Eating and drinking by themselves requires a lot of dexterity. Once you take this on board you will find it amazing that children can manage this at one and a half years – and won’t mind a bit of food missing the target now and then.
Once the first tooth appears, the remaining nineteen are swift to follow suit. Most children have nearly all of their milk teeth by the time they are three. As soon as you see that first little tip of white it’s time for daily tooth brushing. Ignore any protests – this is a must.
Your child’s social behaviour will change fundamentally during their second year. They will see themselves and others as discrete individuals and will begin to empathise with others, and to demand the same – sometimes at the top of their voice – from those around her.
Their methods of play are also changing: they will look at books themselves, fill and empty containers, build towers, and understand more and more the principle of cause and effect.
Your child is learning to speak in sentences. “Ball” will become “ball gone” and a little later: “ball gone again” – i.e. more and more word meanings are being combined together.
Your child’s motor development will appear to slow down a bit now. Don’t be fooled! Learning to run, jump, climb, throw and catch doesn’t come easily. These skills not only require more and more muscle strength and dexterity, but also a mature sense of balance.
Your child can hold a pen or crayon properly and is developing skills for communicating creatively with colours and shapes. They might well enjoy building tall towers as well. These all require ever more sophisticated sequences of movements.
Potty training can’t be forced upon your child. It will happen only when they want to take this step and requires much insight and understanding. Both should come to maturity by your child’s third year.
Your child is slowly beginning to have a grasp of time. “One more sleep" is a dimension that they can visualise. So try to avoid making a promise for “tomorrow” and not then keeping it. By the same token, your child is able to remember things better and better and to draw on their experience.
And they can also formulate expectations regarding the future. This involves the danger of being brought up sharp in the face of what is actually possible. Sometimes, I want doesn’t (or can’t) get, and this can lead to tantrums.
Your child will make their first “best friends”. By interacting with other children, they will get to know and assume a variety of social roles. The time to start kindergarten is slowly approaching.