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Health & Baby

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Baby's 18-Month Checkup: What to Expect

By now, your toddler can probably say about 10 to 20 words, point to body parts, and follow simple instructions, including "no" -- but that doesn't mean he'll always listen! It's normal if your child tries to push limits. Be sure to be consistent with discipline and talk about any concerns that you may have with your pediatrician.

Here's what to expect at your toddler's 18-month checkup.

You Can Expect Your Pediatrician to:


Questions Your Pediatrician May Ask

  • Has your child been having temper tantrums?
  • Is your child talking a lot? Pointing? Scribbling?
  • Is she sleeping and napping well?


Questions You May Have About Naps

  • My child doesn't want to nap. What can I do?
  • How can I keep afternoon naps from causing problems at bedtime?


Napping Tips

  • Try soft music or a sound machine to ease your child into naptime.
  • Stick to a routine so your child knows what to expect.
  • Starting naps earlier may help nighttime sleep.
  • Expect to wean down to one nap per day.


Questions You May Have About Toilet Training

  • My child seems interested in potty training. Is it too early to start?

Toilet Training Tips

  • Many kids are physically ready between 18 months and 2 years old.
  • Girls are usually ready sooner than boys.
  • If your child shows interest in the potty or stops an activity to "go," he may be ready.
  • Your child needs to be able to understand instructions about the potty and control the muscles involved.
  • Set up a potty chair in the bathroom and let him come in with you when you go. This will spike his interest!
  • Some parents use training pants to transition from diapers to underwear. Or you can go "cold turkey" if you are okay with some messes as he learns.
  • It can take a long time for a child to stay dry at night, so you might want to keep him in training pants at night for a while.
  • Celebrate and congratulate your child if he uses the potty -- even if nothing happened.
  • If it doesn't seem to be working, don't worry. Just try again a few months later.
  • Remember, your child may be enthusiastic at first. But then he may start finding his own activity too interesting to break away from to go to the potty.


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