As your baby reaches the 14-month mark, you may notice an exciting array of developmental milestones. Your child may be confidently walking or still gathering the courage to take their initial steps. It is normal for them to experience occasional stumbles, falls, or tumbles, as depth perception and coordination take time to develop. You may also notice that your child comprehends more of your verbal communication and may display persistence in engaging with a preferred activity, even when bedtime approaches. Understanding these milestones can be incredibly helpful for parents, as they provide insight into the physical, cognitive, and emotional growth of your little one. In this article, we will discuss the key developmental milestones for 14-month-old babies and offer tips to support your child's growth.
Sleep for a 14 month old
At 14-months, the recommended sleep time is approximately 12 to 14 hours per day. This will be split as at least 11 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day, over 1 or 2 naps. It is common at this stage to transition to a single daily nap, and by 15 months, most babies will have transitioned to 1 daily nap, around 2.5 hours long. To maintain healthy sleep habits, establish a consistent bedtime routine, provide a comforting sleep environment, and address any sleep issues as they arise.
The onset of walking in your 14-month-old might lead to difficulties settling down for naps or bedtime due to their enthusiasm for exploring their surroundings on two feet. You may notice that your child resists bedtime or practices walking within their crib. This behavior is completely normal; your toddler is simply thrilled by their newfound mobility.
Sleep Tips: How to give your 14-month-old some quality sleep
1. Before bed, you can go into more “quiet playtime”, focusing on activities that do not involve walking or vigorous movement. This can help them gradually transition from an active state to a more relaxed one.
2. Limit screen time before bed: Exposure to screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Avoid screen time at least an hour before bedtime to help your child fall asleep more easily.
3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine: Implement a calming and predictable routine before bedtime . This helps signal to your child that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Create a soothing sleep environment: Ensure your child's sleep space is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions. Use blackout curtains and a noise machine to help block out external stimuli.
4. Be patient and consistent: Understand that your child's excitement over their newfound ability to walk is temporary, and with time, they will likely return to a more regular sleep schedule.
To help monitor your 14-month-old's nap and sleep schedule , consider downloading the Smart Sleep Coach app by Pampers. Developed in collaboration with pediatricians and sleep experts, this app helps parents create healthy sleep habits , implement sleep training methods , and addresses specific challenges such as sleep regression.
Sleep transitions at 14 months
At 14 months, your baby's sleep needs may change slightly as they continue to grow and develop. It is important to be aware of these changes and make any necessary adjustments to their sleep schedule. Here are some key aspects to consider:
- Transitioning to one nap: Some 14-month-olds may be ready to transition from two naps per day to just one . Pay attention to your child's sleep cues and adjust their schedule gradually, allowing for a longer midday nap to compensate for the dropped morning or afternoon nap.
- Sleep disruptions: Teething, illness, or developmental changes can disrupt your child's sleep. Remain patient and supportive during these periods and consult your pediatrician if sleep issues persist.
- Encourage self-soothing: At this age, it is important to help your child develop the ability to self-soothe when they wake up during the night.
Weight and height
At 14 months, the average weight and height for boys and girls can vary slightly. Keep in mind that these values are just averages, and each child's growth is unique, but based on World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts:
Girls weigh on average 21.2 pounds (9.6 kg) and average height is 30.1 inches (76.5 cm).
Boys weigh on average 22.5 pounds (10.2 kg) and and average height is 30.7 inches (78 cm).
Remember that growth trajectories can differ among children. It's essential to focus on your child's individual progress and avoid comparing them to others. Genetics, nutrition, and overall health can all impact a child's growth rate. Some children may experience growth spurts, while others may grow more gradually over time. Your pediatrician will monitor your child's growth and development at regular check-ups and can provide personalized guidance based on their unique growth patterns.
At 14 months, your baby's gross motor skills are advancing rapidly. They may be able to:
- Walk independently or with support: taking their first steps, walking steadily, or even starting to run confidently.
- Climb stairs: most babies are just beginning to develop this skill, and for some it will happen later on. Be sure to assist your child during this process, and stay nearby to provide support.
- Squat and stand back up: picking up objects and then standing up without losing their balance.
- Push and pull: pushing a toy stroller, wagon, or other objects will be a great way for them to explore their surroundings, and helps improve their balance and coordination.
