Toddler Month by Month: 17
- May 7, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
- Growth and Development of 17-Month-Old-Baby
- How Much Should my 17-Month-Old be Talking
- How Can I Encourage my 17-Month-Old to Talk
- How Should my 17-Month-Old be Moving?
- Your 16 Month Old’s Social and Emotional Development
- Intellectual Activities for a 17 Month-Old-Toddler
- Developing Fine Motor Skills in your 17-Month-Old Toddler
Hi everyone and welcome to Month 17 with your baby and Month 17 with my baby Bracey. Bracey was born 10 weeks prematurely so his corrected age (which doctors calculate until age 2) is 14 1/2 months old, yet by this point he is really catching up. My doctor joked with me at this month’s appointment that I can stop correcting his age, in fact!
Growth and Development of 17-Month-Old-Baby
The average 17-month-old baby boy weighs 23 pounds 7 ounces (10.8 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 22 pounds 1 ounces (10 kilos). At his 17 month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 10.5 kilos (23.1 pounds). He is half a pound under the average weight! And he had gained 700 grams from the past month. His position on the charts for weight, head circumference, and height went up. Yippee!
How Much Should my 17-Month-Old be Talking
Most 17-month-olds are saying 2-3 words and many are saying many more words. Some experts say children this age are using verbs and short phrases. None of my kids did that and they are all fine at this point just FYI. My oldest is going to college this year! Rather than focus on the number of words, my doctor told me to take note of developments, changes in Bracey’s speech and communication. He also said to take note when Bracey utters the words he knows more frequently. Over the past month, I’ve noticed Bracey saying “bye bye,” “mama” and “bébé” (Spanish for baby). He was saying these words before but now he utters them with increasing frequency. Bracey has been having fun imitating animal sounds and we enjoy reading him his favorite book on this. Unfortunately he says “moo” when we show him a pig, we are working on that. Bracey’s also started to express his wishes quite vocally, although using grunts and facial expressions rather than words, such as when he wants more of something to eat (or to eat something he isn’t supposed to eat, like nuts or grapes!). Take note of your baby’s nonverbal communication, such as when they bring you over to show you something or when they gesture. Answer back with real words. If your baby does not appear to be communicating at all, check with your doctor.
How Can I Encourage my 17-Month-Old to Talk
Keep a constant flow of words going towards your baby. Read as much as you can and narrate what you do. You can also narrate what your baby is doing to them! When your baby mutters or gestures at you, try to help them express what they want to say with real words. You can also have your baby practice saying words by repeating them and asking them to repeat after you. I try to take daily activities and make a little “theatre act” out of them: picking up clothes (which I do alot of), making the bed, clean up. By the way, if you’re a neat freak like me, clean up time can start now and it’s a great opportunity to repeat the names of various objects.
How Should my 17-Month-Old be Moving?
Most 17-month-olds are walking, and many are starting to take walking to the next step by running, walking up and down steps, and attempting to climb at the playground. All late bloomers, my older kids started walking at around this point, between 17 and 18 months. You likely will see your 17-month-old climbing up things like chairs and sofas, climbing down, moving around the house while pushing trucks and trains, and generally just being a very busy little person. You’ll also likely see your child being increasingly curious about the outside world. I have always relied on play pens because I found it easier to have a safe place to put my baby and for the moment Bracey seems happy in his, but try to let your baby roam free for as much as possible every day. Keep them out of the high chair, stroller and car seat as much as possible and keep them moving.
Your 16 Month Old’s Social and Emotional Development
Tips on Handing Temper Tantrums
Having gone through this with five kids already, I’ve become a more skilled tantrum-handler. I now look at tantrums as bonfires that will burn themselves out over time. Giving your baby the illusion of control over small decisions that don’t matter (like what toy to play with, what fruit or vegetable to eat, and what pajama to wear) can help lessen the frequency of tantrums. One thing to remember is that you cannot control your child’s behavior but you can control your own. So try to stay calm. If you feel your own temper rising, drink a tall glass of water, take a parental “time out,” or in a worse case scenario take a hot shower. Although my doctor advised that it is too early to discipline,you should say no when it comes to hitting, biting and grabbing. I would not do a time out yet but I would change the setting, like taking my child away from the sandbox or from another child.
