Month 14 is a huge landmark for most if not many babies, as this is the month they will be taking their wobbly yet first independent steps. This is also the month your toddler’s language develops further, as she will include more real words to her babbling. Here are some of the 14 month old baby development milestones you may see your toddler achieve:
In this article:
- Physical Development Milestones
- Cognitive Development Milestones
- Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Language & Communication Milestones
- Sleep Milestones
- Eating & Feeding Milestones
- What You Can Do As Parents?
- Foundations for Discipline
- Baby Care for Your 14 Month Old
- When to Be Concerned?
Physical Development Milestones
- May be able to rise herself from the floor independently and take several steps forward without tripping.
- Can walk forward and even sideways when she is held by one or both her hands.
- Will climb on to furniture with a little support under her foot, like your palm or a couple of cushions.
- As her fine motor skills are better developed, she can pick up an object from the floor even while standing and put it away in a basket.
- Her molars may be seen emerging from under her gums.
Cognitive Development and Milestones
- Will be able to find her favourite toy or object on her own.
- If you show her how to do it, she can pick up her toys one after another and put it in a box.
- When shown how to scribble, she may be able to copy you and do the same.
- Will know the names of certain objects.
Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Is bolder and confident in her outlook. This may make her do even things you’ve told her not to.
- The range of emotions your baby will demonstrate will grow, as she is interacting with and observing more people around her.
- Gets increasingly shy with strangers and unfamiliar faces.
- May sometimes develop separation anxiety if you leave the room.
- May start giving kisses.
- Will start expressing feelings of jealousy and may even bite out of frustration.
- You will see her playing more alongside other children (parallel play).
- Might look sad, upset or even cry when she sees someone else crying, especially kids.
Language & Communication Milestones
- She will bring you her book if she wants you to read it to her.
- May be able to say more than 4 or 5 words other than ‘mama’ and ‘dada’.
- Will understand basic directions from you like “bring your shoes” or “keep the toy there” etc.
- Can turn pages in a book and also draw your attention while pointing at pictures.
- Your little one will need only 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day.
- Her naps during the day could come down to just one from two (or three).
- Her excitement from the freedom to explore the world with her feet may make it challenging to get her to sleep at night. But it won’t be long before her new-found joy of walking will wear off.
Eating & Feeding Milestones
- Will get better at feeding herself with her fingers.
- With a little or no support, she can feed herself from a spoon.
- Can drink directly from a flow controlled cup.
What You Can Do As Parents?
- You know she’s a bubbly toddler who is always trying to find ways to expend her energy. So allow her to be part of your daily routine so that she can be engaged doing small tasks like putting her toys away, taking a vegetable and giving it to you or wipe the floor.
- Reduce baby speech gradually and start using more real words (while referring to animals and birds from a book, for instance). This will boost her ability to learn more words.
- Speak to her clearly and slowly. Use simple short sentences to boost her understanding skills.
- If you haven’t already, this is the right time to provide her a designated play area within your home for your little one.
- Though 14 months is too early for potty training, it is never too early to start talking to her about it by showing her pictures from a book.
- Whenever she throws a tantrum, its best that you don’t give too much attention to her. Just ignore and develop your ability to be calm during such situations.
- Since she can’t communicate her frustrations, you may see her bite sometimes, which is normal during toddler phase. However, you have to make it very clear to her that biting is not acceptable.
- Apart from reading books, tell stories, sing along with her and recite nursery rhymes.
Laying the Foundations for Discipline
When it comes to toddler phase, discipline is far more about teaching and guiding, and less about reprimanding for doing something unacceptable. In the upcoming months, your little one will be testing her physical limits and discovering her developmental boundaries; which can test your patience often.
For instance, she might repeatedly pour water on the floor in spite of you telling her not to. These are situations when you need to stay calm and must never go harsh on her. With a little love and care, explain to her clearly, but very firmly, that it is not acceptable.
Setting limits to your toddler’s behaviour will help her learn the good behaviour that is expected out of her. When done on a consistent basis, it helps her be highly self-disciplined at a young age, which in turn enables her to be highly disciplined as an adult throughout her life.
Having said, it is critical that both you and your spouse are on the same page about what is acceptable behaviour, what is not and where the boundaries lie. This means you must both have a discussion to communicate, clarify and decide on the approach you will be taking together.
Baby Care for Your 14 Month Old
- Though your toddler is growing, the rate at which she is growing gradually reduces during the second year. You may therefore not see her progressively eating more quantity during the coming weeks or fortnights. That’s why it is important that you ensure she’s getting adequate nutrients through a variety of food.
- If your baby stays up at night, try a relaxing routine to help her sleep.
- Allow her to be as active as possible during the day so that she is tired by bed time. This helps you to recharge too.
- It takes a lot of work but always keep an eye on your baby as she goes about exploring her home and garden. Never let her wander or unattended beyond a minute or two.
- Use a baby brush with very soft bristles and brush her teeth (gently) in the morning and evening.
- Never abruptly sneak out quietly from the room, as it can instil fear in her.
- Make your house toddler friendly by making sure the electrical plug points and any sharp corners are not exposed, especially furniture and shelves. Also make sure buckets are empty.
- Give her adequate attention, hugs, kisses and cuddles. And never miss to appreciate whenever she gets something right or demonstrates good or exceptional behaviour.
- Since she will be climbing furniture often, make sure you place cushions on the floor. This will not only help her climb and be active, it will also protect her from potential (minor) falls.
- She may want you or even demand you to feed her favourite food almost every day. Don’t let her behaviour keep you from giving her a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Most important of all, always remember to be mindful of the words you and your spouse use around your toddler and never do anything a baby should not hear or see. After all, children learn what they see (and hear).
When to Be Concerned?
- Doesn’t use gestures like waving or pointing.
- Uses one hand more than the other.
- Has difficulty in understanding even simple things that you say.
- Unable to stand even when holding on to you or the furniture.
- Is not showing emotions and feelings.
- Doesn’t try to let you know what she wants.
In more ways than one, the 14th month is an important milestone for you as a parent as well. Since your little one is fast developing her own traits and personality, this phase can test your patience and perseverance during many situations that will keep occurring almost every day.
It therefore becomes important that you develop your ability to think on your feet to distract her, and stay calm when she is frustrated or is throws tantrums. It is definitely not easy. But it is not impossible too, as you can build yourself over time.
Note: Each baby is different and therefore tends to grow at a different pace. Chances are that your little one may have crossed certain milestones already, or is probably a little behind on a few others, which is normal. If you still feel there is something of concern, do speak to your paediatrician/registered professional child healthcare provider.