The Link Between Toddler Milestones and Unusual Behavior

Did you know that when your toddler is learning to walk and talk, there could be regressions in other areas of his behavior? Mastering new skills is hard work, and it can push a toddler’s system into overload. If your previously mild mannered tot is suddenly throwing tantrums or your little one’s formerly very regular nap time is becoming difficult to predict, there may be a developmental growth spurt happening.

While it is exciting that your toddler is acquiring new skills at a very fast pace, the accompanying changes in his or her behavior can be unsettling. Simply knowing that there is an underlying reason for the behavioral changes can be very helpful, as can knowing approximately when children tend to experience each of the various milestones like walking and talking.

Over the past week or so, Blake has been having trouble falling asleep at night. He has also been waking up in the middle of the night and crawling around in the bed, wide awake. While it is kind of cute, and my husband and I joke about our little “night crawler” as we go in to pick him up and settle him back in, I look forward to a time when he will return to having fewer night wakings.

The cause of the disruption in Blake’s sleep is that he is learning to walk. He took a couple of steps at his first birthday party, almost two weeks ago. He has been rather tentative about the whole thing, and has tried it a handful of times, usually sitting himself down after three or four steps. Today, he was making many attempts at walking, and taking more steps than he had previously.

If your child had just turned one, there are a few milestones that he or she may have recently achieved, or that could be in his or her near future. Standing, walking, saying a few words, waving bye bye, picking up food with fingers, and transitioning from two naps to one nap are common things that often happen when children are about a year old. Of course, each child has his or her own unique developmental schedule. Some children pick up one skill at a time, and others acquire a few at once. Toddler development is absolutely amazing, and if you are aware that it can come with a few bumps in the road behavior – wise, it can make handling those behavioral changes much easier.

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