Month thirteen is an exciting time as your baby’s independence and mobility surge forward and his understanding of the world increases. His babbling probably sounds more like adult conversation, he is probably very close to walking and he will surprise you one day by being able to follow a simple command like ‘go and get your yellow ball’. Try not to shout at your toddler if he does something wrong or knocks something over; his world is an exciting place to explore and he is testing his boundaries all the time. Instead, explain to him calmly what he did wrong and how he should be a little more careful next time.
Your toddler is probably busy toddling around by now and will be on the cusp of walking. As the months go on he’ll start to lose his ‘baby’ looks and begin to resemble a toddler. It is an exciting time as his independence and mobility surge forward and his understanding of the world increases. He’ll still enjoy a cuddle from time to time, but don’t take it too personally when he wants to explore the house rather than nuzzle into your shoulder.
He is probably an expert cruiser by now, which means he can move from sofa to sofa, make his way along walls and bend down, crouch and twist with relative ease. Walking is probably just around the corner so make sure he has lots of open space which is carpeted, grass or covered with cushions so that when he gets adventurous and takes a few steps he will have a soft landing.
With his eagerness to be upright, comes his unwillingness to be flat on his back, which can make nappy changes a battleground with you virtually pinning him down to keep him still. Putting him to bed has the same reaction, and your toddler may be standing in his cot five minutes after you put him down! Patience is the best way to deal with this. Give him something to play with while you change his nappy so he becomes preoccupied.
At night, it is probably best to go back into his room and lay him down, stroke his face and tell him it is time for sleeping now. Put some lullabies on in his room to help him feel sleepy and try not to let his daytime nap go past about 4.30pm. All baby’s and toddlers need ‘quiet time’ just before they sleep to help their minds relax from their busy days (just like adults). Massaging your toddler before bed or reading a story can help them unwind and signify that bedtime is close.
Once your toddler is walking confidently, you will need to buy some proper shoes that support and protect his feet. It's still best for him to walk bare footed or with socks and slippers inside the house so that he can get used to the feel of walking and his feet have space to grow outside of his shoes.