Your toddler: 17 months old

Your toddler now has the capacity to decide whether or not they want to be honest, patient, careful or helpful. Learn all about life with your 17-month-old.

Photography by Nicole Duplantis/Clothing provided by babyGap and Joe Fresh

It’s hard to believe, but your tot is only a few weeks away from that year-and-a-half mark! So much is going on with your kiddo at this age—they’re hitting milestones and growing by the day. If you’re behind on your journals and photo collections, try to carve out some time to get those memories in there. But if this isn’t your first baby, we get it—you probably don’t have time for baby books.

17-month-old development & milestones

Delayed walking

Odds are, your kid has already gotten up and shuffled around the house, holding onto furniture, walls and mom’s and dad’s hands. But if they’re crawling or planted on their rears and not walking yet, they’ll reach that milestone soon enough. Some kids prefer crawling, some are content to sit around while their parents, grandparents and siblings run around, waiting on them hand and foot, and some are just plain lazy. If you’re concerned, chat with your healthcare provider, but know that your angel is probably just taking their sweet time.

Intellectual leap

Those innocent days are over: Your kid now has the mental capacity to decide whether or not they want to be honest, patient, careful or helpful. They’re developing a conscience, and you’ll likely catch them deep in thought about how to handle different situations.

Noisemakers

Mom holding baby Sleep and feeding schedule for your 12- to 18-month-old babyThat shrieking phase has officially begun. (Earplugs, anyone?) Kids scream for a bunch of reasons—out of happiness, for attention and when they’re ticked off (you can usually stop this behaviour by distracting them with something else—littles have notoriously short attention spans). Oh, and you can be certain they’ll use that high-pitched scream when they’re throwing tantrums. Find more ways to get them to take it down a few notches here.

Lovey-dovey time

Is there such a thing as too much affection from an adorable tot? Come on, who doesn’t love a good smooch? If they can’t keep their little hands and lips off mom, dad and other family members (“I just love Nana so much!”), some experts suggest teaching them how to show love and respect boundaries, especially if they’re trying to smooch little playmates who don’t want to be smothered. But we’ll gladly take it and give it right back with an “I love you, too.” Think about it: They won’t be so quick to show affection when they’re tweens and you become uncool.

Diaper dilemmas

A little boy sitting on a potty next to his stuffed lamb, also on a potty Is your kid ready to potty train? They’re finally sleeping through the night (win!), but now they’re waking up after a good night’s slumber in pee-soaked jammies (ugh). This one’s a tough call: Do you wake them up in the night to change their diaper or launder their sheets and PJs every day (eek)? Before you decide, consider a few tricks: Switch brands (other brands of diapers can work better for some wee ones), use overnight diapers, double up or add a cotton insert if you’re using cloth diapers, and try to limit the amount they’re drinking in the evening.

Your life after baby

Knocking boots post-babe

Feel like getting freaky? (Nah, we didn’t think so.) Don’t worry if your sex drive has become non-existent; it’s tough to get in the mood and keep the fires burning when all you want is the Netflix part of “Netflix and chill” in its most literal meaning. While your partner may be amped up for booty calls, it might take you longer to get your sexy back. Our best advice? Think long term (you’ll be back in the saddle eventually), keep an open mind and treat yourself. You might just feel better after a long bath and a mani.

Kid-free nuptials

You probably didn’t think much about kids at weddings before you had your own mini-me, but now that you’re a parent, it might bug you when you’re invited to celebrate someone’s big day sans kiddos. If it’s “adults only” and you want to go, get a babysitter (don’t ignore the couple and show up with your brood). That said, you can skip—and with good reason—if you’d rather RSVP by sending regrets.

Stuff no one tells you

Puppy love

Dogs and toddlers can be super-cute together, but both canines and kids need training. If you have a pup, you probably started getting them used to little ones right away and have been working on it ever since your baby was born. As for your toddler, teach them how to behave around animals—no pulling tails, no throwing things at them, no poking and no climbing—so they can coexist together peacefully.

Ankle biters

How to stop your child from hitting Toddlers are all about their teeth. Not only do they explore with their mouths but some also use biting as a form of aggression and frustration when they can’t find the words to express their emotions. Start with a firm “no.” If they’re looking for a response, whether it’s negative or neutral, your best bet is to avoid giving them any more attention. They’ll grow out of it—eventually.

Just for fun

Get crafty

Tired of colouring? No prob. How about decorating Mason jars? Creating stuff with cardboard? Playing with washi tape? We have lots of fun ideas—and not all of them will make a huge mess.

Read more:
Your toddler: 18 months old
How to deal with a frustrated toddler

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