Growth and development at 13 months old
Developmental milestones are intended as a guide, so don’t become upset if your little one does not yet meet the criteria. You’ll find your toddler will have times when they don’t seem to be progressing at all with their development. Then, suddenly, away they go!
Your job is to provide a stimulating and safe environment for them to grow and learn. No need to push your toddler to develop new skills. They are likely to only become frustrated and lose interest. Aim to see your role as being supportive and encouraging, rather than pushing them. Remember that no matter how connected you feel to your 13-month-old, they are separate and unique individuals, with their own brain and abilities.
Expect a lot of inquisitiveness, curiosity, and interest this month. Your toddler will be into cabinets, under beds, and climbing onto any surface they can reach. This is a busy age and from the moment they are awake, they’ll be off. Your toddler will still be picking up the smallest items on your floors and place everything in their mouth.
Play and interaction at 13 months old
What you can expect this month:
- A little more of your toddler’s personality will show as they learn to exert their own wants and desires. The word “no” will be added their vocabulary.
- Spontaneous hugs and affection, especially when your toddler is tired. There will be moments when you are reminded that they aren’t so big after all, especially when they first wake up or when it’s time for bed.
- Messy eating and lots of playing with food. Don’t expect too much of your toddler in terms of table manners. They won’t be able to use that spoon quite yet but will want to try. They will want to eat with their hands and smear food everywhere.
- Not knowing what is safe to touch and what is not. You will need to child-proof your house. Put breakable items away for a couple of years or on a high shelf. Invest in cabinet locks, outlet covers, and safety gates.
- Lots of baths, especially if it’s summer. Baths are a nice way to cool off, fill a bit of time, or just have fun. Remember, at 13 months your toddler is still too small to be left in a bathtub alone for even a second, so sit on the floor beside them or hop in yourself and join the fun. Show them how to make bubbles, have a supply of toys and cups, and rediscover your own inner child.
Food and nutrition at 13 months old
- Milk or dairy foods, around 3 to 5 servings a day. If you are still breastfeeding, keep it up! There are significant benefits for both you and your toddler in continuing to feed for as long as you’re both happy.
- You can stop using formula now and use whole cow’s milk. If your toddler is getting too much milk, they may be low in iron and may not want to eat solid food that they need.
- Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cereal, and breads need to be provided in their diet.
- Try not to worry too much if your toddler isn’t eating as much on a particular day. It is their total intake over a few days that matters.
- Make sure you offer your toddler water to drink if thirsty, not juice or milk. Water is better for their teeth and won’t add extra calories to their diet.
Keeping your toddler healthy at 13 months old
- Take care of yourself as well as your toddler. Don’t neglect the basics when it comes to diet, exercise, and self-care. Make an appointment for a massage, haircut, or dentist if you haven’t been recently.
- Check your baby’s car seat. Adjust the straps if they are too tight but make sure your baby cannot get out of the seat. Ensure it is strapped into the care correctly and is the correct type for your child. Make sure to know your state’s laws around car seats and car seat safety.
- Develop strict rules about driveway practices. Check behind your car, use back-up cameras, or other clear prompts that will assure the driveway is clear and it is safe to backup.
- If you smoke, make sure you aren’t in the same room as your baby when you have a cigarette. Babies of parents who smoke are at more risk of developing respiratory infections, asthma, ear infections, and long-term health problems as they mature.
- You can move your baby into their own room now if they’ve been sharing your room. You may want to do this gradually or just over the course of a day. At 13 months, toddlers can disturb their parent’s sleep and be equally disturbed themselves by room sharing. The safe sleep recommendations to prevent SIDS or suffocation deaths are generally for the first year of life.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.