My little Liam is 18 months old now, as of July 23rd… a whole year and a half. How crazy is that? By this point in our lives, we’ve done away with all those silly apps and charts, and I’ve just been going with the flow, enjoying his toddlerhood, and trying not to worry too much about his development as much as I have in the past. I know he is perfect, even ahead in many areas, and I am done comparing him to all these super babies I see online. So, let’s look at Liam at 18 months!
At his most recent checkup, Liam was measuring at a whopping 33 inches, and weighed a healthy 27 pounds. He wears all 24 month and 2T sizes, and a size 8 shoe (yes, a size 8!). He is still way taller than most kiddos his age, in the 98th percentile, and is riding right along the middle as far as his weight goes. Tall and skinny… no idea where he gets it from! He is also up to 10 teeth, including top 4 front, bottom 2 front, and all 4 of his first molars. At the time I am writing this, he is cutting his bottom left canine, and his bottom right incisor. A bit behind on his teeth, but he definitely eats just fine!
As I’ve reported in the past, Liam started walking at just 10 months old, and was running before his first birthday. At 18 months, he can hop and bounce, climb up and down stairs, climb on and off of kitchen chairs, lounge chairs, and couches, stomp his feet, clap his hands, point to what he wants, and dance. He’s a pretty coordinated, kid!
Foods and Eating:
Liam has been using a fork and spoon for two months now, but sometimes needed help, especially with a spoon. At 18 months, he can use both a fork and spoon independently, and can even handle messier, wet foods, like oatmeal, cereal and milk, and applesauce, on his own. Still a big eater, Liam eats three meals, and two snacks, every day, and drinks around 16-20 ounces of whole milk a day, and a ton of water. Sometimes, when we go out to eat, he gets chocolate milk or apple juice, and loves both. We stopped using a bottle at 9 months, and switched to a sippy cup with a spout. On his first birthday, we started using a cup with a lid and straw, and he has been using those exclusively ever since!
He is the least picky eater I have ever met, and eats just about everything I put in front of him, but some of his favorites include strawberries, pineapple, scrambled eggs with cheese, mozzarella cheese cubes, elbow macaroni, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, Cheerios, Kix… you get the idea, haha. His current favorite thing is fruit smoothies, since I have been making them for myself every morning for breakfast. His tastes can change from week to week, of course. He will also steal and eat anything off of my plate, even if it is something he isn’t usually a fan of. Toddlers, am I right?
Activities and Playtime:
One of Liam’s favorite things to do is draw, well… scribble. If you read my previous baby post about our art time, you know all about it. I handed him a crayon around 13 months old, since he was always trying to steal pens and pencils from me, and the rest is history. My fridge is absolutely plastered with his artwork, and it is one of our favorite things to do together. It’s a bit too soon to tell, but he seems to be favoring his right hand, and really likes the colors purple and blue.
When we aren’t coloring, we’re reading. Constantly! Liam’s favorite book, without a shadow of a doubt, is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. I read it to him at least six times a day (I’m not kidding), but if he had his way, it would be a couple thousand. A few other favorites are his Noisy Farm book, which is a touch and feel sound book, his 100 First Words book, and Goodnight Moon.
Aside from those two things, he also enjoys playing with this Mega Bloks, stacking cups, stacking rings, shape sorter, and cuddling with me on the couch while we watch TV (yep, I’m one of those moms). We’re big fans of Doc McStuffins, Octonauts, and Super Why, as well as a few others. Most recently, since he doesn’t really watch TV when he’s playing, I’ve been cycling through old cartoons I watched as a kid, like Jimmy Neutron, Spongebob, and Rugrats.
