Baby's Second Year -- Your 19-Month-Old


1. Your child's motor skills are advancing. She may now be able to stack her blocks higher than before or throw and kick a ball. Engage her in activities that test these evolving skills and offer her increasingly difficult challenges. When she's mastered the art of sorting shapes, offer her a simple puzzle. Set up a makeshift goal in the backyard and show her how to kick the ball into it. Find a child-sized basketball hoop and let her practice throwing. Find the activities she enjoys the most. If you sense she's getting frustrated with a new game, take a break and try again later.

2. Your child may be afraid of monsters, especially at bedtime. Do you remember those monsters that lurked in your closet, the shadows on the wall and those scary sounds that seemed to exist only at bedtime? Your toddler is nearing an age when he may begin to be frightened by similar spooks. Here is how you can reduce his fears:
• Limit your child's exposure to scary movies and books.
• Use a dim nightlight in your child's room or let him keep a child's flashlight by his bed to scare away shadows.
• Use a white noise machine or soft music to help mask any of your house's creaks. (Of course, make sure that the equipment and electrical cords are out of your child's reach.)
• Let your child use "monster mist" to scare away pesky closet dwellers. Simply apply a "monster mist" label to an ordinary spray bottle and fill it with some water. (Or leave the bottle empty and instruct your child to scare away spooks with invisible magic mist.)

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