During this phase, the following areas of the toddler’s brain start to develop:
1. Cognition and Learning
4. Social Emotional
COGNITION AND LEARNING
- Major development of cognitive skills and learning takes place in infants during the period of 12 to 18 months.
Have you ever wondered why you have an unclear memory before the age of 3 or 4 years?
- This is because the ‘Hippocampus’ of your brain hasn’t matured enough.
- Around the age of 12 months, the hippocampus matures enough that infants will be able to remember events that took place few hours earlier and in some cases, a day earlier.
- The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory, long-term memory and spatial navigation.
Help your little one improve his/her cognition and learning.
- At this age, “deferred imitation” is well established. That is, children have the ability to imitate what you do. For example, if you show a child how to roll a ball, he/she can repeat your action.
- Encourage your toddler to explore objects.
- Give your child interesting toys like wooden blocks, nesting toys, tubs/buckets to fill with and remove from.
- Allow your little one to make choices between two options. For example, show an apple and a banana and ask which one he/she would like to eat. Show a blue shirt and white shirt and ask which one he/she would like to wear. Your toddler will love this.
- Most importantly, allow your toddler to commit mistakes. He/She will learn from them.
Motor skill milestones 12 to 18 months:
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS
During 12 to 18 months, an infant’s language development is more receptive.
The toddler listens to what you talk, processes what he/she hears and starts to understand that each word has an associated meaning. That is, the child begins to learn the language.
It is normal for a child to use more non-verbal actions than verbal when talked to. For example, if you ask your child ‘Where is your blanket?’ he/she may point to it rather than tell you where it is. This is because they are at a stage where understanding is more than expressing.
It is very essential for you to talk to your child a lot during this period of time.
Talk face to face to your toddler. Explain about the things around.
Talk to your toddler during day-to-day activities like feeding, bathing etc.
Most importantly, read to your child. Books with big and colourful images are the best.
Language development during 12 to 18 months:
|12 to 14 months||14 to 16 months||16 to 18 months|
|Knows up to 5 words and uses a lot of hand gestures and facial expressions to complete a sentence||Calls to get attention, nods head for ‘yes’ and ‘no’||Knows up to 20 words including ‘mommy’ ‘daddy’ ‘eat’, ‘there’, ‘book’ etc., depending on day-to-day activities|
- During the age of 12 to 18 months, toddlers are still not completely capable of interacting and sharing with other toddlers even though they enjoy their company.
- In an attempt to explore, they may try to hit, scratch or push other toddlers. Therefore, toddlers at this age need to be watched closely.
- Social development needs a lot of practice. Provide your child with as many opportunities as possible to interact with others.
- Be prepared for a lot of tantrums as your child nears the 18 month mark. He/she may start to bite, pull hair etc.
- Help your child learn to control his/her impulse to hit or bite. Say ‘No’ each time they do it. Whatever happens, DO NOT hit your child. They don’t understand it.
- As a care giver, you need to understand that your child is going through a lot of changes and development. For instance, they may understand that biting or hitting is not appropriate, but it will take a while for them to overcome that urge to do so. This is probably because the frontal lobes of the brain are undergoing a great deal of development.
Baby Brain Development Stage 0-2 months
Baby Brain Development Stage 2-6 months
Baby Brain Development Stage 6-12 months
Toddler Brain Development Stage 18-24 months
How to improve your child’s thinking skills