18 Months


Supervise all feedings.
Do not use a bottle for drinking.  No bottle or sipping cup while in bed.
Allow exploration with foods, encourage use of a spoon.
Offer healthy snack choices, limiting sugars.
Avoid direct sun exposure. Use a sunblock - SPF 15-30.
Continue fluoride supplement if recommended by your doctor.
Start to brush your baby’s teeth daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.


Continue safe car seat use. Read instructions for proper installation. Here are some general guidelines:
    Place seat in the middle of the back seat. Plan to keep your todler rear-facing until they are either 40 lbs OR at least 2 years of age.
    Use the "H" or "I" clip if you have a retractable shoulder harness.
    Never put a child under 12 years of age in the front seat of a car with a passenger side airbag.
Turn the hot water heater in your home down so the hottest water you can get from the faucet is 120 degrees.
Install and test your smoke detector in or near your baby’s room.
Childproof your home (poisons, medicines, guns, plastic bags, sharp objects, cords, outlets, cigarettes, hot liquids, latches on cabinets). Visit our poison safety tips page at www.YourPediatrician.com.
If you haven’t yet, purchase a bottle of Activated Charcoal to have on hand in case of ingestion of a poison. 
Obtain your local Poison Control Center’s phone number and keep it on hand (you can obtain this from our Web site, www.YourPediatrician.com).
Do not keep 5 gallon buckets in your home (to prevent drowning).
Avoid choke hazards (peanuts, popcorn, hard candy, whole grapes, raisins, carrot sticks, small toy pieces).
Use a bike helmet for your toddler (and yourself) if riding on the back of a bike.
Supervise activities, especially around lawnmowers, large dogs, cars.
Place crib mattress on lowest setting.
Place gates on stairways.


Understand simple commands ("take the toy to Daddy").
Be able to say at least a few words.
Point to many body parts.
Be able to walk, maybe even backwards.
Feed self with spoon.
Listen to a story and identify simple objects.


Praise your child at every opportunity.
Talk and sing regularly to your child.
Listen to music together with your child.
Continue to read books to your child.
Encourage opportunities for safely exploring his or her environment .
Have a few specific rules, and be consistent with them.
Keep discipline brief. "Time-out" can be instituted at this age (see our Time-out KidTOPIC at www.YourPediatrician.com).
Offer choices to your child at every opportunity to allow decision making.
Not allow hitting, biting or mean behavior.
Have a bedtime routine and put your child to sleep in his or her own room.
Expect nightmares or night terrors on occasion.
Keep a family picture near your child’s bed so it can be seen at night.
Eat meals as a family.
Offer comfort objects (stuffed animals, blanket).
Try to allow expression of feelings (anger, joy, sadness, fear).
Offer opportunity for potty training but do not encourage unless your child seems ready (usually 18 months to 3 years).
Expect self-exploration of genitalia.
Expect your child to not want to share, but encourage him or her to do so anyway.
Be an example of the type of person you want your child to grow up to be - they are like sponges and absorb everything around them !
Spend time alone with your partner - one of the best thing you can do for your child is to maintain a quality relationship with your partner.



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