A couple of weeks ago, my toddler turned 18 months, and I couldn’t quite believe it. I spent an evening reading through her old baby milestone posts and exclaiming about how far she’s come and how much she’s changed. While these updates are mainly for me so that I can look back on her development with nostalgia in years to come, I couldn’t wait to share this latest one with you all.
For those who are new to the blog (and there’s been a few of you recently – hey there!), and those of you that have been around for a while now, this is Baby Sunshine at 18 months: my little ray of happiness, my mini-me, and my favourite travel companion.
The most noticeable change since Sophia turned 12 months has been her speech. Her vocabulary has developed in leaps and bounds, and now it’s not only the everyday items such as ball, flower and baby that she can say, but also more complex ones such as tunnel, aeroplane and girl/boy. She can name most farm and zoo animals, knows her basic colours (purple is her favourite) and is starting to count (although we still revert to ‘one, two, nine’ on a regular basis… we’re working on it!).
I’ve also been astounded that she’s picking up more abstract concepts and voicing them, such as ‘up’ (when she lifts her arms up to pour water out of her watering can), and ‘happy’ (which she says pretty much all the time!). She’s grasping the meaning of being polite and now uses please and thank you on a regular basis, and she is even starting to form her first sentences. Absolutely nothing makes my heart swell more than her little voice saying “Tatu mummy!”, “There it itttthh!” or “Are you kayyyy mummyyyy?”.
I saw Sophia really flourish during our summer travels. Seeing new places, having new experiences and interacting with new people was so good for her, and I felt like she was picking up a new word almost every day!
Interacting with other children has also been very good for her. She continues to go to Twyla Nursery, although we’ve just gone down to three days a week. She is starting to understand the concept of sharing and being kind. And Moon (aka baby Clumsy Chic) continues to be her very best friend. They are as thick as thieves, and when they are together, they are full of laughter and mischief. I could sit and watch them for hours!
Sophia was a loving baby from the start, but it’s been in the past six months that the nurturing side of her character has really come out. She loves her dolls and teddies, and her favourite game is feeding them and putting them to bed. She is also obsessed with animals; I have never seen her as excited as I did on the days that we saw frogs and monkeys in Bali, or went to the zoo and farm in England.
She also loves her family, and during our trip home to England this summer, she bonded with her cousins, had fun with her aunties and uncles, and formed an extra special bond with her two ‘nannies’ (grannies), ‘pampas’ (grandpas) and her grandpaul and gramps. It was lovely to see.
When we’re not travelling, Sophia’s favourite things are spending time in the pool, where she’s gaining enough confidence to swim on her own with armbands, and dancing around at her Baby Bojangles music classes with Hayley.
I love the way that her personality is developing, from her feisty confidence and incredible sense of humour, to her loving cuddles and kisses that I now receive on a daily basis without having to ask.
I just wish she would sleep better! She’s sleeping in our bed at night for now because she needs the closeness of me to fall asleep and stay asleep. She’s still feeding in the evenings and waking up for a feed or two in the night. A little part of me loves it, but I know deep down that I’m reaching the end of my exhaustion tolerance, and at some point she’ll be going into her cot in that nursery come hell or high water.
For now though, I’m lapping up the squishy nighttime snuggles before she’s 18 months no more, and too big to want them any more.
Our next planned travels are to England for Christmas, where I can’t wait for her to finally be able to understand what Christmas is all about. I’m looking forward to showing her the Christmas lights in London, to her experiencing the cold for only the second time in her life and wrapping her up in hats and scarves and gloves, and spending quality time with our friends and family. Also, is a bit of snow too much to ask?! Come on England, do it for us!
You can keep up with Sophia’s daily shenanigans on my Instagram – with lots of behind the scenes action and real life mayhem on Instagram stories!
How old is your toddler? Are you noticing some of the same developments?