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5 Things One-Year-Olds Do Differently

March 14, 2017
5 Things One-Year-Olds Do Differently

As we approach the celebration of our baby girl’s first year, we are constantly entertained by her curious habits, such nuances indicative of the growth designators most babies her age manifest. The hubs and I find that Jai’s tendencies, while sometimes clearly involuntary, are often a sign of an emerging, semi-permanent personality.

In her case, it’s a signal of a little lady who really likes to hear and smell food cooking and is a wishful taste-tester; a maturing toddler who will sit quietly in her room amongst 20 stuffed animals and will remain captivated by an entire animated movie if permitted; a young child who must organically stand up by herself and not be intentionally placed onto her feet…and who currently refuses to step in any direction without something “stable” to confidently clutch. Watching her feel out and maneuver such delights of life that we adults have long taken for granted provokes our pride and humility as witnesses.

In keeping with the amusement our daily interactions with Jai bring, I composed a list of dominant traits of her individuality worth preserving as a memory marker of mastered mannerisms thus far. Upon further research, I learned that many parents identify similar quirky predispositions within their own little ones. Jai’s character registry, while privately growing, has since become what I see is a humorous gauge of ways in which babies around the age of 1 begin to come into their own temperaments.

Here are five examples of eccentricities from my inventory on Jai.

It can be customary for a one-year-old to:

Make a solitary diaper a fashion statement. Babies seem to be so enviably comfortable in their delicate skin that draping their bottoms with just a diaper acts like an adornment and not as a functional protective garment. At some point in their development, a baby may become amenable to ripping off his/her diaper to enjoy the mobile freedom and complete sensory experience of nakedness. We have not gotten to this place yet with Jai, but I clearly remember using duck tape to keep her big brother from stripping off his diaper not too long ago.

Of course, a streaking baby is a “normal” baby. According to BabyCenter, “. . .getting undressed and running around naked is perfectly normal toddler behavior. It’s just one way toddlers assert their independence and show they have their own opinions and abilities. It can also be a sign that your toddler is ready to start potty training.” One day soon, I’m sure that the velcro-pulling sound will appeal to my exploratory girl, and we will happily enlighten her to underwear.

It can be customary for a one-year-old to:

Find bath water a refreshing choice of beverage. If left to her own devices, Jai will slurp an entire bathtub of water via her washcloth. It is a wickedly gross practice that many young children will try at least once, mostly due to their oral mouthing stage and to potentially test the limits of mom or dad’s “no.” Heidi Murkoff of What to Expect indicates that drinking a little bathwater is actually okay: “Bathwater is a less-than-appetizing cocktail of soap, shampoo, dead skin cells, bacteria and germs, with a splash of urine thrown in, no doubt. But as unpleasant as it sounds, a few sips won’t make her sick—the amount of water in the tub dilutes anything potentially dangerous.” Listening to Jai’s energetic and urgent sucking sounds muffled by a cloth is enough to make me air-gag, let alone even considering if the action is physically safe for her to engage in.

It can be customary for a one-year-old to:

Use their mouths as vacuums. Or as microscopes. Or as a component of a budding career as a foodie. Speaking of putting items in their mouths, it is true that to see a baby is to often see that baby with something in their chompers, whether it is a foot, a fist, a fork, or a flavorless cardboard shoebox. Jai is a leader amongst the pack, as she will literally crawl around the house and seek out specimens to sample. Just last week, I caught my daughter with her mouth (tongue, really) to my freshly-mopped kitchen floor, sipping the visible water. It was unlike anything I had ever observed before.

Per an article on Day2Day Parenting.com that explains why babies are obsessed with their mouths, “Infants and young children will often bite and chew hands, blankets, books, toys, and anything in her/his immediate environment. These oral behaviors can also serve as self-soothing or calming as a child seeks out a bottle, pacifier, fingers, or even a stuffed animal or blanket to suck or chew on to help calm down or fall asleep.”

It can be customary for a one-year-old to:

Respond to requests with weird faces. There are several reasons why babies may make funny faces. When a baby is brand new to the world, their not-so-ordinary face making may be the result of  “their immature nervous system, their weak facial muscles and plain old gas,” according to “Why Do Newborns Make Strange Faces?” by writer Maria Magher. As they get older, however, babies make attempts to mimic those around them and may eventually become little comedians.

“. . .Research shows that a sense of humor is learned, not inherited.” (Gavin, 2015) “From a very young age we all have the capacity to laugh; kids as young as 9 months old may begin to understand physical or visual ‘jokes.'” (Gavin, 2015) Jai has discovered a preferred joy in Peek-a-Boo and finds daddy’s many expressions one of the most hilarious recurrences on the planet…behind mommy yelling “Don’t do that!”

It can be customary for a one-year-old to:

Openly welcome pooping and gas passing in public. A parent should consider themselves lucky if their little person has not yet let go a high-ranking poop or a noticeably loud or smelly fart in a public venue. When babies begin standing and subsequently walking, they can make a potty trip visibly obvious with a certain stance in their position or with a vocal alert for the need of a diaper change. Jai is an enthusiastic sort of squatter, particularly after an intake of food or a bottle of juice. She will ignore us entirely, even as we call her name in tease, and maintain her crouch in the middle of a room until the business has been completed. Then, saggy diaper and all, she will fight her way to someone’s lap.

Our little girl’s idiosyncrasies are a theatrical showcase of pageantry for me and the hubs. Through them all—diapering, bathing, eating, laughing, pooping—we discover the newness of life vicariously.

 Works Cited

Angelo, Florence. “Oral Fixation vs. Oral Mouthing—Is There a Difference?Day2Day Parenting, Nov. 7, 2013, http://day2dayparenting.com/oral-fixation-vs-oral-mouthing-difference/. Accessed Mar. 14, 2017.

The BabyCenter Editorial Team. “Is it normal that my toddler loves to be naked?BabyCenter, n.d., https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-normal-that-my-toddler-loves-to-be-naked_3652502.bc. Accessed Mar. 14, 2017.

Gavin, Mary L. “What’s Funny to a Toddler?KidsHealth, June 2015, http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/funny-toddlers.html#. Accessed Mar. 14, 2017.

Magher, Maria. “What Do Newborns Make Strange Faces? Our Everyday Life, n.d., http://oureverydaylife.com/newborns-make-strange-faces-22598.html. Accessed Mar. 14, 2017.

Murkoff, Heidi. “Drinking Dirty Bathwater.What to Expect, n.d., http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/drinking-dirty-bathwater.aspx. Accessed Mar. 14, 2017.

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