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18 month progression

The 18m progression can be one of the most challenging developmental progressions. Your toddler is vocal, loud and very persistent.


What causes the 18m progression?


  • Around this age your little one has likely transitioned to one nap which can take some getting used to

  • There is a HUGE increase in cognitive and emotional development at this age

  • They will likely be starting to find their voice and assert themselves; having a strong need to take control of their environment. You'll hear ALOT of "mine", "I do it" and "No!"

  • Separation anxiety also rears its head again as your little love craves your attention and presence.


Common sign of the 18m progression:


  • Frequent night wake ups

  • Nap refusal or catnaps

  • Long periods of being awake at night


"The fastest land mammal is a toddler who's been asked what's in their mouth".

How can we help them through this stage?


· Toddlers can start to become hungrier at this age and need more protein, carbs and fats during the day. Two out of their three solid meals should include protein such as chicken, milk, yoghurt, cheese etc. Mini meatballs, homemade chicken nuggets and legumes are all great sources of protein.


· Keep patient and consistent with your settling method. Your little one hasn't forgotten how to fall asleep, they are just after some extra reassurance as they do. Try not to create any new sleep associations as this phase will pass in 2-4 weeks and you will all be back on track.


· Have a good bedtime routine; 30-45min for bath, pyjama's, stories, songs and into bed is ample. Use your usual bedtime song or phrase and leave the room - don't drag out the goodnight's. These verbal and nonverbal cues show your child it is time to sleep.


· Ensure your toddler sleeps in appropriate clothing and that their room is 17-20degrees.


· Give your child space to try and settle themselves. Don't rush in; listen, wait and then respond.


· Ensure your little one has a special comforter; a blanket, cuski or special toy. This will help with their anxiety and comfort them when you aren't physically there.


Above all - keep CONSISTENT! Continue to offer the nap/s and stick to your usual routine. You got this!!



If you need any additional information or support please feel free to contact me at amy@littledreamers.co.nz to book in a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to talk about what is happening for your baby and how we help.

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