Your little bundle of joy has completed one year and you just can’t seem to believe how fast he is growing up. Now that he can safely be called a toddler, you may begin to notice subtle changes in his behavior.
Your baby’s development
For your 13 month old, you are still the center of his universe and he expects your world to revolve around him too. He is most likely to start attempting to walk. He will love to imitate others around him. So if your husband touches his feet and points to them, he will try to do the same thing. Don’t be surprised if he wants to trade his old milk bottle to try and drink from a cup like a ‘big boy’. Get him a kiddie cup that is easy enough for him to handle and ensure that he always supervised. You may notice that although he loves trying out new things he still finds comfort in his ‘baby’ things like his old bottle or teddy especially when he is upset. You will notice that he has started to associate the relationship between certain actions, for instance the way he will drop a toy and you will pick it up, every time he drops it. He may start to exhibit a range of emotions, from affection, frustration to being downright stubborn.
Food will most likely be an area where he would start expressing his right of freedom. He will want to get the right to decide when he wants to eat, what he wants to eat and how much he wants. So be prepared for the dreaded toddler food tantrums, it may start any time now. The food throwing, the smearing of food, wanting to feed himself, the work. Your 13 month old will soon realize that the power he has over you and will begin to use it. So your child may begin demanding that you take him out, tell him a story or push a swing by pointing out and making himself clear.
Your life as parents
It will do you good to remember that each child is unique and therefore avoid comparison. So don’t go paranoid just because your 13 month old hasn’t taken his first step yet. Give him time and you will soon find yourself running behind him. At this stage don’t be too worried if your toddler appears clumsy and always bumps into things or keeps falling down.
His motor skills and coordination are just developing some children take longer than 18 months to start walking. If you are genuinely concerned it may be a good idea to get his health care provider to assess his motor skills. This is the stage he will try expanding his limited vocabulary, help him by talking to him and pointing at objects and saying out the name loudly. He will love playing games such as hide and seek and pointing out to parts of his body with you.
If you notice signs of separation anxiety, try to keep him busy just before you go and leave little things that he associates with you, like your pajamas or a photograph etc. Enjoy your child in all his toddler glory as this stage sadly does not last long.