By now your child may be walking, although you shouldn’t worry too much if she isn’t yet. She may be “cruising” furniture – moving along by hanging on to the edges of tables, chairs and other furniture. You’ll notice that she’s imitating you constantly now.
She can also recognise many of words you use in everyday conversation. She’ll also begin to relish hide-and-seek games, and will flourish when you praise her for accomplishing simple tasks.
Her dexterity has improved tenfold – she’s able to open cupboards and empty them, climb stack and knock down toys, and make messy efforts to feed herself.
What you’re feeling
What she’s feeling
You’re back into the hurly-burly of work, commuting and recreation and you may be feeling that you’re not seeing enough of your child. You may not have a lot of time with your child or even your partner, it’s vital that you capitalise on every spare moment. It’s also vital that you take the temperature of your relationship.
Don’t take this wrong: in a male-dominated world, women – even those in enlightened, share-the-load homes – end up shouldering an unequal share of the work. Depending on how you and your partner communicate, this could lead to her telling you that you’re not pulling your weight, to frank and open discussions involving flying crockery, or to resentment that builds slowly and quietly like sweaty dynamite, before demolishing your relationship.
Take time to deal directly with these issues, preferably with the TV silenced and the phone off the hook.
What do do
Clear the decks: If you haven’t already done so, do a safety check on your home. Ensure that you’ve removed tablecloths, that the cords of kettles and lamps are out of reach, and that all plug sockets have plug covers. This will free you up to have some fun;
Deal with repetition: When she finds a game you both clearly enjoy, she’s likely to do it over and over again. Remember that she’ll be benefiting from it long after the novelty has worn off it for you;
Go goofy: Let her push you away with her feet while changing her, and pretend to go flying across the room. When she realises it’s a game she’ll erupt into peals of laughter;
Hanky-panky: Use a (clean) handkerchief to cover you child’s face and exclaim that you can’t see her anywhere. Then pull it off and express your surprise at finding her.
Help her fit in: find a set up plastic cups that fit into each other and help your child put them into one another;
Put a lid on it: Let her fiddle with pots and their lids so she can learn to put the lids on them.
Make a cereal filler: Give your child two plastic cups and a container of dry cereal, such as Jungle Oats. Show her how to empty the one cup into the other. You’d best do this on a tiled floor, rather than a carpeted one;
Fill a shoebox with safe, brightly coloured objects that she can pack and unpack;
Stand with your feet apart and allow your child to crawl between them. You can catch her with your knees – make sure she knows it’s a game by making those silly yet constructive noises parents do;
Use a beach ball or a cushion as an obstacle for her to climb over. Support her as she climbs;
Call yourself gym: Show your child how to climb over your legs, or lie on the floor and let her crawl over you.
Narcissism is okay – at this age: She’ll enjoy – and benefit from – watching herself in the mirror at this age. Encourage her;
Name that family member: Ask your baby “Where’s the kitty?” or “Where’s Mama?” and praise her when she points each one out correctly;
Face off: Take turns mimicking each other, in the mirror and face-to-face. Sticking out your tongue, wrinkling your nose, it’s all allowed here;