Breastmilk is the best for babies. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.​

Milestones in a child's development

The development of your child varies individually. Nevertheless, the milestones in the 2nd and 3rd year in life will provide the interesting clues to the development of your child. Your child will begin to learn on how to walk, speak and to understand when it is about 12 months old. It will begin to discover the world with the steps it makes now as individual children learns to progress at its own pace

1. Growth

Your child would have had his weight tripled and the length doubled when it reaches its 1st birthday. In the second year of life, it will grow about 1cm per month while gaining 150- 200 grams per month. Its brain increases by 2 grams daily now as it learns new things daily. To keep up with the nutrient balance, a healthy and mixed diet is important at this phase for bone and muscles formation here. Calcium, Vitamin D and high quality protein will be of utmost importance at this stage.   

A balanced diet aids in the growth, development and performance of the children. However, it will influence the later health of the children when they turn to adults too. Can you tell how important the diet is to your child now?  

2. Motor skills of your child

Most children learn to run when they are between 11 to 17 months. Your child will soon learn to run free at 18 months after venturing the first steps in your hand. It requires a lot of balance, coordination and strong muscles to learn to walk. The base of this is again, to have a healthy and aged appropriate diet, to provide energy from high quality protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients.  

Your child will have to keep trying now. Do support it with love for now.

  • Promote fine motor skills and the agility of the hands of your child
  • Let your child paint, or stack up blocks

Most children should be able to hold their spoon alone at mealtimes when they reach 18 months. Almost all would be able to hold their glasses to drink the liquid now.

Your child may start to run around to discover its surroundings at the age of 2 – many children are already quite adept on 2 legs now. It should be able to flip individual pages of his picture book and hold a pencil correctly at the age of 3. As its motor skills improve, it will want to do more things alone now. Give him the freedom and praise your child when he learns something new and loving support if your child needs a little more practice. 

3. Language

Children start speaking at different times. This is normal, with their first words being “mama” or “papa” when your child reaches between 7 to 15 months. Most of the children can recognize his own name when it reaches its first birthday, with 90percent of the children being able to say three clear words at 15months and 80 percent of them being able to use active “vocabulary” of 6 words when they reach 18 months.   

Word combination

From the age of 2, your child should be fairly quick in the language development. It will also be able to combine 2 words to express the wishes now. At three years old, it has a fairly large vocabulary and speaks naturally. Even simple children songs can be remembered easily now.  

4. Social behaviour

Your child will begin to socialize at the age of 1. It will be independent temporarily but still need a sense of closeness and security. You can show your love by keeping daily routines and rituals fixed to let it feel safe.

  • Self-awareness and defiance
  • The stronger the bond between the two of you, the more it will take pleasure in discovering the world.
  • Teach your child on simple body control, strength and the differences of social behaviour
  • Let your child play at the playground where they can climb and balance. They could also interact and socialize with the other children when they go often.

Many children starts using “mine” and “I” more frequently at the age of about 1.5 years as their self-awareness develops slowly. They will now wriggle their way out of a “no” answer with whines or throwing themselves on the ground. Be patient and gentle now, consistency helps your child know the boundaries.

From the age of three, your child will be interested in growing with the peers as they get to play and communicate. But many children will still want to be close to the parents at this age. Let your child explore the world, but stay sensitive to his need to return to your arms when it needs to.

Your child is a slow learner? Be re-assured that every child develops differently. This should be granted and not forced upon him. However, please contact your paediatricians if you have serious concerns about the development of your child to get a clearer picture of why it is so.

  • Help your child learn
  • Encourage your child if you want him to be independent. Help only when he really cannot do it by itself.
  • Praise your child when he learns something new to let him look forward to the little progress it makes
  • Let your child learn to deal with negative feelings and experiences
  • If your child fails a test, do not give it a new test to do, offer a little assistance for the previous test to let him understand on how he can answer the questions before jumping to the next test.


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