Separation anxiety occurs once babies and toddlers distinguish between themselves and other people and then realize that they don’t like it when that person goes away. Parents have different strategies but I have never rewarded it when a child wanted to stay in my arms and not go, for example, into his fathers arms. I have always sort of ignored the child’s protestations and tried to now award them with too much power. One thing experts say is not to lie or fake things to your child. If you are leaving, tell them firmly that you are leaving and that you will come back, don’t slip out which can cause mistrust. Having your child get absorbed in an activity can also help.
Intellectual Activities for a 17 Month-Old-Toddler
Read, read, read, talk, talk, talk, dance and play music, and try to make the world as colorful and language-rich as possible. Give both fine motor activities and gross motor activities an intellectual component by making them language-rich.
Developing Fine Motor Skills in your 17-Month-Old Toddler
Here are some fun new toys we recently have been using: 1) place blocks onto a string, 2) draw with large crayons for toddlers, 3) play with trains (girls can do this also), 4) basic puzzles, 5) finger paint (and get ready for a mess but kids love it). Try building towers of four or more blocks. It used to bother me that whenever I opened a book my kids were more interested in turning the pages and closing it but now I realize they were practicing their fine motor skills. Bracey then takes the book and flings it down. It’s hard not to laugh! Let your child throw away it is great for their hand strength. I do think some of my older boys had trouble with handwriting so we are going to start this as early as possible with Bracey.
Developing Gross Motor Skills in your 17-Month-Old Toddler
Keep trying to get your child to the next level. If they are walking, try to get them walking a lot. Bring them outside as much as possible and encourage them to climb at the playground, go up and down slides, and start hanging from the jungle gym. Having them scoot around the house in a rolling toy is great for their quads and if you have stairs, spot them as they go up and down. Let them wander and explore in as safe a way as possible. Other more focused little activities include squatting, jumping (either up and down or forward and back), trying to balance on one foot, throwing and catching the ball, which you can do while sitting down.
What Should my 17-Month-Old be Eating?
Continue to present foods that are high in calcium, protein, vitamin C (which helps with the absorption of iron) and other essential nutrients. It’s not easy but try to vary the diet as much as you can, I would say even if some things are slightly less healthy, like pancakes vs oatmeal. Experts say that toddlers this age need about one fourth the quantity of what adults eat but I see Bracey eating a lot more than that. Allow your baby to eat until they do not want any more. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, you do not need to worry about portions at this point.
What are the Nutritional Needs of a Toddler?
Just like we adults, toddlers need a healthy amount of food from each of the four food groups daily! Remember to add some fat, either butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, which is really healthy. Their brains need the fat.
How much Grains does my Toddler need
3 servings of grains so figure one slice of toast, ½ cup of cooked pasta, rice or cereal, or 1 cup of oatmeal. Go for whole wheat bread and brown over white rice or pasta.
How much Fruit does my Toddler Need
The rules say one per day, i.e. one banana, one apple or one pear but we give three fruits on most days and sometimes even more.
Vegetables. Same rules some say one serving a day which is 1 cup of cooked, mashed or finely chopped veggies. This includes chickpeas and legumes.
How Much Protein does my Toddler Need?
Your toddler needs two servings of protein, so figure one cooked egg, or one ounce of cooked meat, poultry or seafood, or 1/4 cup of cooked legumes.
How Much Dairy does my Toddler Need?
Some experts recommend two servings and some recommend three. I would give aim for three, which can include one cup of whole milk or yoghurt or 2 ounces of cheese (use a non-processed cheese),
Feeding and Sleeping Schedule for 17 Month Old Baby
Your baby should be having three meals a day and two healthy snacks. This is the last month of the two nap schedule since by 18 months your baby will likely have graduated to one nap. Now, one thing you can do is push the morning nap back and then give your baby a slightly later cat nap but be careful with this because experts say not to let your baby sleep past 3pm. You don’t have to give the milk first but if you are having trouble continuing to breastfeed as I am, I think it makes it easier for your child to be doing milk feedings on an empty stomach. Remember that by this point your baby should be drinking out of a cup.
Schedule for Breastfeeding or Milk Feeding Babies at 17 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.
Bracey had a wonderful trip to the US. He visited his aunts and uncles and his grandparents. He was especially appreciative of the gorgeous sweater his grandmother knit for his mother. He enjoyed taking the books down from the shelves of the bookstore. Celebrating 2-22-22 was a fun milestone event. A visit from Grandpa and a long cuddle topped off an amazing month. See you back next month for Month 18.