12 month old, seeking guidance. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 01-24-2013, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I am a nanny to a beautiful 12 month old boy. He just recently started picking up some very dangerous habits, and I find it quite the challenge for me. He climbs on things, everything... He is very strong and can do pull-ups. It is nearly impossible to hide things from him, and EVERYTHING is a stool. I think his parents really allow him to have free-range of all things, if he points he gets taken where he is pointed and to what he wants, always. This is so dangerous for me, I don't know what to do if I have to use the bathroom. Two situations, he was kind of upset because it was bottle time on the schedule, so I set him down right next to me, while I poured five scoops of formula. In this one minute time frame, he somehow got in the family room, and on his big sisters art table, knocked down the cat treats everywhere, and was petting the cat. I had to *tinkle* once, and he was on the kitchen table... He had pushed a toy fire truck up to the side... His home is also four stories high. There is only one baby gate into the basement, and he can open doors. He can get the key and put them in the key hole, and turn the latch. This is a very difficult thing as I live in Germany and the latches are complicated. He is extremely well-coordinated, and nearly makes me have a heart-attack every day. I don't know what I should do about this, and how to make sure he can expect some sort of uniformity from his routine.


I have another problem too, I think. I don't know what is the typical age for speaking, but he doesn't speak at all. He knows a couple words, but will not speak. I wonder if it might be too much that he is taught both English and German. What I currently do, is repeat everything in both English and German. I'm not sure if this is the correct way. He does respond to things I say a lot of the time... Not with words, but pointing, or looking at an object.


Is there something I am doing wrong, and what can I do about all of his frightening and dangerous habits? I really feel the need to put myself in a time-out a lot of time... And I feel like I am losing battles with a 12 month old. I know I should not feel this way, because he is just learning... But I really don't know what to do.


I also have trouble with feeding, when he was younger we had a perfect set schedule, and planned lunches, but he won't eat now. Since he doesn't eat the baby food, his parents just kind of let him eat whatever he wants. A lot of times he won't eat at all, and then he is cranky. I would never want to force feed him, so I always give him options. Would you like the apple today, or the orange? Do you want toast, or rice? ...He gets really happy to choose, and then does not eat. Usually, the only thing he will eat is plain white toast.


Please help!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 AM
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For the climbing on things issues, you need to have a safe place to put him when you use the restroom and prepare bottles, I would talk to the parents about setting something up. It is normal for a child to want to explore, but it is also a necessity to have a safe place for him that he can't get out of when you need to do something for a minute or two where you can't have eyes on. Does he have a high chair with a harness or could he get out of that too? It sounds like he could probably climb out of a crib, yes? If not and he has a crib, I would put him in there.

For food, again I would talk to the parents. They need to give you more direction IMO.

For the speaking part, I would just ask his parents how they want you to speak to him, english & german as you are doing now, one or the other only, mix it up, etc. I do think billingual kids take longer to speak and it sounds like he is communicating in other ways, but I'm no expert, so maybe gently bring up your concerns with the parents, just mention that you noticed he is really great at pointing/gestures/etc. but isn't speaking words yet, maybe he speaks to them only?

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#3 of 6 Old 01-25-2013, 11:42 AM
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My 12 month old only says a few words and isn't talking yet. That is entirely normal.He only hears English but very few babies are "talking" at 12 months.

I agree with the pp about the safety issue. 12 months is too young to be left alone even for a minute. You need to put him in a crib or pack and play or a car seat or stroller or somewhere where he is restrained when you go to the bathroom. He should be allowed to explore when you're there to supervise him closely.

With the eating all you can do is offer him a variety of things and encourage him to explore different tastes and sensations. I agree about talking to the parents about what they would like to offer him but you can't force him. Does he drink milk? My 12 month old still gets a substantial amount of his calories from breastfeeding. He might be less fussy if you offer him whatev er kind of liquid substitute his parents want you to use.

Schedules change at 12 months often but you can establish a predictable pattern of how your day progresses. Some things we do is:

Wake up
eat breakfast in high chair
drop off older siblings at school
nurse and nap
go for walk outside
pick up older sister
Eat lunch
play inside with sister
nurse and nap
pick up older brother
park with older siblings
Play inside while brother and sister do homework
play with daddy
nurse and bedtime

The times aren't written in stone except for school dropoff and pickup times but each day has a certain rhythm to it that he finds familiar and comforting.

