Thursday, March 4, 2010


It's interesting when I take Abigail to the Pediatrician and the nurse asks me a bunch of questions. The questions seem completely random and/or silly to me at times, or very basic stuff I never realized was a skill she was supposed to learn. The skill that sticks out most in my memory is bashfulness. At Abigail's 6mo well visit, the nurse commented that she wasn't supposed to be bashful until simple, but a behavior that is tracked.

Recently, motor skills has been a topic of conversation among my mom's group. Different Pediatric offices seem to track skills in their own fashion. My office asks set questions for each well visit, while another office asks mom to review a form until they answer 'no' to five skills. The conversations made me wonder what upcoming questions might be at our next 15mo appointment, which (eek!) is this month! I found this wonderful chart below at

RED - Abigail does.
GREEN & YELLOW - I have not started or attempted yet or encouraged, depending on the point specified.

Child's Age

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
13 monthsUses two words skillfully (e.g., "hi" and "bye")
Bends over and picks up an object
Enjoys gazing at his reflection
Holds out arm or leg to
help you dress him
Combines words and gestures to make needs known (A)
Rolls a ball back and forth
14 months Eats with fingers (B)
Empties containers of contents
Imitates others
Toddles well
Initiates games
Points to one body part when asked (C)
Responds to instructions (e.g., "give me a kiss")
Uses a spoon or fork (D)
Matches lids with appropriate containers (D)
Pushes and pulls toys while walking
15 monthsPlays with ball
Uses three words regularly
Walks backward (E)
Scribbles with a crayon (F)
• Adopts "no" as his favorite word (G)
"Helps" around the house (H)
Puts his fingers to his mouth and says "shhh" (I)
16 monthsTurns the pages of a book
Has temper tantrums when frustrated (A)
Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object (J)
Discovers the joy of climbing
Stacks three blocks
Uses spoon or fork
Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., a telephone) (K)
Takes off one piece of clothing by himself (L)
• Gets finicky about food (M)
Switches from two naps to one (N)
17 monthsUses six words regularly
Enjoys pretend games
Likes riding toys
Feeds doll
Speaks more clearly
Throws a ball underhand (O)
Dances to music
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
Kicks ball forward (O)
18 months Will "read" board books on his own (P)
Scribbles well
• Strings two words together in phrases (A)
Brushes teeth with help (Q)
Stacks four blocks (R)
Throws a ball overhand (O)
• Takes toys apart and puts them back together
• Shows signs of
toilet training readiness (S)

(A) Combines words and gestures to make needs known., Has temper tantrums when frustrated. & Strings two words together in phrases. - It seems like yesterday when we were using Dunstan Baby Language to translate Abigail's cries. It has also been gratifying for Matt and I to see Abigail learning and using sign language. She picked up a few words quickly and her vocabulary continues to grow. While Abigail's frustrations turn into little tantrums, it's quite amusing to watch (I know, so wrong!). I'm not sure if one word and one sign count as stringing two 'words' together, or two signs back to back. (Example: Says "chez" then signs 'please'.)

(B) Eats with fingers. - She LOVES eating cheese, but it's so fun to watch her eat shredded cheese! She'll pick up a couple shreds using that wonderful pincer grasp and place them carefully in her mouth. It's funny when she finds one large shred, and she's then do it one at a time. Last Saturday, she actually fed her cousin, Gavin, some of shredded cheese!

(C) Points to one body part when asked. - Abigail can find eyes, nose, ears, tongue and belly button. It's so cute watching her look for her own belly button, because she'll pull up her shirt and poke out her belly. It's also cute when she sticks out her tongue when asked. For a while, when we asked where her eyes were, she would only blink her eyes instead of pointing to them.

(D) Uses a spoon or fork. & Matches lids with appropriate containers. - I'm going to have to bite the bullet and start letting her feed herself. She has been trying to put lids on containers, but I'll have to find her some kid-friendly containers for her to fine tune this talent.

(E) Walks backwards. - Another skill I didn't really think was a skill. Lately, she'll walk backwards into my lap when I'm sitting Indian-style. She's also been spinning around without encouragement.

(F) Scribbles with a crayon. - Abigail enjoys holding the crayons much more than putting them to paper. She has not figured out how to put pressure on the crayon, so the scribbling is very faint.

