Post written in paid partnership with Emma’s Diary
Today we are having a little flashback as I’ve teamed up with Emma’s Diary to talk about 18 month development milestones! There are so many lovely moments in our babies first couple of years, it was hard to decide which age to write about, but as Pearl turned 18 months only two months ago it’s the one that sticks so prominently in my mind and one I’ll always remember with Violet too. For both of our girls, it’s been the moment I’ve realised the baby years are over and suddenly a toddler has emerged! It’s a hugely transitional time for little ones and parents too, plus a lot of fun! Watching their little personalities shine at this age is just the best, our girls learned to give the sweetest kisses and cuddles at this age, plus all the laughs we had too! 18 months is such a great age and a challenge too!
Firstly, here is our experience…
At 18 months, both girls were fully on the move. Walking, dancing and climbing on everything they shouldn’t! I sometimes wonder if I’m raising children or mountain goats as I’ll often find them balanced on the back of the sofa and Pearl has even climbed to stand on top of a radiator! Usually by this age babies will be well on the move, although a few of my friends have had babies who preferred to bum shuffle at this age too, so they are all different! I tried to help their movement by taking them to soft play centres, baby groups and out in the garden as much as possible. I helped the girls learn to walk by lots of positive encouragement, holding their hand and gradually it slipping away. Before they knew it they’d done a few steps on their own and once they’ve got that confidence – there is no stopping them!
One of my favourite things about the 18-month milestone is that you finally feel like you can communicate with your baby using basic phrases. They won’t be fully talking yet, but at this point the girls were saying/signing the important words which made life so much easier. I love hearing their babbles and listening to new words emerge! Pearl is so sweet when she talks, her favourite thing to say is ‘WOAH DOGGY’ which we aren’t sure where she got it from but she says it a lot! I’ve found with speech they really do learn at their own pace, Violet was quiet and took everything in without saying much, then one day (when she was closer to 3!) she spoke in full conversation, yet Pearl is more experimental, she will try words and speak a lot more, piecing it all together slowly. She’s started to form two words together like ‘Milk down’ and ‘oh dear’, which Violet didn’t do until later.
18 months has been a huge turning point in our house as for both girls it’s around the time tantrums have started! Pearl throws the biggest, most epic, fist slamming, roll-on-the-floor tantrums I’ve ever seen. She often takes a while to calm down – I think this is all down to pure frustration she can’t yet do the things her big sister is able to do. Emotions run high at 18 months as there is so much going on as they transition into toddlers it’s hard for their feeling to keep up, it’s certainly a rollercoaster of a time!
I’ve also noticed it’s when they become really affectionate too – throwing their arms round us with a meaningful cuddle and kiss, plus they start to take care of their dollies, feeding and putting them to bed.
At 18 months FINALLY both of my girls learned to sleep, after 18 months of sleepless nights, we really needed it. There was a super challenging sleep regression around 15-16 months which left me on my knees both times it happened, but at 18 months something just clicked and they started to sleep through the night. Of course, this isn’t perfect and we’ll have our bad patches but 9 times out of 10 they are pretty good with sleep now, although Pearl is still often an early riser – we consider 6:30am a lie in!
I also noticed at this age Violet stopped wanting to sleep in a sleeping bag, she wouldn’t let me put her legs inside and moved to a toddler quilt and pillow, which she was much happier with. We took the sides of her cot at 20 months and we haven’t looked back.
With Pearl, she’s 20 months and still in a cot and sleeping bag and perfectly happy, so it really does depend on the child – follow their lead!
You can read Emma’s Diary to find out more about your baby’s milestones, plus I found this video really informative too.
Here is an overview of what to expect at each milestone:
There is also the Emma’s Diary Brand new Pregnancy and Baby app which is growing fast and will support all parents from pregnancy through to their baby’s second birthday!
All babies grow at different rates but as a rough guide here are the development milestones to look out for when your baby is 1 week old. Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t match this pattern exactly – they might be a few weeks ahead on some things and slightly behind on others and it usually evens out over time. However, if you’re concerned that your child has missed out one or more important milestones altogether speak to your health visitor or GP.