To support the development of gross motor skills at this age, here's what you can do:
- Create a safe exploration space: Childproof your home and ensure there is sufficient room for your child to practice walking, climbing, and other gross motor activities without the risk of injury.
- Promote outdoor play: Take your child to playgrounds, parks, or other outdoor areas where they can safely practice and hone their gross motor skills.
- Provide appropriate toys and equipment: Offer toys that foster gross motor development, such as push toys, ride-on toys, and soft play mats that encourage crawling and climbing.
- Participate in interactive play: Engage in games like "follow the leader," which helps your child practice walking and imitating movements, or play simple ball games that aid in developing coordination.
- Practice patience and support: Celebrate your child's accomplishments, no matter the size, and provide reassurance during moments of frustration or difficulty.
You child will also be developing their hand-eye coordination and finer motor skills, with such as pincer grasp, stacking objects, turning pages, and even scribbling around with colored pencils.
By engaging in creative play, using age-appropriate toys, and reading together, you’ll offer plenty of opportunities for your child to develop their gross and fine motor skills at 14-months-old.
Remember that each child develops at their own pace, and it is essential to be patient and supportive while allowing them to explore and learn at their own speed.
At this age, your child is developing a greater sense of self-awareness and independence. As their understanding of the world around them expands, they may:
- Recognize familiar objects and people
- Understand simple instructions
- Enjoy looking at picture books
- Imitate sounds or actions
- Start to solve simple puzzles
- Say simple words, like "mama" or "dada", and start to expand their vocabulary
- Understand and respond to simple requests or commands
- Use gestures, such as waving or pointing, to communicate
- Show attachment to familiar people
- Display a preference for certain toys or activities
- Show frustration when they can't accomplish a task
- Begin to assert their independence through actions such as pushing away a hand or refusing help
There are countless ways to support your child's cognitive development, all while making it fun, too! Here are a few ideas:
- Play interactive games that challenge your child's problem-solving abilities and teach cause and effect, such as peekaboo, hide and seek, or stacking blocks.
- Encourage imitation: model behaviors and actions you want your child to learn, and praise them when they imitate you. This can include simple tasks like clapping hands or tidying up toys.
- Engage them in daily routines and e ncourage imitation : your little one will enjoy participating in family activities, and you can use simple tasks around the home, such as tidying up their toys or assisting in putting groceries away, to foster their ability to understand good behavior, and use their motor skills at the same time. Make these tasks enjoyable and provide ample praise to reinforce their sense of accomplishment.
- Promote social interactions: encourage your child to spend time with peers, even if they engage in parallel play rather than direct interaction. Exposure to social situations will help them develop essential social skills over time.
- Read together: reading to your child helps build their vocabulary, listening skills, and early literacy development. Choose age-appropriate books with colorful pictures and simple words or phrases.
- Foster communication: talk to your child frequently, using simple words and sentences. Encourage them to respond and engage in conversations, even if their language skills are still developing.
- Provide stimulating toys and activities: offer toys and activities that promote cognitive development, such as puzzles, shape-sorting toys, or matching games.
- Use proper language: as your child begins to understand more words, use real terminology instead of made-up language. For example, use the word "sheep" instead of "baa baa" when pointing to a picture in a book. This approach will reduce confusion and support language development.
- Implement age-appropriate discipline: discipline at this age is about teaching and guiding your child, rather than punishing them. Establish consistent boundaries and limits to help your child learn acceptable behavior and develop self-discipline. Ensure that both parents are on the same page regarding expectations and consequences for more effective results.
Social and Emotional Development
One aspect of your 14-month-old's development is their social and emotional growth. Providing opportunities for your child to interact with others, such as arranging playdates or attending group activities, helps them develop essential social skills and understanding of social cues. Encouraging empathy and compassion in your child, by talking about emotions and teaching them how to respond to others' feelings, can also contribute to their emotional development.
At the same time, fostering independence in your toddler is crucial. Allowing them to make simple choices, such as selecting which toy to play with or what to wear, can help them build confidence and a sense of autonomy. By creating a supportive environment that encourages both social interactions and personal growth, you can help your child develop the emotional intelligence and independence they need to thrive.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 7th ed. (New York: Bantam Books, 2019).
American Academy of Pediatrics. The Wonder Years. (New York: Bantam Dell, 2006).