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Synopsis

The period between twelve and eighteen months places a child on a one-way bridge to the future. Infancy is a thing of the past and toddlerhood is straight ahead. A baby still? Not really, but neither is he a toddler and that is the key to understanding this phase of growth.

This is a period of great of exchange: baby food is exchanged for table food; the highchair for booster seat; finger feeding replaced with spoon; babbling sounds transition to speaking, the first unsteady steps are conquered by strides of confidence, and the list goes on. Moving forward at a lighting pace, pretoddlers are driven towards a new level of independence, equipped with a mind of their own. Whether a parent is ready or not, a toddler's natural inclination and challenge of 'I do myself' will become increasingly apparent, not to mention frustrating. The drive toward independence is very strong yet, unpredictable. He is always in motion and not easily restrained, directed or controlled, but he needs to be! Boundaries will be tested, rules understood as suggestions, and curiosity will become a force to reckon with.

How will a parent meet the unfolding challenges? The answer begins with understanding the various growth transitions of the one-hundred and eighty days linking babyhood with toddlerhood.

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