The Era of No
First-time parents are often surprised to hear this word from their child as early as 13 to 15 months. They may ask themselves, "Isn't this a two-year-old's word?" But even at seven months old, Baby realized that words have different meaning, and that "no" usually stops her from doing something she wants to do. So now, as your toddler is mastering the concept of herself as an autonomous individual, she is figuring out the tools to assert her independence. She may say "no" to almost every question that you ask her. This too will pass.
Instead of asking a yes/no question, you may want to give her choices. For example, "Laurel, do you want to drink juice or water with your snack?" Also, let your child feel in control of whatever it is you need her to get done. "Laurel, please pick out some socks to wear today." OK, she may pick out purple socks to go with the green and yellow outfit, but at least she is wearing socks. And she felt that she was in control of this task. As parents, we have to pick our battles. Be clear and don't offer choices when there really aren't any.
We can also model with our own responses to our kids. It can be very difficult to refrain from saying "No" to children, especially when they are doing something that really pushes our buttons. If possible, think of other ways to redirect the behavior. "Laurel, balls are for throwing outside. You can roll the ball inside." Obviously, if a child is doing something that is not safe, it is important to communicate quickly to stop the behavior. This may be the time for a stern, "No."
The fifteen-month molars, which can make their appearance anytime now or as late as nineteen months, are often the source of discomfort for your toddler and a few sleepless nights for both of you. These are the large teeth located on the top and bottom that have double edges. You probably already know from previous bouts of teething how specifically to support your toddler during her discomfort.
Some parents recommend rubbing the gums with their fingers to relieve the pressure or offering a cold teething ring (frozen mini bagels work well too) or teething biscuit. If these techniques do not work, consult with your child's healthcare provider on other ways to support a teething child, including over-the-counter pain remedies.
More Development Help
As you're considering your child's development, keep in mind that all children are unique. Whether your toddler reaches milestones early or late, she has her own developmental path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's development, please check with her healthcare provider.
- Remember what was happening last month?
- Learn what to expect in your toddler's 16th, 17th, & 18th months.