Toddler Update – 18 months

Toddler reading the newspaper, what could go wrong?
Just catching up on the morning news

It’s been a testing month for little Aasiya, there have been a lot of changes with the arrival of baby Idris which she seems to have taken it all in her stride. This stage is very exciting with a lot of changes in behaviour, speech, physical and cognitive development. Some of it is quite challenging, I.e. temper tantrums, but on the whole it’s a really fun and interesting phase. 
For sure the most difficult thing we’ve experienced this month with Aasiya have been her temper tantrums. I was certain this wouldn’t happen until she was at least 2, but a little research at the library and I found out they start around 18 months. I was worried it might be her way of exhibiting jealousy because of the baby but as it turns out toddlers go through this. To give you an idea of what these can be like just this week we went shopping and Aasiya wanted to walk around the supermarket, as I had the baby in the sling I couldn’t hold her and I just needed a few things so I quadruple checked with her that she’d be OK to walk otherwise I’d take a trolley, she insisted on walking and as we made it half way up the first aisle she decided that was enough walking. Stupidity I tried to reason with her, saying we’d only be 5 minutes and could she please continue walking. This really set her off, she started to scream and wail and no matter what I said she wouldn’t stop. The fact it was in a supermarket didn’t help matters. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, judging. Thankfully I had my husband waiting in the car park so I called him after a few minutes (which felt like eternity) and he came and scraped her off the floor as by now she was writhing around with big fat tears rolling down her cheeks, and took her away, still screaming! We got the same reaction a few days earlier when she wanted water but not in her sippy cup in a proper glass. Thankfully, before her public performance, I’d had a few dress rehearsals at home and managed to stay calm and not panic too much! 

Toddler reading books
Just deciding which book to make mum read over and over and over again!

Her physical development has also undergone some changes. I’ve noticed that her hand eye coordination is much better when we play. She’s better at stacking bricks and putting shapes in her sorting toys. She’s been eating by herself for a while now but there’s also improvement there i.e. less mess! We’ve also started to have conversations about her poo. I read somewhere that 18 months is a good time to think about potty training. In all honesty I can’t imagine a worse time for me personally with a newborn, but I’ve decided to start the conversation, and maybe try and start over the Christmasholidays. When I see her straining or suspect she’s doing one I ask her about it, and before changing her nappy I ask if she’s done a poo and I think she’s starting to understand as she sometimes says “bum” to me before going off to do her business! 
With regards to her speech, she is very talkative now. Although much of what she says makes no sense she does use words in isolation rather than sentences, for example she’ll say orange, me, book and bum as above. She also rubs her tummy when she wants to eat something, points upstairs for bedtime and takes me by the hand and leads me to the fridge when she wants something from in there. This change in her is one of my favourites, I love that we can have almost meaningful exchanges, that our relationship is starting to evolve into something more than fulfilling her basic needs. I can see she’s also starting to have some kind of long term memory (is a couple of days long term?) as she can recall things we’ve done or where I’ve put away her crayons from a few days prior. 

As wonderful and fun as she is, it’s still really hard having a toddler and a baby. When they have tandem meltdowns I automatically go for the baby but actually I’m learning more and more that I should go for Aasiya as she really feels the effects of me spending so much time with baby while obviously the baby doesn’t. I’m not someone who ever let Aasiya cry it out, I was always there to pick her up or comfort her but with two under 2 I’m realising I can’t do the same with baby Idris. As long as he’s safe and not in pain I need to also go to Aasiya as her need for a cuddle is just as important as his. Just this morning they both set off together and I knew Idris just wanted to be picked up while Aasiya was actually upset because my dad and sister had left for a holiday half an hour earlier and I was distracted by the baby, so she was feeling a bit neglected. It only took a few minutes to calm her down with a few hugs and kisses, while I spent half an hour trying to sooth baby. 

I still feel a little bit of mum guilt that I can’t give Aasiya 100% of my attention at this interesting and crucial development stage, but it is what it is. I’m hoping the benefit of having a sibling will outweigh any harm. 

I’d love to hear from anyone who has tips or advice on dealing with tantrums or from mummies and daddies who have two under 2, please leave a comment below.




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