16-18 months was an incredibly fun, interactive, rewarding age. All of a sudden, we have a little chatter on our hands, and she continues to hone all her other abilities and develop new ones at an amazing rate. We didn't think it was possible, but we're finding ourselves falling more and more in love with our li'l monkey every day!
Look at S grow - she's officially past the baby stage now!
On her 18 month "birthday" S clocked in at just under 21 pounds. We didn't actually get her growth chart up until a month later, however, so our best interpolation for height at the time is 30-30.5 inches. All in all, 5-10th percentile for weight and about 25th for height. Pretty consistent with previous updates!
Lots of new tooth action during months 16-18. Like clockwork, her first top right molar came in soon after the left in her 16th month, and then the bottom ones erupted about a month later. Yay for a renewed interest in putting everything in her mouth! Luckily her emerging chompers haven't appeared to cause her direct discomfort, however we have had to wrestle with quite the rashy bum, poor thing! This amounted to lots of air time, which was timely as she was also beginning to show signs of potty training interest/readiness in parallel. So at about 16 1/2 months, we bought her two brand spankin' new Baby Bjorn Potty Chairs (red and blue) and borrowed her cousin's Potty Movie DVD which she took to right away, as evidenced by the fact that her first multi-word sentence was "Bye Bye Poo Poo!"
Holy jumpins that ditty gets into your brain. *nods*
We didn't get serious about potty training prior to 18 months, though she did have a few periodic "hits" which we gave her mad props for!
Back to the topic of language development, I began compiling a list of words she could say at 16ish months, but promptly tossed that aside when it became clear she was able to utter back, well, just about everything. For example, "dandelion" came out clear as day at about 17 months, and following her affinity for "Bye Bye Poo", two and three-word phrases became a dime a dozen. "Daddy's shoes", "Starryn's hat", "go outside" and "bike ride" to name just a few!
It's been interesting to see how her proficiency with individual words has progressed as well. For example, Daddy was originally "Dah", then Dada for the longest time, and finally Daddy at 16-17 months. I was still Mama for a few weeks after this, and then she prompty switched to Mommy. Aunt Tracey was originally something like "Tuh-sss", and it became "Tay-cee" by 16-17 months.
At around 17 months she began to sing as well, and it's the sweetest thing! Aside from "Bye Bye Poo", she's also been keen on belting out parts of Baby Beluga, The Alphabet Song and Happy Birthday (though note this video's "cheating" a bit as she's a little over 19 months here :).
S loves working on her language pretty much all the time! It melts my heart listening to her chatter and sing herself to sleep at bedtime.
Another language-related development beginning close to 18 months: her ability to "fill in the blanks" when it comes to reading and singing. She loves helping Mommy & Daddy read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (and this makes the experience more engaging for us too) and she has memorized all items in the Phonics Song.
It's so rewarding being able to communicate back and forth verbally with our daughter, and this area just continues to blossom!
On the topic of books and toys, her tastes continue to evolve. She's into longer stories now, like Dr. Seuss (OFTFRFBD, Green Eggs & Ham, Oh the Places You'll Go), Robert Munsch (More Pies, anyone?) and this old, out-of-print Dogs book I still have from my childhood. She's all about building toys, like her WEDGiTS and Melissa & Doug Jumbo Cardboard Blocks, and she's beginning to dabble in make believe play. For example she gives her baby doll milk and "feeds" the animals from her Fisher Price Little People Zoo. She also enjoys scribbling and other early art 'n' crafts, and bath time has become much more interactive as she's become adept at pouring and dumping water into/from her various containers and toys. She continues to enjoy her chunky puzzles from time to time, though she's ready for more advanced variants as she can do her current ones in about 30 seconds each!
The warmer weather has given lots of opportunites for outdoor play, and she's eating it all up!
Rockin, Rollin' and Ridin' on her Fisher Price Trike!
Lovin' the swing set at the park. "Higher, Daddy!"
Picking dandelions with Granda. (Yes, our yard needs "a little TLC", to put it mildly.)
Helping Daddy with our weed-tuation.
Contemplating the enjoyment of a "long, thin, slimy one".
Physically, she can now climb up onto the ottoman and our bed, and can use the swing and slide of her Little Tikes SwingAlong Castle by herself (about 17 months). She performed her first somersault at 16-17 months, has developed sort of a "toddle run" and has begun learning the mechanics of jumping. Here, her little friend Sam encourages her to bounce with him on his trampoline!
At 16ish months, her increasing fine motor control allowed her to discover a new "game" - getting into mommy's purse and spreading its contents around the room. Fun stuff! :) At around 17 months, she also began taking off her own shirts, shoes, etc. and attempting to put things on (shoes, in particular!)
We took her for "Duck Tots" swimming lessons between 16 and 19 months, and she loooved it! The splashy slide in particular - no surprise there. :)
Emotionally, she continues to be a happy, easy going "sunflower" child for the most part. She went through a physically sensitive stage for about a month following an altercation with a sharp coffee table corner (at 15 1/2 months), during which injury-related references and pictures of children crying or looking afraid got to her quite a bit. Thankfully this passed and we don't think she was left with any longterm emotional scarring! (And the physical scar is slowly but surely fading as well - yay!)
Closer to 18 months, she began showing us a more spirited and determined side. Mini-tantrums were a common reaction upon moving her away from a forbidden area or object she was determined to explore, and she became insistent about feeding herself at every opportunity, gosh darn it! The latter we were generally happy to accommodate, and her adeptness with spoon and fork increased quite quickly (though she does still prefer to use her hand, the most efficient utensil of them all!) There were also a couple weeks during which she reaaallly didn't want to go to daycare, so that was tough. But overall, no major complaints. We think we'll keep her. :)
Next update due in just over a month. Here's hoping I manage to be a li'l more expedient on that one!