Hope this is helpful.
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#4 of 6 Old 01-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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Not talking around one year is perfectly normal, and honestly I would think it was unusual if he was talking! My 18 month old doesn't even talk very much. She knows a lot of words, and will use them occasionally but I getting the feeling she is "saving" them up for later, haha. She does babble a lot (especially when she is playing in her room by herself) and uses words at home a lot more frequently than when we are out - when there are strangers around she won't say *anything*. As far as I know, they don't really start talking a whole lot until a little bit closer to 2 - of course it depends a lot on the kid, but so long as they understand you and seem to be learning everything is probably fine and normal.


As far as climbing, I kind of just gave in and let my daughter climb. I anchored all the shelves to the wall, made sure she wouldn't be able to reach anything dangerous (like knives on the counter) and then just let her have at it. I am usually very close by so I can watch her and prevent serious injury. But she has definitely taken some tumbles, I just don't make a big deal out of it and she is learning, getting better coordination, and starting to be a bit more careful. 


Regarding food that is very difficult because kids vary so much. But they won't let themselves starve. Fruit is always a win with my daughter, specifically strawberries and blueberries. I don't usually ask what she wants, I just provide things (favorites being fruits, crackers, cheese, yogurt, cheerios, soup) and if she doesn't want them I don't force it or make a big deal or even comment on it. If I leave them where she can reach them, she'll go for them when she's hungry.

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#5 of 6 Old 01-25-2013, 06:19 PM
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Hi there.


I can respond as both a mother, to a 14 month old son, who LOVES to climb and also as a nanny ( my son and I nanny together so 3 days a week I am responsible for 2 14 month old babies and a 4 year old.)


In regards to talking it is really normal for him not to be talking, as long as he is "communicating" with you by pointing, making noise, grabbing things, etc. Many babies don't start using language until 2 years old. I would ask mom and dad about their language preference.


In regards to climbing....let him climb, and get into things, and dump out cat treats, rip plant leaves, etc., etc. IMHO this is how babies learn, it is our job, especially as the paid nanny to help them do these things safely and pick up the mess even if it seems frustrating sometimes dizzy.gif


I do leave my DS and the other baby to play alone for a minute or less if I am running to the bathroom or throwing a load of laundry in, but only for a minute and only if they are in the playroom...which is VERY, VERY safe for them to play in, nothing that can fall top of them, no open outlets, small toys, etc. Can you take the LO into the bathroom with you? I remember feeling uncomfortable about this when I first started nannying and didn't have children, but quickly realized that I had to in order to keep everyone safe. I spoke to the parent's about this to make sure they felt comfortable with it and they agreed it was the best way to keep the baby safe.


Hope this helps some. Lots of babies go through a non-eating stage and most toddlers are really grazers, preferring to eat bits though out the day and not 3 meals like us adults. If you are concerned, again talk with mom and dad, otherwise just keep offering healthy choices and if it makes you feel any better my DS has days that I think he might turn in to a piece of toast bc that is all he chooses to eat ROTFLMAO.gif

Me, slinggirl.gif mama to 1.5 yr old kid.gifDS, step mama to two tweens, married to a sarcastic sports nut censored.gif. We are unschooling! mdcblog5.gif http://twocoolfourschool.wordpress.com/

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#6 of 6 Old 01-26-2013, 07:22 AM
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I agree with the other posters - very normal to not be talking and very normal to have a one year old hell bent on exploring.  With my son, who was similar, I made spaces that we spent time in very safe.  Things that weren't age appropriate or safe were moved to a place that he couldn't access.  Maybe ask the parents to help you figure out some places that are "off limits" and then you can let him explore and learn his boundaries.  My son also was fascinated by stairs and was very good with them from a young age, so we got rid of gates pretty early.  I'm sure that the parents would have gates up if they weren't comfortable with his abilities.  That being said, sometimes kids fall or pull toys and cat treats down that spill all over the place...but that's how they learn.  For me it would have been impossible to set enough boundaries to "keep him safe", so I helped him learn from natural consequences, which helps them learn *why* certain things aren't safe to climb on, etc.  It's definitely hard to take care of kids at that age.  I would talk to the parents about you concerns - you can have them set up some safe areas and/or they can give some advice from their experience.  I think it's important that you talk with them to figure out some safety boundaries. And bringing him into the bathroom is a good option (my *only option!) if it's something everyone is comfortable with.


The same goes for the food - kids definitely go through different food stages.  Talk with the parents to get some better direction, but understand that their needs and wants change very quickly.  Having some food accessible for snacks can help too. Give him a variety of food through out the day and he will eat what he needs.

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