Toddler Month by Month: 16
- January 12, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
- Growth and Development of 16 Month Old Toddler
- How Should my 16 Month Old be Moving?
- Your 16 Month Old’s Social and Emotional Development
- Developing Empathy in a Child
- Intellectual Activities for a 16 Month Old Baby
- How to Read to a Toddler
- Developing Fine Motor Skills in your Toddler
- Solid Foods and your 16-Month-Old Toddler
- How Much Milk should my 16 Month Old Baby Drink?
- What Nutrients should my 16 Month Old Get?
- Tips for Picky Eaters
- Breastmilk (Milk) Solids and Sleep Schedule for 16 Month Old Toddler
- When will my Toddler Transition to One Nap
- Schedule for Breastfeeding or Milk Feeding Babies at 16 Months of Age
- Bracey Update
Hi everyone and welcome to Month 16 with your toddler and Month 16 with my toddler Bracey. Since Bracey was born 10 weeks prematurely, Bracey’s closer to a 13 1/2 month old baby than a 16 month old. Doctors calculate this corrected age until babies are 2 years old.
The average 16-month-old baby boy weighs 23 pounds 2 ounces (10.5 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 21 pounds 6 ounces (9.8 kilos). At his 16 month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 9.8 kilos (21.56 pounds). He weighed essentially the same as he had the prior month but his doctor was not concerned. Bracey’s position on the charts for weight and head circumference held steady but remarkably, he is now in the middle of the curve for height, which means he is relatively tall since he is being compared to babies with the same birth date.
Growth and Development of 16 Month Old Toddler
Milestones at 16 Months
How Much Should my 16 Month Old be Talking?
About half of 16-month-olds are saying as many as three words and some very chatty toddlers are saying quite a few words. None of my older children talked at this point. Bracey is not saying words but he is saying “mama” and “bebe” and I heard an “m” at the end of “ma” so I think he’s getting close to saying “mom”. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned. Mine told me to look for development in Bracey’s speech. Since Bracey is uttering an increasing arrays of consonants and new and different sounds, he is not concerned.
How Should my 16 Month Old be Moving?
Many 16-month-olds are walking. Bracey began walking at the end of month 15 and is getting steadier in his steps every day. My older children walked even later. Walking is going to lead to running, jumping, dancing and even more activities so parents get them sneakers on! Get your child out of the stroller, high chair or play pen as much as possible and keep them moving to bring them to the next stage.
Your 16 Month Old’s Social and Emotional Development
Continue to interact with your toddler as much as possible by reading, playing games, giving loads of physical affection, and all types of warm and friendly interaction. Aim for a playful, joyful attitude when it comes to your toddler’s day. You cannot spoil a baby this age and you cannot give too much affection or attention. There is no benefit to leaving a child this age alone, either. You want to shower your child with love and affection.
You might notice your baby becoming increasingly independent. One minute they reach for you and the next they want you to put them down. They have discovered that they can weigh in on things! Experts advise allowing them to enjoy that control by giving them ownership over small things that don’t matter, e.g. what book to read, what vegetable to eat, what toy to play with.
Developing Empathy in a Child
At this stage, you can start to react to your baby’s behavior. If they pull your hair, you might choose to make a face and say “No Bracey, that hurts Mommy.” If they hit, same thing. That’s a “no.” My doctor told me that it is far too early to discipline at this stage, but advised that I should address poor behaviour (hitting, throwing food, biting) from the get go. Bracey’s an experienced biter since he has been biting me during breastfeeding sessions for months now, so I have my work cut out for me. Reading books in which characters experience emotions also is a good way to develop your child’s empathy.
Intellectual Activities for a 16 Month Old Baby
Sing, dance, play with blocks and other manipulatives, read books, and explain things to your baby as much as possible. Explain the components of their toys: the colors, animals, shapes, sizes. Narrate what you do every day and try to take your baby with you as much as possible to explore new people and new sitautions. The more your baby is stimulated, the more they will learn. Keep a steady, constant flow of words (including complex adult words) coming at your baby.
How to Read to a Toddler
Reading to my babies has been one of my favorite things (I love the books myself) but I have had to come up with various strategies to make it work. After years of struggling to get my children to sit still, I realised that toddlers do not need to hear the book and see the pages at the same time. If they hear the words while occasionally checking in with the images from the book, a lot of language is sinking into their brains. So what I do is give Bracey a book while reading him another book. I also read to him while he’s in his crib, high chair, or play pen. Sometimes he is playing with other things, but I keep reading. He tends to go off and come back and check in with me and the book, which is just fine. The important point, again, is that the flow of words from the book is going into your toddler’s little brain.
