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Old 01-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Some "milestones" questions

So I have been happily living my little life and someone gave me the "What to Expect the toddler years" for xmas. I am not one to really care about milestones per se, but the book did make me realize that it is time for me to re-evaluate some pieces of our puzzle and start to be more consistent in making available learning opportunities for a couple of things:

using utensils to eat
going up and down stairs while standing
drinking from a real cup

I realized that since I never consistently give him utensils or anything but a straw cup my DS doesn't have the opportunity to master these skills.

Anyway, I am wondering when your LO did these things and if I should be pushing for some kind of target rather than just my regular old approach of "whatever."



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Old 01-16-2010, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

While these are life skills, I think they aren't the same as walking and talking are in importance. I take the "wait until they demand to do it" approach.

using utensils to eat-At some point in time, my toddlers all get mad at me using the spoon to feed them and want to do it themselves. It depends on the individual. DS2 decided around 10 months that he wanted to "drive the spoon" so I would load it up and give it to him. Around 15 months he wanted the bowl, too, so he got both and is now pretty good at it at 18 months. It's still messy. DD was more laid back but did it about the same time frame as well.

stairs-We have them in our house. DD started crawling up them by the time that she was 8 months and down them by a year. DS2 was scared of them for the longest time and didn't attempt up until over a year and mastered down at 15 months, but still prefers to be carried. (This is crawling and not walking.) Walking up and down the stairs came at 18 months for DD. DS1 was going up and down the stairs by 2. Up is always first.

drinking from a real cup-There is a set of stacking cups DS1 received as a gift and ended up in the bathtub somehow and have stayed there since. They practice in the bath as soon as they figure out how to use a sippy cup. Around 6 months, they can usually drink out of a cup with assistance. By about 2yrs they can do it without assistance and spilling if they have a lot of practice in the high chair. It's messy at first and they are always shocked at the cold wet the first time or two, but they master it pretty quickly at that age. It's possible they could master it sooner, but it isn't a big deal to me and I prefer not to have to clean up messes.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

I am a "whatever" mama, too. My DD is 27 months, she started using utensils accurately around 24 months. She did stairs standing up about 18ish months, because MIL had the patience to walk up and down their stairs with her for 20+ minutes each time we were there, lol. Drinking out of a cup was around 24 months as well, and only because DH would give her open cups, I was totally against anything without a lid and the inevitable spills. It took her about 2 months to totally master it.

We don't have a high chair (or a kitchen table, for that matter) so I think that might have delayed utensils/open cup learning a little bit because of that. If DD hadn't learned those things by 2.5-3, I would have actively started teaching her.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

I'm not sure how old your LO is...

my dd refused to be fed EVER, so around 11 months we started just giving her the spoon to feed herself oat cereal etc, she surprisingly did a not too bad job, and by 13 months was pretty proficient at eating meals with a spoon. Around 18 months she could do pretty well with a fork too, knowing how to stab the pasta etc.

Drinking from a cup, we started letting her drink from our glasses (because she wanted to) when she was about 7-8 months, although we would help her. Since a year we've been giving her a cup with meals, it was very messy and she would also chuck food into it, but it's all part of the experience! She is almost 2 now and can handle a cup or glass very easily, she is good at controlling the amount she tips up into her mouth now. We still use a straw cup or sippy when we're out an about though.

Stairs- well she's been 'walking' up and down them since about 1 yo holding our hands though. She has been able to do them on her own since about 16 months, but depending on the stair i still help her sometimes if they are steep or there is a lot of them. She also fell down once (oops!) so she got scared for a month or so and refused, and would make me carry her!

I also don't think these are 'milestones', they're more like things that they need the opportunity to practice, and all kids will eventually do regardless. It's worth giving them the opportunity to try them out though, definitely the older your kid is probably the easier they will pick it up.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

I think you have the right attitude about these skills. Provide the opportunities to learn but remember that each kid is different. Don't make any of these things in battles. I try to read any info., books, etc. and keep in mind that no person/author is the ultimate expert in child rearing. Children for generations have turned out just fine without doing things on the same exact timeline.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

Honestly I've not heard a single good thing about those "what to expect..." books. I'd toss it and keep doing what you've been doing.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:46 PM   #7
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

My daughter used utensils, quite neatly at about 12months but she hated to let anyone do anything for her and was grabbing them from us at bout 10 months. She has also mastered chop sticks at 4. She was drink from a regular cup at about 18, I hated sippies and cleaning them and everything about them so I threw them out. She never had the opputunity to master stairs as we did not live in a place with stairs until she was just over 2 but we had a 5 month old as well so everything was gated. I think she was pretty close to 3 when she master standing up while walking on stairs.

DS hates utensils to this day(he is 32months) and I have to constantly remind him to use his spoon. He can do it but not very well and is a fast eater so his hands are better for him. He drank from a regular cup early as well because like I said I hated sippies, he was around 18 months as well. He had the oppurtunity to learn stairs and I think he was about 24-28months when he mastered standing and walking on stairs.

While I think all of these are important life skills I don't think pushing for a goal is a good idea. The "whatever" approach" with oppurtunities to learn thrown in will work
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #8
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

Using utensils to eat- 18-24 months
Going up and down stairs while standing- 15 months
Drinking from a real cup- Mastered it around 2 -2 1/2

This is obviously for dd1 since dd2 isn't that old yet! Her bedroom is upstairs so as soon as she started walking she wanted to also walk up the stairs.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

utensils - about 20m or so, he uses them for all meals now, just turned two
stairs - he can go up and down stairs while standing now and has been for a few months
real cup - he can do this but we don't let him before he throws things
Mama to P 12.07 and baby Q born at home 9.30.12 <3
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #10
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Re: Some "milestones" questions

Utensils - 11 to 12 months
Stairs - 18ish months
Open cup - 11 to 12 months

I think that he learned how to use utensils and an open cup earlier because it was offered earlier. I began offering an open cup at around 7 months; utensils around 9ish months. He had both mastered by a year. Stairs were always open to navigation when he wanted -- supervised, of course, but he was always allowed to crawl up and down them as he was interested in doing so. It was somewhere between 16 and 20 months that he began navigating while standing. He is 2.75 months and can go up and down stairs without support, carrying things in both hands. Of course, if he wants to go REALLY fast, he will slither down them on his belly!

These are things that all children will learn in their own time unless there are special circumstances. I would offer the opportunity and let it go!
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