I had a pretty exciting week, last week. We had our twenty week ultrasound. Which means I’ve made it half way!! And that we got to see our little one. I was anxious to see how our little one was growing and we found out what we are having. I know plenty of people who want to be surprised and they are great about waiting, I mean most of our parents had to wait to find out what we were, because ultrasounds weren’t that common. But I’ve learned that I’m not super great at waiting, even as a child I always peeked at my christmas presents well before christmas…Well the big news is we found out that we are having a BOY!! I was rooting for the boy side, while my husband was hoping for a girl. During the ultrasound he had a giant smile on and I know that he is excited. Now I’m just toying with some ideas for the nursery, any fun things you guys have done for your little ones??
I wanted to continue you on to year two of social-emotional development, by which I mean 12-24 months. Once they begin to walk, they are going to be all over the place, which they may have been on hands and knees, but now they are more mobile and probably getting into more trouble. At this age you are going to want to see them interacting more with you, especially with play. For example when you ask them for a toy will they extend that toy to you, if they do they are showing you that they understand what you are asking and making the connection between them and you. If they aren’t doing this quite yet, no worries but you can practice with your little one. When your little one is getting closer to a year and a half, they will most likely be coming to you for help, or showing you an owie. This shows that they understand the relationship between the two of you, one as a caretaker and one as a child.
You should also start to see some kind of pretend play, or emotion for dolls, stuffed animals, or even household pets. They may pat or hug these items or animals. This is a really important part of emotional development, showing that they understand caring for something that is theirs. Showing emotion like this is pretty innate, and should be encouraged. Even little boys want to take care of baby dolls or stuffed animals. I was raised with five brothers, and I know that they can tease, but it is great for them to learn to care for something of their own.
Closer to 18 months we want to see some self awareness; This one is pretty easy and fun to practice. Put them in front of the mirror and see if they recognize themselves. You can point them out and say their name. You can also point them out in pictures, help them learn to see themselves. Teaching your little one body parts, too, can be helpful in self awareness.
Around 24 months, you will hear your child using personal pronouns instead of their names, when talking about themselves. For example you might hear “I did it” instead of “did it” or “Sam did it.” They are learning the difference between themselves and you. And it is apparent in their speech!!
Children should be playing with other children during this second year, it mostly looks like parallel play though. This means that they are in the same room both playing but not necessarily together. If you can, you should expose your child to other children as much as you can. Peers can be so motivating for development. Taking your little one to the park, reading time at the library, or play dates with neighbors or friends are great ways to help your child socialize. I’ve seen a lot of good come from gym daycares, or even daycares in general. Allowing your little one to independently play with peers, can teach them so much about social interactions.
Let me know if you have any questions about this stage of development. Next week I’ll discuss more about peer interactions and how to let your little play on their own. (This can be harder than you think…)