Developing Fine Motor Skills in your Toddler
You want your toddler using their fingers and hands as much as possible. Blocks, manipulatives, drawing with a crayon, playing with early stage trains, and of course, finger foods are great ways to get your baby to develop their fine motor skills. My doctor told me that half of Bracey’s meals should come from puree-type foods and the other half from finger foods.
Solid Foods and your 16-Month-Old Toddler
What Should my 16 Month Old Baby Eat?
Your 16-month-old should have three meals and two snacks a day. I don’t pay particular attention to the snack and give three even more robust meals a day, which works for our family. At this point, you should be giving your baby versions of what your family eats. Scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, soups (keep it soft), steamed veggies, pastas and rice dishes with sauces. Stick to fresh, unprocessed foods. No white bread, white rice, sugar donuts, cake, cookies, nor processed or packaged foods. Stick to simple and fresh. Give plain yoghurt not fruit yoghurt, whole wheat bread rather than white, and hummus and other protein-rich spreads.
How Much Milk should my 16 Month Old Baby Drink?
I’ve been concerned about this with Bracey because I am still trying to nurse him four times a day (which has not been easy) so I have not wanted to give him tons of water and milk because I want him to breastfeed. My doctor told me, though, that I have to make sure he is well hydrated so we now give him sips of water and little cups of whole milk after meals. Your baby needs about 700 mg of calcium per day. Give other dairy products, and green leafy veggies, broccoli and tofu, in addition to yogurt and cheeszze, to make sure your toddler gets enough calcium.
What Nutrients should my 16 Month Old Get?
You also want foods rich in iron and fiber so opt for eggs, soft-cooked meats like hamburger and chicken, salmon and other safe fishes, tofu, lentils and beans, tons of fruits and veggies, brown rice and whole wheat bread.
Tips for Picky Eaters
I’ve had my share of picky eaters. My oldest Hedley did not eat solids until around 8 months at which point he only ate sweet fruits! My doctors have always presented the mantra: introduce, introduce, introduce. Keep getting the food out in front of them. The other thing I would add is don’t cave. Do not start giving junk food, processed food and other stuff because you are worried your baby won’t eat. That can become a habit. I know a mom who brought Ritz crackers and other snack type foods to lunches because her child refused to eat any other food. No judgment. Another mom I know the daughter only drank grape juice and only ate small frozen pancakes. Again, no judgment. I’ve made many mistakes. My personal opinion on this topic is that you have to try not to allow your child to set the course by introducing fresh, healthy food. Food is really important so if you are worried about how much your toddler is eating, consult with your doctor or an expert.
Breastmilk (Milk) Solids and Sleep Schedule for 16 Month Old Toddler
Big news this month. We are going to one schedule for all of us. For those of you who have been bottle feeding, the AAP says that by month 18 your baby should be off the bottle so it is bye bye bottle. You can opt for sippy cups but why not go right to a regular cup? Some experts say that is better for babies teeth. Another comment about this schedule (which I have said all along): your day might begin later, and hopefully not earlier, and some naps might be shorter and some longer. Most of my babies were still doing two naps at this point.
When will my Toddler Transition to One Nap
What you will start to see happening is that you will put your baby down for a morning nap and they will not be tired. They will stay awake in the crib. So you will begin pushing that nap back maybe to 1pm and your baby will have lunch first. Bracey is still on the two naps as were most of my babies. Most babies transition to one nap between 12-15 months of age.
Schedule for Breastfeeding or Milk Feeding Babies at 16 Months of Age
- 7am — breastmilk or milk then breakfast. Sleep 9:30-11am.
- 11am – breastmilk or milk then solids lunch. Sleep 1:30-3pm.
- 3pm — breastmilk or milk then snack.
- 5:30pm — dinner (give food first)
- 6:30 final milk feeding.
- 7pm night night.
The big news of the past month is that Bracey has begun walking! He is gaining stability and starting to take more steps at a time.
Bracey is blabbering and gesturing a ton. I’m getting the feeling that a few real words are just around the horizon.
Bracey is having fun with my babysitter Yari’s baby Matthew, and enjoys reading to him and swatting at him (yikes!).
Bracey’s looking forward to visiting Grandma and Grandpa in the US next month (as is Mommy).
Thanks for watching and see you back next week for Month 17.