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From wobbly steps to adventurous jumps - find out how your toddler will be keeping you on your toes.
Having cruised around the furniture for a few months, your toddler's about to go solo!
At some point between 12 - 18 months they’ll make the jump to walking, running, and bouncing about - a truly exciting milestone which strengthens their muscles. This is why it’s so important that their diet is healthy, balanced and provides them with the vitamins, minerals and calories appropriate for their needs.
And as their second birthday draws closer, it'll be much clearer whether they are right or left-handed – they’ll prefer using their dominant side to scribble, kick a ball and feed themselves. They’ll even be able to brush their teeth… with a lot of help and supervision!
At 12 - 18 months you’ll also start to notice that your toddler becomes more self-aware - saying "I" and "me" a lot. Be patient as they learn to get to grips with the concept of sharing; grabbing toys and shouting “mine” is quite common. And don’t worry if your toddler seems to like their own company rather than playing in groups – this is perfectly normal too.
An increasing awareness of what’s going on mixed with a desire for greater assertiveness means that your toddler might want to take control now and again.
You can encourage this by letting them make their own decisions – perhaps choosing what clothes to wear or what games to play. Encourage your toddler to make use of their new co-ordination skills through walking in different ways - sideways, backwards, forwards – as well as running and jumping.
Just remember to be aware of your facial expressions and colourful language – your toddler learns a lot by mimicking you, and you'll be amazed what gets remembered and reproduced where and when you least expect it!