Your toddler is 13 months old!

Toddlerhood has arrived. That means mealtime messes, new words (like “NO!”), squirmy diaper changes and mood swings. (In case you haven’t heard, some parents are surprised because one can feel like a preview of the “terrible twos.”)

Don't get us wrong. There are plenty of positives to this new phase too: spontaneous affection (unsolicited wet, sloppy kisses) and a peek into his or her developing personality (who can resist a dancing toddler?), just to name a couple.

13-Month-Old Development

As your 13-month-old becomes more and more upwardly mobile, you might notice rolls of pudge start disappearing from arms and legs and weight gain slowing down.

13-Month-Old Weight & Height

How much should a 13-month-old weigh and measure? According to the World Health Organization, the average weight of a 13 month old is 20.2 pounds for girls and 21.8 pounds for boys. Average height is 29.6 inches for girls and 30.3 inches for boys. Of course, every kid is different and—just like in babyhood—it isn't the number on the scale itself that's important. It's that your child is gaining weight and growing in a healthy way that’s reflected in a positive curve on the growth chart.

This month, your child should have gained about half a pound and about half an inch or so. If you have any concerns your child isn't growing healthily, talk to your pediatrician. Otherwise, weight and height will get checked at the 15-month checkup.

13-Month-Old Milestones

Here are some milestones your 13-month-old may have hit or may be working on:

13-Month-Old Talking. Should my 13-month-old be talking? Yes, but it may not sound like real words just yet. Your toddler may be using the same babble sound —"ba" for bottle,"da" for "dada" or even "cak" for jacket for example—and that counts as talking. Some 13-month-olds are still using gibberish that has tones and a cadence like real conversation but doesn't consists of any actual words. That's normal too.

A common question parents have is, How many words should a 13-month-old say? Most 12- to 13-month-olds can say one word and about half of them say two words.

Your 13-month-old is getting better at communicating to you without having to cry. She's probably not doing that all the time but many times, she finds ways to get her point across—for example, by pointing to what she wants on the kitchen counter.

13-Month-Old Walking. Most toddlers can pull themselves up to a standing position and can cruise around the room while using furniture. About half can take a few wobbly steps on their own. (Wow!)

Worried because your toddler isn’t walking yet? Be careful what you wish for! Even some perfectly healthy tots don’t walk until they’re 18 months old, so try to enjoy his or her pre-walking days while they last. (You’ll be chasing baby around before you know it.)

13-Month-Old Behavior

Does it seem like your sweet little baby has morphed into a difficult creature? Well, that's one of the challenges of toddlerhood. Difficult behavior can be frustrating for you but can be resolved with a little know-how and tons of patience. These articles can help you deal with a few common 13-month-old behaviors:

13-Month-Old Health

Now that you've passed the one-year mark, you're probably feeling much more confident in your ability to care for a sick child than you were a year ago. But there are always new questions that crop up. Some common health questions parents of 13-month-olds have are:

• My 13-month-old has diarrhea. What should I do?
• My 13-month-old has constipation. What should I do?
• My 13-month-old is throwing up. What should I do?
• My 13-month-old has a fever. What should I do?

13-Month-Old Sleep

You've probably found that your 13-month-old is pretty settled into a daily sleep routine—though little things, like illness, teething, and streaks of independence can sometimes through the routine for a loop.

How Much Sleep Does a 13-Month-Old Need?

It's recommended that one- to two-year-olds get 11 to 14 hours of sleep total in a 24-hour day. Some 13-month-olds are still taking two naps per day but others are starting to transition to just one nap (usually by 18 months), so how those hours are broken up depends on your own kid's schedule.

Here's one example of how it might go:

13-Month-Old Sleep Schedule

Image: Smart Up Visuals

Refusal to sleep

Your 13-month-old won’t sleep? We're not surprised. At this age, it's normal for a child to use every trick in the book to try to delay going to bed—getting another cup of water, needing to find a special toy right now, reading what seems like 20 books… and on and on.

Stick to the same calming bedtime routine—and start it at the same time each night. Make your child's room comfy. Try to cut down on trips to your child's room and/or don't let your child come into your bed in the middle of the night. (If she does, bring her back to her own bed immediately.) All these strategies can establish nighttime rules and promotes can a good night's sleep for a toddler (and for you.)

13-Month-Old Sleep Regression

If your child used to sleep well at night and then suddenly won't, it could be due to at least one of several things. 12- to 14-month olds may begin experiencing active dreams that can suddenly awaken them. Teething pains could also be waking your child in the middle of the night. Follow the bedtime routine and be patient, and your kid will likely soon get back to sleeping through the night.

