Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 19 month old
Hear that click-clack on the tiles? Your little one has discovered the shoe cabinet. You'd better hide your high heels if you don't want him to topple over on the tiles – but snap a picture before you do! As always, you set the boundaries so he can go exploring safely.
Your tiny tot is always on the go, running, dancing, climbing. His energy levels are up, up, up! He wants to be everywhere, go everywhere, see everything. Cabinets are opened, laundry baskets overturned, and you see his adorable smile peek out from under the sheets.
This is a great time to explore the outdoors, go to the park and meet friends at the playground. He can run around, throw his ball and practice catching. At this point, he is still much better at throwing than catching! Swings are another toddler favourite, but teach him to be careful when approaching someone in mid-swing.
- Their fine and gross motor skills can be enhanced with ease around this month. Give them objects to play with of different weight and sizes. Your toddler will love to pick up, throw and drop things. These actions will help him understand weight and size concepts and develop his grip.
- All of this action means your tiny tot needs a fair amount of sleep. Usually, toddlers at this age sleep 12 to 14 hours, including one nap at midday. Each child is different, so don't worry if your tiny tot is a sleepyhead or a night owl.
- In fact, for some toddlers, all of the daytime activities creep into their dreams. You might find your little one wandering around at night! Gently bring him back to bed and let his body get the rest it needs. Night wakings are not unusual at this age.
- Toddler development at 19 months goes by so quickly. It is important to update your child safety measures every two months.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- Instead of your little one waking in the middle of the night, maybe you are the one waking up! Yes, some toddlers snore quite loudly. Generally, this is harmless, but if you are worried, check with your paediatrician.
Your tiny tot is now able to undress himself with your help. And some are even beginning to play dress up! Mummy's high heels are a firm favourite with any toddler, but so are daddy's flip flops and dress shoes. Hats and shawls are other fun items to try out, or turning a towel into a turban!
Notice how your toddler knows how to use utensils? He knows a spoon is for feeding, and a bottle for drinking. He can pretend that the remote control is a phone (or the phone a remote control!). He loves to imitate the tings you do, such as brushing a doll's hair, or feeding the teddy bear.
- He also knows the different body parts, and can point at them when you name them. Try singing songs with him, such as "Daddy Finger" or "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", but go slowly, especially in the beginning. It might take him a moment or two to catch up!
- By now, your little one should be able to respond to short verbal commands, such as a request to sit down. He might not stay seated for long though, as toddlers live in the moment. "Now I'm sitting, now I'm not!"
- Some toddlers may have a favourite blanket, toy or pillow. When you realise that your child's tantrum is getting a little out of hand, do not think twice before giving their comforter.
- All children develop at their own pace. Some love prancing around in their parents' shoes, some prefer to quietly watch. Some toddlers take three hour naps, other toddlers keep going all day.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If you feel your child is not reacting to what you say or even looking at you, it would be advisable to visit your doctor.
There is a whole lot of loving going on in your toddler's life! Your little one adores hugs and kisses, though he might squirm if he thinks it takes too long. He prefers many short hugs to long cuddles. There is just so much to see and do!
- Common recommendations are to read to your toddler for twenty minutes a day, but that can be hard with such an active little boy. It's fine to break this up into several short bursts. This gives you a chance of multiple cuddles as well. Don't force him to sit down if he doesn't feel like it.
- Make reading a fun activity, and you'll notice that his stamina for sitting still grows.
- At toddler development 19 months, your little one still prefers to interact with adults. He may be showing the first signs of social awareness though – he sometimes hands over a toy or an item to another child. It's a good time to begin teaching him about sharing and using words, but it will take a while before the message sinks in!
- Your toddler really enjoys listening and learning. At this point, encouragement works better than criticism. Also, his attention span is very short. So try and teach him in short bursts, and let him run off when his brain gets tired. Don't worry. He'll be back, because he loves spending time with you!
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- Always remember that no two children will behave the same. Only when your child is inactive, or not responsive to any instructions, should you visit the doctor to rule out any conditions.
Most toddlers learn to speak between the ages of eight and 24 months – it's quite a range! So don't worry if your little one is not yet spitting out words. Speech delays are very common. In fact, they are the most common type of developmental delay. But as always, if you are worried, do consult a specialist or paediatrician.
- If your child is learning more languages, such as English and Mandarin or Malay or Tamil, word acquisition will be spread out over these languages. Your little one might begin the sentence in one language and end with another. This is fine. By school age, he will have picked up on the differences and will know how to keep the languages separate.
- In the meantime, you are your toddler's most important teacher, so use words when you communicate with him. You could point out what you see on a walk outside, or describe a picture in a book.
- If your child still uses a dummy, make sure you slowly wean him from it. Prolonged use of a dummy may cause speech delays and dental issues.
We cannot sugarcoat the truth: your little one is a messy eater. If this bothers you, you could put a plastic cover or old newspapers underneath his chair for easy clean up. Other tips are to use bowls with tall sides and thick spoons. Remember to use plastic cutlery for your tiny tot, as metal ones can get very hot.
At this point, your toddler may have developed an interest in brushing his own teeth. This is fine, as long as you do a second brush afterwards.
The average weight of a 19 month old is around 9.8-12.2 kg and while his average height would be 79.6-85.0 cm.
Tips for Parents
- Even though your toddler might make a mess of meal times, let him use a spoon and a fork as he will enjoy eating food better this way. Consult your doctor if your toddler needs supplements for vitamins A, C and D.
- Make food fun for them. They need a variety of fruits and vegetables along with meat proteins. If you are breastfeeding three to four times a days still, this may hamper the child's growth and balanced diet as more than 600 ml of milk per day may not be advisable. Hide vegetables in pureed pasta sauce and make shapes out of fruits to make them more attractive.
- Keep introducing new food items. Your child may take some time before he's comfortable eating it. Eat it in front of him to build the trust.
- Many kids suffer from constipation around this time, if they do not consume sufficient liquids. It's best to make your toddler drink as much as water as possible. Make "drink time" fun for them!
- Though it might be too early for him to potty train, he might be able to alert you when he wants to pee or poo. Best to tell your tot to inform you before doing so.
- You may have a very fussy eater – that is absolutely normal.
- Your child will love gnawing into toys and anything he can get his hands on. It's best to regularly keep the toys and other furniture and floor as clean as possible to avoid an upset tummy.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- At this age, your alertness is very important. If your child accidentally swallows a non-edible object, visit your doctor immediately.
Your toddler’s previous month: 18 months
Your toddler’s next month: 20 months
Do you have questions on this 19 month toddler development guide? Share with us in the comments!