Your child may not be outgrowing clothes every few weeks anymore, but big changes are still happening inside that little body.
Major brain growth leads to leaps in language, social development and motor skills in the time leading up to the 18-month mark. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do a detailed check of things that might affect a toddler’s ability to grow and develop, such as communication challenges and eating habits.
It’s also one of the reasons why watching screens (including TV, computers, and electronic games) is not a good idea for kids under the age of 2. Developing brains need to see, touch and experience things in 3D and any amount of screen time interferes with that. Screen time can affect language, reading skills, and short-term memory.
Your checklist for 13 to 18 months
✓ Book an appointment for your child’s 15-month chickenpox immunization
✓ Book your child’s enhanced 18-month well-baby visit with his doctor or nurse practitioner
✓ Update your child’s yellow immunization record card with the shots he received and report them to Public Health too
✓ Complete the 18-month Nipissing developmental checklist
✓ Use Nutri-eStep to quickly check if your child is a healthy eater
✓ If your child has a history of ear infections, fluid in the ear or if you suspect hearing loss, book an assessment with an audiologist. You don’t need a doctor’s referral but the service is not covered by OHIP. Ask about fees when you call.
✓ Continue your oral health routine that includes:
- Checking your baby’s top 4 teeth for any changes (contact a dentist if you see signs of white lines or brown spots on the teeth)
- Brushing your baby’s gums and teeth with a soft brush and water twice a day for 2 minutes
✓ If you can’t afford to pay for dental care for your child, check out our programs that could help
Programs at your local Ontario Early Years Centre are a great way for your child to learn new skills through play. Check out your local program calendars:
Get out and connect with your community! Check out these sites for local activities such as parades, farmers markets, museums and shows:
Guides and resources
- How to Build a Healthy Toddler (PDF, 4 pages, 3 MB) includes tips for feeding toddlers and a sample meal plan.
- When Children Speak More Than One Language (PDF, 9 pages, 2 MB) it doesn’t affect how soon they’ll reach language milestones.
Your local and Public Health supports
- Wee Talk offers free speech and language programs in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph.
- Get answers to your healthy eating question by visiting UnlockFood.ca. If you prefer to talk directly to a registered dietitian call Telehealth Ontario toll-free at 1-866-797-0000.
- Call Let’s Talk Parenting at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616. Our public health nurses are happy to answer your questions about children and parenting. Call Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Looking forward? Read ahead to 19-24 months >