Your toddler: 16 months old

Dropping a nap, separation anxiety and playing with others. Learn all about life with your 16-month-old.

photo: iStockphoto

photo: iStockphoto

Is one nap enough?
Now that your child’s settling into life as a one year old, you’re likely to notice some changes in her sleep patterns. For example, she’s probably getting ready to go from two naps a day to one, if she hasn’t already. But how can you tell that it’s time?

Here are some points to consider:
• Does your child go down easily for one nap but not the other?
• Does she nap normally during the day, but get sleepy much later at night?
• Does she nap normally during the day, but get up much earlier in the morning?
If you said yes to any of these questions, it’s probably time to learn some toddler nap tactics so you can start to adjust your child’s sleep schedule. Taking away a nap can be tricky, so be flexible with timing and generous with patience.

Read more: Comfort objects>

When it’s hard to say goodbye
Whether your toddler has been in care since she was six months old, or has just taken this big step recently, saying goodbye at the daycare door can be fraught with emotion. The 16- to 18-month period can be a peak time for separation anxiety, so at this age especially, parting may be more about sorrow than sweetness. If your toddler is having a hard time (it’s no picnic for you, either!) check out our separation anxiety survival guide.

Read more: Daycare germs: What you need to know>

Raising a reader
If you thought about reading to your child before you became a parent, you probably imagined your little one snuggled up to you in her pajamas, freshly bathed and placidly listening. But now that you have a real live kid, you know the reality is a bit different.

Read more: Why kids love repetition (and how to save your sanity)>

Parallel playdates
Imagine two toddlers, shoulder-to-shoulder in the sandbox. But instead of interacting, each is playing separately, doing his own thing. This is parallel play. By positioning themselves close together, watching and copying each other, the children are getting ready to interact socially. Most toddlers are naturally drawn to other children, but they lack many of the skills needed for real give-and-take play. For one- and two-year-olds, parallel play is a perfect compromise.

Read more: How to deal with aggressive toddler behaviour>

Originally published on Oct. 23, 2011.

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