Transitioning To A Toddler Bed

If your 13-month-old is still sleeping in a crib, there's absolutely no rush to move her out of it until nighttime potty training—unless, of course, it poses a safety issue. Once a child can climb out of the crib and there's a risk of falling, then you'll want to make the switch sooner rather than later. You’ll have the added challenge of teaching your little one to actually stay in his toddler bed at night, but you’ll get there.

13-Month-Old Food

At 13 months, your former baby is slowly transitioning away from baby food, the bottle and/or formula. But remember, she's still learning all these new things, so it's okay to make the switch slowly.

How Much Should A 13-Month-Old Eat?

Doctors say most toddlers need approximately 1,000 calories per day—give or take—or about 40 calories for each inch of their height. But trying to count your kid's calories isn’t practical. You can't expect a 13-month-old to eat the same sized portions from one meal to the next—or the same amount of food from one day to the next. Heck, don't expect your kid to even touch the same food he devoured yesterday!

Offer your one-year-old portions about one-fourth the size of an adult portion. Then, let her choose how much she eats based on her appetite. 13-month-olds are notoriously finicky and some days may seem ravenous—and other days seem to live off a handful of cheddar bunny crackers and nothing else.

What To Feed A 13-Month-Old

You should offer your 13-month-old three meals and two snacks per day. Give him a daily variety of foods in all food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy.

Food Ideas For 13-Month-Old

Toddlers tend to get too little calcium, iron and fiber. In addition to dairy products, your child can get calcium from foods such as green leafy veggies, broccoli and tofu. Tofu can provide iron too, as can fortified cereal, dried peaches and lean ground beef. For fiber, you may offer pinto or refried beans, prunes, bananas and whole wheat pasta.

It's okay to continue to feed your 13-month-old baby food, if he still likes it—and perhaps, if that's the only way he'll eat veggies at this stage.

How Much Milk Should A 13-Month-Old Drink?

How much milk your child should drink depends on how much other calcium is in your child's diet.

Most 13-month-olds should be drinking whole milk, since one-year-olds need the fat for brain development. At age two, you should switch her to 1 percent or skim milk. Doctors recommend kids ages one to three get 700 mg of calcium per day. So if your kid doesn't get calcium from any other source, he'll need about three 8-ounce cups of milk per day. If he gets calcium from other sources, you can adjust his milk intake accordingly.

If you're breastfeeding, you don't have to offer your child cow's milk but you certainly can. Just keep an eye on your tot's growth to make sure your toddler is gaining a healthy amount of weight at each checkup. Some moms choose to wean their toddler off breastfeeding after their first birthday but there's no reason not to continue if you two want to keep it up!

Juice is okay occasionally but it should be unsweetened 100 percent fruit juice and should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces or less per day.

You should continue to wean your toddler off the bottle if you haven't already. At this point, your child should be using a regular cup or a cup with a straw as much as possible. Some doctors don't love the sippy cup because its use (with milk or juice) could lead to tooth decay and it could inhibit speech development in some children.

13-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Image: Smart Up Visuals

*A toddler's serving size is about ¼ of an adult's

13-month-old Won’t Eat

Now that your child's growth is slowing down and he's getting more independent, you might find him refusing to eat more often than he used to. You can't and really shouldn't force your child to eat—but you should keep offering a variety of healthy foods and as many unprocessed foods as possible. Here's more great advice on how to deal with picky eating.

If your child won't eat anything at all, it could be a sign of illness, and you should call the pediatrician immediately.

Activities for a 13-Month-Old

Many 13-month-olds are starting to get interested in playing games and mimicking their parents as they do household chores. You might even have a budding artist on your hands!

Things To Do With A 13-Month-Old

Fun activities, games and toys for 13-month-old are:

Peek-a-boo: Some 13-month-olds can start to play along

Beginner's coloring: Give your child some chunky crayons and encourage her to scribble on paper

Pass the ball: Roll your 13-month-old a ball and see if she'll roll it back!

Do chores together: She may see you sweep the floor or wipe the countertop and want to help. Let her join in!

13-Month-Old Baby Checklist/Tips

• Buy your tot good shoes. The fit, support and lack of blisters are worth the money, especially for your new walker. Trust us. • Set aside at least 5 to 10 minutes a day to read books together with your 13-month-old. This is a calming bedtime routine and a great way to learn and bond.
• Do another safety check of your home. Make sure it's been baby-proofed for a walker!
• Schedule baby’s 15-month checkup if you haven't already.

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