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16-Month-Old Milestones: Preparing for Your Baby’s Growth

16-Month-Old Milestones_ Preparing for Your Baby’s Growth

A 16-month-old baby is well into their second year, and you’ll see many changes as they grow into a toddler. These changes include psychological, physical, and cognitive developments.

While there are recommended weight and height milestones they should be hitting, you should remember that your toddler is unique compared to others. This means parts of their growth will differ compared to other kids.

You should only be worried and have an urgent meeting with a physician if your toddler isn’t growing well in relation to their own progress. That can be an indicator of something being off.

In this guide, I’ll teach you about the things to look out for when your toddler hits 16 months old, tips on how to care for them better, and answers to commonly asked questions about this phase of their childhood.

Your Toddler’s Development at 16 Months Old

Your Toddler’s Development at 16 Months Old

As they turn 16 months old, you’ll notice that they’re a lot more active, can speak more words, have more teeth that start to erupt, and they’ll also be a bit interested in the potty!

Walking

When your toddler turns 16 months, they’ll be walking a lot more but will be pretty clumsy when doing so. They may bump into many things or trip over themselves, trying to walk too fast.

Their newfound walking skills may lead them into dangerous situations, like bumping into the sharp corners of tables or knocking over breakable glass.

Therefore, you should ensure your house is toddler-proof. Start by installing rubber bumpers on any tables with sharp corners and securing any breakables your child can reach.

Potty Training

While most experts say that you should only start potty training between 27 and 32 months old, your toddler might already be curious about the potty or toilet.

If they are interested, you should try to make them more comfortable around it, or even ask them to sit on it. This will ease them into the idea of potty training later on.

Speech

At 16 months old, your toddler will be using more words and phrases in combination with gestures compared to the last month.

Around half the toddlers at this age speak at least three words regularly, while the more talkative toddlers already speak up to 15 words or more!

Pay attention to your child’s development at this stage with speech because you should try to iron out any misspoken words by repeating them back to them correctly.

Doing this will get them more used to saying things the right way because they’re still learners that prefer to mimic something you’re doing.

Teething

Last month, your toddler’s molars would have started to erupt. In their 16th month, even more of their teeth will start appearing, like their cuspids or canines.

It will cause some discomfort for your child, and they’ll complain about it. You can try relieving some of this using a cold compress on the part of the mouth on top of the affected area.

If they start biting things a lot, some effective solutions include a child teething ring or even a partially-defrosted bagel that they can sink their teeth into.

Personality Changes

During the 16th month, toddlers will start to show their personalities in a more obvious way. Some might be scared of dogs, while others will be completely fearless.

Your toddler may also strongly prefer staying with you instead of spending time with others. Try encouraging some independence by stepping back.

This will allow them to step out of their comfort zone by interacting with other toddlers or other adults. Doing this will help them develop social skills they’ll need later on.

The rebellious streak can even start at this age. A common issue is them suddenly not wanting to get into the tub for a bath even though they were completely fine with it before.

Your Toddler’s Growth at 16 Months Old

Your Toddler’s Growth at 16 Months Old

This month, your child will have only grown slightly compared to their growth from the last month. For 16-month-old boys, they’ll be 8.4 kg to 13 kg in weight and 73.6 cm to 85 cm tall. 

For girls, they will have grown to a weight between 7.7 kg and 12.7 kg and a height between 71 cm and 83.8 cm tall. 

If they’re on the low or high side compared to other toddlers, don’t worry too much, as you should focus on their progression throughout the months.

It’s important to note that your toddler will also start to get fussy with food at this age. It’s something to remember, especially if you’re trying to get them to eat the right amount.

Getting to Know Your Child’s Health

Getting to Know Your Child’s Health

You should pay attention to these things that commonly appear in 16-month-old toddlers. Spotting them early can help you alleviate or fix the issue.

Skin Splotches and Blemishes

For the most part, your toddler’s skin is as smooth and blemish free as it should be compared to their older future selves. However, rashes, splotches, bumps, and blemishes can appear.

If your toddler has no known skin issues and suddenly develops a rash, you should check what new things they’re playing with or areas they’re trying to explore.

Since they’re a lot more adventurous and want to explore and try out new things, they might be touching things that are giving them rashes.

Temper Tantrums

The dreaded temper tantrum is something every parent will have to deal with at least once. More often than not, they’re frustrated because they can’t do things the way they want to.

Things like building a tower with building blocks and failing can frustrate them, but if you let them keep trying through the tantrum, it can help them build good values and character traits.

Giving them a few options to choose from if they’re fussy about food can also help them feel like they’re more in control. 

Your Toddler’s Eyes

When you’re giving your toddler a bath, shampoos or soaps are one of the common liquids that irritate the eyes. Try using baby-friendly shampoos to reduce the irritation.

Your toddler may also start developing sleep crusting in the corners of their eyes. This is also known as muta or colloquially as morning glory.

Clean this out from their eyes using a moist cloth and gently wiping from the center going outwards.

UV and Sunscreen Protection

Since your toddler is a lot more adventurous now, they’ll be going outdoors more often. Therefore, I strongly suggest getting them sunscreen and applying it before they go out.

Most toddlers at this age need at least 15 ml of SPF 30 sunscreen applied 15 minutes before any prolonged sun exposure. With how intense the sun’s UV rays are, you’ll want to give them maximum protection.

