Baby Steps and Beyond
Most little ones are walking around this time—or rather toddling. Whether your child is on the cusp of walking or still prefers cruising around furniture, remember that as humans, we are programmed to be upright creatures. Soon your toddler will let go and take those first precious steps before you can say, "Someone get the video camera!"
Some children do not walk until 18 months or even later. This is a time when it is especially important to respect your child's unique development. If you have concerns, check with your child's healthcare provider who can do an assessment of your child's developing motor skills. Again, our advice is to enjoy this time: It won't be long before you will be running after your little moving target.
Changing Body and Eating Habits
As your child is becoming more active and rapidly developing amazing gross motor skills, you may notice a change in her body. She may lose some of that scrumptious baby fat on her legs and arms. She may also seem less interested in eating at times, while ravenous at others. When you take your child in for an exam, chances are you will notice that she is gaining weight at a much slower rate. Pretty soon, she'll no longer look like the pudgy baby you love to cuddle—but she still loves your hugs during downtime and while she is refueling.
When your toddler is interested in eating, try offering her a spoon. This is a wonderful exercise in fine motor and self-help skills. There are also some safe, toddler-friendly forks on the market so your toddler can stab her broccoli or meatballs before devouring them. If she tosses the spoon or fork over the side of the high chair, take a deep breath and remember this is very developmentally appropriate for this age. She may have wanted to find out what would happen if she threw the spoon, or she may have been frustrated and decided to use her trusty fingers as her utensils. Messiness at eating is very common at this age. Stock up on large bibs and splat mats that go under the chair to keep the mess contained. And if you eat out you may want to skip white tablecloth restaurants during this stage in development.