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Your baby just turned one and, over the next year, will still be growing at an incredible rate.
By now he/she has probably met most of their 0-12 month milestones; so what are the important toddler developmental milestones you can expect your baby to meet this coming year?
How will he/she grow both physically and developmentally?
Well, to start with, let me say it’s going to be a great year for you and your little one!
Your baby’s growth is going to start slowing down a little, but not by much.
He/she will be watching you like a hawk and imitating everything you do.
As I’ve had each of my boys, I started to realize that, at a very young age, they understood me and the world around them way more than I ever thought they did when I first became a mother. Believe it or not, if there are certain qualities/traits you want your child to have like honesty, respect, loyalty, and obedience now is the time to start!
After my last son was born, I decided to take each of his milestones and view them as goals rather than milestones. With this slight change in perspective, I wondered if I could help him to meet each of his milestones quicker.
What is the Difference Between a Milestone and a Goal?
A milestone is generally seen as something your kids will achieve in due time. Your toddler will feed himself when he learns to feed himself. He will come off a bottle when he’s ready. Some kids will take longer than others to reach each milestone, but you don’t need to focus on it. They will just learn it by a certain age.
On the other hand, a goal is something you work towards every single day. You remember your goal daily and are constantly working to meet it. So how does this work for a little baby? Can you really set goals for a 1-2 year old?
I was skeptical at first, but it was working so well for my older kids to set goals, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try! So, when my youngest son was just 6 months old, I started setting goals for him. To my astonishment, he started meeting new milestones almost every other week!
Before I go on, let me just say that, without focused goals, then yes, I absolutely believe your child will reach every milestone in due time.
The difference is, do you want to dress your son every single day until he’s four or until he turns two?
Do you want to feed your little girl every meal for four years or one and a half years?
There’s nothing wrong with taking longer to reach milestones. However, if your kids reach them earlier, they grow to be independent and learn to do things for themselves much sooner!
4 Reasons Milestones Should Be Goals
Treating milestones as goals in my home has made an incredible difference for my family. Some of the benefits we’ve seen are:
1) Kids reach their milestones sooner
In treating each milestone as a goal, I’ve found that, for the most part, my kids reach each milestone much sooner than when I just let it happen when it happens.
2) You get to enjoy each milestone with your kids
As my kids have different milestones they should meet, we set it as a goal. Every day we talk about it and work on it. Because of this, I get to see and be a part of their progress every step of the way.
My first three boys reached many of their milestones without me knowing they had. They learned some at daycare, others at a family member’s home.
I didn’t always get to see their first crawl, first steps, or hear their first words.
This isn’t a bad thing, but those are things I enjoy sharing with my kids and I know you do too!
3) Milestone / Goal Time is a Great Way to Bond with Your Baby
One of the best parts of my day is the time I get to spend with my kids focused on their goal.
I take just a couple minutes alone with them each night and talk to them about their goal.
Maybe their goal is to learn to tie their shoes or feed themselves. Whatever it is, we work together on meeting it.
Every success my kids have, I praise them and let them know how proud I am of them.
When they fail, and they will, I encourage them to keep trying. I don’t let it stress either of us out.
It has given me the chance to have quality one on one time with my growing toddler.
4) It Teaches Your Kids to Be Goal Oriented
Did you know 95% of people don’t set goals? If you asked 100 people today what their specific goals are for this week, month, or year, most would not be able to answer.
Another thing to consider is, one of the biggest things that set a failure apart from someone who succeeds is goals.
People who succeed aren’t just lucky. Good things and successes don’t just happen to them. On the contrary, they usually fail way more times than the person who failed even tried.
A person with goals fixed in their mind has a purpose and a reason to keep going.
Why not start building that mentality with your kids when they’re young!
Don’t Stress About Goals
This might sound like it’s the opposite of what I’ve been saying up until now, but what I mean is, if you or your baby or toddler doesn’t reach a goal when you thought they should, don’t stress about it. Don’t let it get you down and make you or them feel like a failure.
Goals should make your life less stressful, they should give you more time to do what is most important to you!
Don’t look at goal setting time with your toddler as something they have to learn now or they’ll be behind the others their age.
Enjoy the one on one time with them. Every day, remind them what their goal is and show them what it looks like to meet it.
Always encourage them they can do it and before you know it they will!
With that said, here are some great goals/milestones to get started on with your toddler today!
Instead of letting this year lead you to the “terrible twos”, let it bring an amazing year for you and your toddler to enjoy together.
Toddler Developmental Milestones for Your 1-2 Year Old
- Wean off of Formula
- Start Talking
- Feed Myself
- Stack Blocks
- Wean off Bottle and/or Binky
- Walk Up & Down Stairs
- Share with Others
- Name Body Parts
- Learn to Say Sorry
- Learn to Run!
- Put Dirty Clothes in Hamper
- Clean up After Myself
- Be Obedient
- Wash my Hands Before Meals
- Put my Dish in the Sink After Meals
- Sit Nice during Quiet Time
- Eat Fruits & Vegetables
- Put Coat & Shoes Away
- No Playing/Talking After Bedtime
These goals/milestones aren’t in any particular order. Take each one as you feel your toddler is ready for it.
If you talk to your toddler every day about their goal and spend a couple minutes working on it, that is enough.
You don’t need to stress it, you don’t need to give your toddler a timeline. Just start with that daily focus and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn!
What do you think of these toddler developmental milestones? Are there others you would add to the list or questions you have for me? What do you think about using milestones as goals?
Let me know by leaving a comment below! I do answer all of them!
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