Removing Splinters

Another effect of your toddler being more adventurous is that they’ll be putting their hands on everything. This increases the risk of them getting a splinter.

If your toddler has a splinter, gently wash their hands, and then try slowly pulling out using sterilized tweezers. However, don’t force the issue if it doesn’t want to come out.

Most splinters naturally work their way out of the skin. If it continues to persist and causes more swelling, you should go to your pediatrician.

Tips on Caring for Your 16-Month-Old

Tips on Caring for Your 16-Month-Old

Here are a few tips you should know when caring for your 16-month-old toddler. These tips will help you deal with your toddler and aid in their physical and mental development.

Using Fluoride Toothpaste

At this point, your toddler should be used to brushing their teeth with toothpaste. You should double-check to make sure their toothpaste includes fluoride.

Fluoride is a mineral that helps fight cavities and can be found in toothpaste and mineral water. It’s an essential mineral that will keep their teeth strong and healthy.

However, make sure to only put a small amount on their toothbrush since they will swallow it if it’s too much rather than spit it out. A small ball the size of a rice grain is enough.

Beware of Certain House Plants

If you’re an avid plantita, you might have a lot of plants around the house that provide a nice, green, and natural environment for your toddler to walk around in.

Since they’re getting more adventurous, they’ll start trying to bite the leaves of your plants. Therefore, you should check this list of common house plants that are poisonous to toddlers.

  • Poinsettia
  • English ivy
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron 
  • Arrowhead vine 
  • Devil’s ivy

Learning How to Swim

Swimming is one of the life skills that’s nice to have when they get older and go to pool parties, but it can also save their life in unlikely situations.

This is a great age to sign them up for swimming classes. You should look at programs where instructors teach your child to swim and teach you how to guide them through it.

Signs of Aches and Pains

Since your toddler at 16 months old can’t really describe their discomfort, you’ll need to use your observational skills to help them out.

If your toddler grabs or rubs their head and is fussy, they most likely have a headache. They might randomly vomit if it’s a more severe head injury, like a concussion.

They have a stomach ache if they grab their belly and suddenly avoid walking. They’ll most likely have throat pain if they don’t want to swallow food or drink.

You can observe if they have chest pain if you notice them clutching their chest a lot and taking short, rapid breaths. In any case, contact your child’s pediatrician for severe cases.

Dealing With Toddler Bites

You might notice your toddler starting to bite people, animals, or things at 16 months old. This is normal and is a part of the teething process.

Toddlers don’t bite things or people because of aggressiveness. They’re probably doing it to be playful or to get attention from you.

However, biting others isn’t really a practice you want to encourage. Therefore, you should not laugh or giggle if they do, and firmly tell them, “No, that’s not good.”

Taking Your Baby’s Temperature

If you want to check if your toddler is sick and has a high temperature, the quickest way is to use the classic back of your hand to their forehead method.

However, the more accurate method is using a forehead thermometer. It’s still convenient while being much more accurate, allowing you to see if their temperature is above 37.5 degrees.

Make sure to take multiple readings from their forehead and average them to get the most accurate reading. Factors like moisture and if the aircon is on can affect the temp reading.

Thumb-Sucking Toddler

Another cliche that’s true is that many toddlers thumb-suck. Toddlers often do thumb-sucking as a way to comfort themselves, especially if they used pacifiers a lot when they were a baby.

While most toddlers will stop thumb-sucking at three years old, you can try discouraging it as early as now by giving them something to play with or keeping their hands busy.

Frequently Asked Questions

After learning more about the 16-month-old milestones and how you can better care for your child, you might have other related questions. Here are answers to the commonly asked ones.

What Should a Toddler Know by 16 Months?

Most toddlers at this age will be comfortable with drinking independently, whether using a sippy or open cup. They’ll also be able to use a spoon to scoop their favorite food.

Since they’re running around a lot more and exploring, they’ll start to develop their gross motor skills and become more comfortable with how their body works.

Toddlers at 16 months old also pick up words and mimic your actions closely. Therefore, you should try to be the best role model possible.

Is It Normal for a 16-Month-Old Not to Talk?

While some toddlers are talkative, there are others that just don’t want to, which is normal. However, if they can’t even speak one word, you should consult a pediatrician.

Most toddlers aged 16 months old can speak at least three words well, while some are already talking in short phrases they’ve picked up from their parents.

Conclusion

At 16 months old, while your toddler might not be growing physically at the same breakneck pace as before, they’re developing their speech and motor skills at an even faster rate.

They’ll also start having temper tantrums, thumb-sucking, or start eating plants that are poisonous to them.

As long as you study this guide on how to deal with these issues, you’ll be able to keep your toddler safe. 

Sky Bustillo
Sky Bustillo

Hi, I’m Sky!
As a Filipina in her mid-20s, a sister to young ones, and a tita to my nieces and nephews, I somehow share the same sentiment as other parents. I have a growing aspiration of becoming a mom someday!
But there also comes a worry that you won’t be able to give the best to your children, especially with the food they eat, the products they use, and the new habits and hobbies we introduce to them.
Your kid’s safety and welfare are your top priority, that’s why I always make it to a point to learn from the stories and experiences of other moms.
It’s a delight to share what I learned and know to help the moms close to my heart, and this time, I’m writing to relay advice to you from the insights of other moms and my experience around kids, too.
I’d love to be a part of your journey, and I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for you and your young one!