When your baby reaches the age of 1 year and 3 months, he or she is nearing the end of weaning and will be doing many different things than before. There are also daily changes in the way they play, so you need to suggest age-appropriate ways to play with them.
Weaning at 1 year and 3 months old
First, let’s take a look at the weaning for your baby. Some babies may finish the weaning and others may not. What you need to do is to prepare some appropriate food for your baby, so that they can learn how to chew.
Food menu and weaning completion guidelines
Some babies graduate from baby food as early as 1 year and 3 months and the age of 1 year and 3 months corresponds to the so-called “crunchy period.” With all four front teeth in place, they are able to chew through their food and become more skillful with their tongues, allowing them to eat a wider variety of foods.
You want them to enjoy a variety of textures, such as “sticky,” “crunchy,” “fluffy,” etc., right?
Also, encourage the habit of chewing by using different ways of boiling vegetables to make them hard enough to be chewed by the gums. To encourage eye-hand-mouth coordination, it is also recommended to incorporate hand-held foods into the menu.
If your child is getting enough nutrients from three meals a day plus snacks and can drink more than 300ml of milk, it may be time to graduate from baby food to toddler food.
Observe your baby’s mouth & sitting position
When weaning, watch your baby’s mouth carefully to see if he is chewing.
If your baby seems to be swallowing whole foods without chewing, be careful. It is possible that the food you have prepared is too hard, or on the other hand, it may have been chopped too finely and no longer needs to be chewed.
Let your child practice chewing moderately hard food and putting food together in the mouth with soft cooked rice or stewed root vegetables that are hard enough to be crushed with fingers.
In some cases, the babies may not be able to concentrate on eating due to bad sitting posture. It is important that their feet are firmly on a footstool or similar surface and that their elbows are at a height where they can touch the table.
Also, make sure that the line from the back to the hips is straight. If your back is straight and stable, they will be able to eat calmly.
Keep up the baby’s pace and enjoy the food at the table.
The progress of weaning varies greatly from baby to baby. Rather than sticking to a “menu for 1 year and 3 months,” it is important to check the condition from the perspective described above and adjust the amount, consistency, and cooking method to best suit the baby’s needs.
If the baby does not seem to be swallowing the food you have prepared, it may be a good idea to go back to the previous “chewing period” menu.
If you try too hard to get him/her to eat more, you may create tension at the dinner table and discourage him from wanting to eat. Having the family around the table with smiles on their faces will help the baby enjoy the meal.
Points to play happily with a 1 year and 3-month-old baby
The variety of playing will expand at this age as well.
Love to imitate
Babies around 1 year and 3 months love to imitate other people’s movements. They are especially interested in the actions of adults and want to do the same. Taking advantage of this characteristic, “imitation play” is very easy to do, but is sure to be a lot of fun!
All you have to do is show your baby a simple hand play, such as “up and down” and ask him or her to imitate you. It is also cute to capture the baby’s inability to do it well, making it a memorable experience.
They also like to imitate household chores, so it is a good idea to prepare a sponge for babies and play cleaning with them.
Drawing also becomes fun
Once your baby is able to grasp a crayon and press it against the paper, drawing is recommended.
At first, they can draw with their hands downwards, but gradually they will be able to draw straight and curved lines as well. While feeling the joy of moving their hands, children will also develop their sensitivity as they create various colors and shapes.
One thing to keep in mind is the tools to be prepared. Since your baby may put crayons in the mouth, it is safer to use crayons made of natural ingredients. A long, thin crayon will break easily, so a shorter, round-shaped crayon that is easy to grip is best.
Also, it is very difficult for babies to “draw only on a small piece of paper”. It is better to prepare a large piece of paper from the beginning than to worry about making a mess on the desk or the floor.
You can save the “work,” or you can go straight to playing with tearing up the paper, which is also fun.
Let’s try outdoor play!
Especially after they are able to walk, outdoor play becomes much more fun. Although care should be taken as their range of activities expands, it would be nice if they can enjoy exploring freely in parks and open spaces.
Colorful fallen leaves and pebbles of various sizes are all fresh “playthings” for children.
With adult support, playground equipment can also be enjoyed. For swings, put them on your lap and gently rock them. The key is to let the baby hold the chains as well.
For a slide, it is best to let the child slide down the slide from a height that can be lifted by holding him or her in your arms, while supporting him or her with an adult hand.
Babies at the age of 1 year and 3 months show remarkable mood swings and complex emotional expressions. It is also a time when they realize the difference from the bedtime period and feel the joy of having grown up.
The feeling of security that “mom and dad accept me” is an essential element for babies to develop a sense of self-esteem. We encourage you to warmly watch your baby’s budding ego and support his or her growth.