Your baby’s development
Your 17 month old toddler will love experimenting with his newly mastered skills. It will seem like he has just discovered the power of his vocal cords. So don’t be surprised if he starts yelling his head off and loves it. He will most likely start to open and close doors- any doors that he can find including fridge doors. You will also notice that your child enjoys the act of throwing what ever objects he can lay his hands on. This is all part of the new skills he is acquiring.
This is an age where he will develop at a pace which sometimes may be confusing even for the child himself; so he may find comfort in his old toys or pillow or even habits like sucking his thumb as a way to hold on to a time he remembers as warm and familiar. Your child may also be able to string together a couple of words and try to form small sentences. Encourage him to put his feelings into words. So if he is feeling cranky you could ask him if he is feeling sad and the reason for it. This will help him understand what he is feeling and deal with it in a much better way.
Point out to things and talk about them when you take him out, so that he learns to observe the things around him. For your toddler, play is a way in which he learns new things and acquires new skills. So make sure that he has plenty of opportunities to be creative and stretch his imagination. Though play your toddler learns what his body can do, different shapes and textures of objects. Your child may begin to express very strong opinions, learn to respect that and work around that rather than expect him to obey you all the time For instance, if he refuses to brush his teeth, get him a child friendly flavored tooth paste and a tooth brush with his favorite cartoon characters. This may induce him to give brushing shot.
Your life as parents
Surprising as it may seem, your 17 month old child will most probably love his routines and take comfort in its predictability. So if your child follows a particular pattern at bed time say a bath, brushing teeth, reading a bedtime story, and then a lullaby, don’t be surprised if he reminds you if you skip a couple of steps. You may also notice your child wanting to drink only from a particular cup or use only his favorite blanket at bed time.
These are all part of the normal growing up process; your child is trying to find comfort in some thing constant in his ever changing world. Your child will slowly start to become less wary of strangers (assuming that you have been giving him ample opportunities to be with kids and adults alike) he might go up to a stranger in the supermarket and say hello and even ask you to let him play with other kids.
If you notice that your child is deliberately disobeying your orders it will do more good if you ignore it at that point and slowly distract him instead of yelling and make it a big issue.