(G) Adopts "no" as his/her favorite word. - I try very carefully to not overuse "no" throughout the day. I will say "no ma'am" or "I don't think so" and "hot" or "dangerous" where appropriate. Abigail, like other toddlers, is so curious and I could be saying "no" all day. If I'm not saying "no" to Abigail, I'm saying it to Toby so Abigail does hear it. Thankfully, I have yet to hear it from Abigail's mouth!

(H) "Helps" around the house. - I'm not sure exactly what this means. Abigail will "help" us pull clothes out of the dirty and clean clothes baskets. Daddy loves when she pulls his folded boxers and undershirts out of the dresser (daddy doesn't always close the drawer all the way). She also will take a wipee and "clean clean". I don't believe any of this is Abigail thinking she's "helping", rather playing.

(I) Puts his fingers to his mouth and says "shhh". - Abigail demonstrated this talent on February 21 to her daddy at our small group. He was trying to quiet her down and was shocked when she shushed him!

(J) Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object. - I'm really not encouraging attachment. We've been pacifier free since late January. Abigail had her moments where a pacifier (or earplugs for me) would have been helpful but we pushed on. She hasn't shown any constant interest in any specific toy either. I honestly think I'm too forgetful and absentminded for this...we'll see how this plays out in upcoming months.

(K) Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., a telephone). - I still smile each time she picks up my cell phone, opens it, holds it up to her ear (or mine) and says "ah-lo." She also does fairly well pushing buttons on the remote at the television and holding her toy camera up to her face.

(L) Takes off one piece of clothing by himself/herself. - Abigail loved/loves taking her socks off. She's most proficient at taking her zip-up hoodies off. She will, over a bit of time, pull the zipper down then wiggle it off her arms. Occasionally, when her pants are too big around the waist, she'll fool with the waistband so that might be the next piece of clothing. It is really cute to watch her attempt to put her shoes on!

(M) Gets finicky about food. - This is a tough one. Abigail's eating habits seem to change regularly. Some days she seems to love something, then the next day she's not interested. Off the top of my head, I think meat is the only thing she consistently doesn't like. It's too chewy for her, but occasionally will eat in very tiny pieces.

(N) Switches from two naps to one. - This transition was SO difficult! At first this was much more difficult on her because I was putting her down for two naps a day and she would cry it out (CIO) every time! After almost a week of this, I asked my mom's group about it and they all told me their kids transferred to one nap around 12-13mo. Now it's much more difficult on me because not only is she down to one nap, she's also waking up 1.5-2hrs earlier each morning! I'm still adjusting to Abigail sleeping 4-5hours less each day, I feel a lot less productive!

(O) Throwing and kicking balls. - Matt has recently helped Abigail learn to throw. I'm not sure if she throws over hand or under hand; I haven't paid that much attention to it, not realizing it was a skill she should be learning. We also have a large ball (the diameter is maybe a foot and a half) and she'll roll it and kick it. She has also seen other children kick a ball, but this really isn't something I want to encourage just yet.

(P) Will "read" board books on his own. - Abigail enjoys picking out her own books, turning the pages and will babble to herself. She does have a long way to go, currently it only takes two page turns for the book to be over. She also babbles to herself when she plays with the lift-the-flap books.

(Q) Brushes teeth with help. - She showed interest in my toothbrush sometime in January so I bought her a toothbrush of her own and fluoride-free toothpaste. She does not like it when I help her scrub any of the eight teeth.

(R) Stacks four blocks. - Abigail and I have been stacking blocks a lot lately and she's much better at it than I expected. I flashback to Jenga when we stack, mostly because the blocks teeter so much. She also enjoys knocking the stacks over!

(S) Shows signs of toilet training readiness. - While I've enjoyed taking each day at a time, I am almost looking forward to potty training! I might have a completely different opinion when we're in the mix of it, but until then it's slightly exciting. I'm not even sure why, because I don't mind changing her diapers!


"Nina" said...

She also tries to put clothes on. Remember when she opened the Christmas gifts that were clothes & she tried to put them on?

Janet said...

GREAT update! I love reading all about the things she can do. I had no idea they should be doing all of those things by that age. Very cool stuff!