This year has certainly been full of new and exciting experiences for everyone.
By now your child's mobility, and therefore danger to himself and herself and those around him or her is increasing by leaps and bounds. He or she might already be taking a few steps without support. He or she is surely learning to fall like a champion; an occasional fall is a rite of passage for all children.
Your child is also working on developing an enormous vocabulary, although he or she is probably only saying a couple of words as of yet. (Being able to say "dada" first is in no way a slight to "mama," it's just easier for little mouths to get out.)
Peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake will start providing hours of enjoyment now. Meals are becoming more and more just like the rest of the family's. Your child can drink whole milk now instead of formula or breast milk. Cups should begin replacing bottles. Don't be alarmed about a drop in your child's appetite. He or she isn't going to waste away. His or her energy needs have just decreased a bit.
- As children begin to pull themselves up, they might grab and pull down tablecloths on which heavy or hot objects have been placed.
- Increased mobility might lead to falls. Use gates at stairwells, and install safety devices on windows and screens if necessary. Avoid gates with diamond-shaped slats, which provide footholds for climbing toddlers. Instead use gates with straight, vertical slats and a swinging door.
- Keep sharp objects (knives, scissors, tools, razor blades) and other hazardous items (coins, glass objects, beads, pins, medicines) in a secure place.
- Secure electrical extension cords to baseboards and cover electrical outlets.
- Do not store toxic substances in empty soda bottles, glasses, or jars.
- All poisonous substances should be placed in a locked cabinet. In the event of an accidental poisoning, call the POISON CONTROL CENTER at 1-800-222-1222.
- Follow governmental guidelines for car seats: (www.safercar.gov ).
- The hot water tap should be set at less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most burns occur in the bathroom.
- Never drink hot liquids or smoke while holding your baby, especially now that your baby can reach out.