Learning and Vocabulary:
One of my biggest, and only, concerns with Liam’s development has been his vocabulary. At 18 months old, he only has about 7 words in his vocabulary: mama, dada, no, yeah/oh yeah, more, yummy, and snack (“ack“), and that worries me a tiny bit. He hardly ever says any of those words, except for oh yeah and no, and just babbles all day long. One of the biggest reasons I’ve tried to do away with all those charts and websites is because they all say he should know anywhere from 15-20 words, or speak in small sentences… WHAT?! No matter how many times we go through his word cards, puzzles, word books, etc., and I point to every object in the house, and talk to him every waking moment of every day, he just doesn’t want to talk.
The good news is, he understands just about everything I say to him, and he is fantastic at letting me know what he wants with gestures, and can follow simple commands pretty well, which is great. He can also point to his body parts, or certain objects, when I ask him to, like his ears, nose, foot, shirt, pants, or certain pictures in his books. We’ll keep working at it, I’m not too worried… we’ll see what his doctor says next week.
We are also currently working on counting, which we started yesterday, so we’ll see how that goes.
Naps and Bedtime Routine:
We’ve been doing one nap a day for a little over two months now, maybe longer. It took a little time for us to get used to it, but I realized it was time when he stopped taking his afternoon nap all together, and was a cranky mess by bedtime. We’re all adjusted now! He takes his nap around 12-12:30, right after lunch, and usually sleeps for 2-2.5 hours, sometimes 3!
Our bedtime routine has gotten so much smoother in just the last month. Bedtime is usually at 7:00 (although, since it is summer, we push it back to 7:30 on some nights), and our routine generally begins at 6:00, depending on if it is a bath night or not. Bath time is at 6:00, followed by pajamas, then picking up all the toys in the living room, and then reading a book or two. The final step before bedtime is teeth, and we have come such a long way in just the past month! For a while, I would brush Liam’s teeth anywhere in the house but the bathroom, because he didn’t have a stool, and our sink is just too high. Last month, I bought him his own stool, and he brushes his teeth with me, twice a day, at the sink. I brush his teeth first, just to make sure they get a good cleaning, then I hand off the toothbrush to let him practice, grab my own, and we brush our teeth together. He even spits into the sink, and rinses off his own toothbrush! And he makes me wash his hands afterwards, too. Ahh, he’s so big!
After our teeth are brushed, and he’s ready for bed, I turn on 15 minutes of bedtime music on Liam’s My Pal Scout toy, give him lots of hugs and kisses, and tuck him into his crib. He sleeps with two stuffed loveys, Froggy and Tiger, both from the brand Little Sprouts, and they are the same two loveys that he drags around with him all day long. He usually passes out within minutes, unless he is going through a little clingy phase, and sleeps through the night, just like he’s been doing since he was 4 months old (well, unless he has a cold)! His wake up time is anywhere between 6:45 and 9:00 in the morning… but I’d say his average is around 7:45. Not too bad, eh?
Wiping himself when I change his diaper.
Talking to Siri on daddy’s phone.
Putting the dishes in the strainer after I wash them.
Dipping his foods into things, no matter the combo.
Holding the dustpan when we clean the kitchen.
Brushing his teeth, and washing his hands right after.
Lifting up his shirt to show off his belly.
Lifting up my shirt to show off my belly.
Stealing my smoothies, even when I make him his own.
When I throw away empty bottles.
Not being able to watch me go to the bathroom.
When I won’t let him put buckets on my head.
Not being able to go to the park.
Having his socks and shoes on when he isn’t walking.
Having pants on, whether we are home or not.
Having clothes on in general.
Liam has become quite the helpful, independent little man. He tells me when he wants to wash his hands, or when he wants his diaper changed, or when he wants to stop playing, and move onto something else. He is strong-willed, and stubborn, and funny, and so smart. He has a beautifully unique personality, and I absolutely treasure this little boy. We are looking forward to starting potty training in the near future (he already pats his butt to tell me he pooped, and likes to help me wipe him), and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the cooler weather, so we can get outside and play more. This summer has been particularly brutal, and it has been hard to get out to the park to play. My little ball of endless energy does not like being cooped up.
Here’s to the incoming terrible twos! 😉
Thanks for reading, friends.