Child development milestones: 12 to 18 months

Toddlers are naturally curious, self-confident, and may be beginning to talk.

Development

At 12 months children can pull themselves to standing, and can cruise around the room by holding onto furniture. Children have officially become toddlers at this age and can climb stairs, feed themselves, and talk in varying degrees. They're also great at asserting themselves, which sometimes isn't so fun for parents. But it's a sign of independence, which is a good thing to have.

Foods and feeding skills

At 12 months kids are typically ready for whole cow's milk, at 24 months they can scale back to lower-fat or skim milk. For juices, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping it to 4 to 6 ounces a day.

Safety

As any parent will tell you, toddlers get into everything. They climb on furniture, shred magazines, and open doors and cabinets. You'll find yourself busy putting child locks on silverware drawers, keeping cleaning supplies out of reach, and becoming aware of all the window-blind cords dangling in various rooms throughout the house. Toddlers are ready for boosters now. These are much easier to deal with than infant seats.

A rule of thumb says 15 to 18 months is a good time to introduce table foods. Parents worry when toddlers start eating less after their first birthdays. This is a normal part of growth; the pediatrician can confirm if a child is in the right range for weight. On the flip side, toddlers will latch onto foods they like and want them all the time. This is normal. Including new foods with the current favorite can help keep their palettes developing.

Cheerios is a healthy way to start the day, a tasty anytime snack, and a fun addition to kids’ recipes.

Parents can feel good about serving Cheerios to their little ones. Cheerios are made from 100 percent natural whole grain oats and have no artificial colors or flavors. Even pediatricians agree that Cheerios makes a great first finger food; 9 out of 10 pediatricians with children serve Cheerios to their own toddlers. Cheerios also provides at least 2/3 of toddlers’ daily whole grain recommendation and has only one gram of sugar.

Sample menu plan

Breakfast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 banana
  • 1/2 cup whole grain oat cereal, like Cheerios® cereal
  • 1/2 slice toast
  • 1 tsp. butter or margarine
Mid a.m.
  • 3 oz. vitamin C-rich juice
Lunch
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • 2 tbsp. carrots, cooked and diced (raw sticks for older children)
Mid p.m.
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cereal
Dinner
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 oz. meat loaf
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. rice
  • 2 tbsp. green peas
  • 1 to 2 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 orange (serve sections to younger children)
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