jiffy and on the move. Your best bet? Get them involved. Let them know it’s time to change their bum and negotiate if you have to (“Let’s change your diaper and count to 10, then you can play with this toy”). And if they’re not having it? Wait five minutes and try again.

Flying with kids

OK, we’re going to level with you: Air travel with a squirmy, whiny kid is totally not a vacation, and dealing with aggravated onlookers and your fellow travellers isn’t going to be fun for anyone. You’ll find there are plenty of ways to survive everything from delays in the airport to long flights. And, yes, we’re definitely going to suggest loading the iPad with as many Peppa Pig episodes as possible. It’s an exception! #SorryNotSorry

Just for fun

Adults just wanna have fun

Who says cake smashes are reserved for one-year-olds? Certainly not us. Get a load of these awesome adults celebrating their birthdays, complete with cake, balloons, photo shoots and beer. Perfection.

Three cheers for Costco

Yeah, we love it there, and we know you do, too. What are the best buys? What aisle should you hit first? When is the best time to go? Watch as Today’s Parent’s very own Kim the Costco Lady takes you through.

Read more:
Your toddler: 15 months old
Anxiety in toddlers is totally normal, but here’s how you can help

 

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