Alexander and Nathan: 18-Month Update

Alexander and Nathan are now 18 months old! I seriously can’t believe they’ve grown so fast. They were only four months old when I started this blog! My followers have been so loving and supportive, watching them grow up on Instagram, and I had someone ask me to post an update on their development and milestones. I used to post what new things they were doing every month, but stopped when they turned one. They’ve started doing so many new things since then and I’m really happy with their development! As a special ed teacher, I’m always watching like a hawk for delays and deficits and so far they haven’t given me any reason for concern.

Here’s what the twins are up to now!

SPEECH/LANGUAGE:

This is probably the biggest one! They are so verbal – way more than I expected them to be at this age. I never taught them much sign language, and for a while I felt bad about that, but it really turned out not to be a big deal because they use words so well now. They can greet people with “hi,” “hey,” and “hello.” and say goodbye with “Bye bye,” or “See ya!” They’re speaking in phrases and short sentences now, i.e. “Read the book,” “I want ____,” “What is that?”, “I love you” (MY FAVORITE!) “Eat this” They can identify most things and people that are relevant to their lives. Mommy, daddy, PaPa, Grandma, GG, TT, Granddad. They can request just about anything they want, like eat (or even some specific foods like chicken, oranges, and bananas, cookies), water, juice, paci, cup, watch (usually followed by “Paw Patrol”), play, outside, dance.  They know the names of most of their toys and many household objects. They’ve started saying “please” when they want something and “thank you” when they get it. Nathan has even started saying “I’m sorry.”

They can sing all of their favorite songs and quote their favorite books (The Very Busy Spider is a big one). They can identify many animals and their sounds (“cow, moo!” “dog, woof woof!” etc.) They can identify when a person is “sleep” and when they want them to wake up. (“‘kup” ) I’m not exaggerating when I say everyday they say something new. And honestly, a LOT of their vocabulary comes from songs and videos they’ve watched on YouTube. The rest comes from constantly talking to them like big kids – no baby talk – and reading to them. They’re the biggest chatterboxes ever now and it’s so exciting hearing what else they can say.

They can identify a hug and a kiss and can do both upon request (or whenever they feel like it). It melts me. Also, they can yell out a big “ROLL TIDE!” (They may or may not have been coached.)

They’re also getting good at understanding directions. For example, if I tell Alex, “go find your cup,” he’ll look around the room until he finds it and bring it to me. If I tell him, “your toy is under the couch,” he’ll get down, reach under the couch, and find it. I don’t know if this is standard for this age or not – I do NOT read milestone checklists – but I know it’s a pretty recent development and very cool.

MOTOR SKILLS:

We’re currently in the climbing phase and getting VERY good at it. Like, standing on the coffee table good. They can go up and down stairs and have no fear. We’ve had to rearrange furniture in the house to remove some temptation and make things safer for them. I anticipate at least one ER visit in our future, but I’m happy that their gross motor skills are developed enough that they can climb up high places.

Also, they love to creep and sneak around, tiptoeing and walking backwards when they don’t want to be caught. Of course, they’re caught every time, but it’s cute watching them try and be sneaky.

Fine motor skills are coming along. I’m trying to get them to use a fork and spoon at meals but they’re being somewhat stubborn about it (Nathan moreso than Alex.) They both still prefer to eat with their hands and it’s a slow-going process, but we’re definitely trying. Alex is more willing to try, but often they both just end up eating with their hands. We’re working on it though! We also ditched bottles at one and started drinking only out of sippy cups. Now they drink from a 360 cup with a flat lid instead of one with a spout – getting closer to drinking from a regular cup!

Nathan also loves touching anything with screens or buttons. His pointer finger is almost always at work.

FAVORITE THINGS:

Book: Gotta go with “The Very Busy Spider” since that’s the only one where I catch them reciting the words.

TV Show/YouTube Channel: Puhpatro. Better known as Paw Patrol. They don’t necessarily have a YouTube channel they request, but Little Baby Bum holds their attention for the longest. They also love Leapfrog’s “The Letter Factory,” which they refer to as “Tad,” the main character’s name.

Food: Right now, probably chicken and oranges. Of course, any sweet treats like cookies. They also love Snap Pea Lentil Crisps, the tomato basil flavor (random, but they devour them.)

Game: We still love peekaboo, except now they can say “I see you!” And it’s basically the cutest thing in the world. They also love to play “ousside” and anything physical – they love rough housing, tickling, wrestling, and being bounced around.

Place to Play: They love any playground as long as they can climb up high and slide. They love the toddler area of the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa and the Parent Resource Library on UA’s campus.

Word: Alex’s most used words are “mommy” and “happy.” Nathan’s most used words are “I want.”

PHYSICAL:

So this is important to me because they started out so small. Nathan was 3 lbs. 8 oz. at birth and Alex was 4 lbs. 5 oz. I was so nervous they wouldn’t grow that I bought a scale to weigh them on at home. Yeah, waste of money – they grew. I’m not sure of their length now, but they weigh about 25 lbs. each. They wear 18M at the smallest and many of their clothes are 24M or 2T. Not so tiny anymore!

Alex is still chubbier and his hair is longer but they both have a ton of hair now that I am not thrilled about managing but still unwilling to cut. They’re starting to look more like little boys and less like squishy babies. They are both still VERY slow on the teeth uptake. Now they’re up to about 7 each! I’ve asked their pediatrician and she doesn’t seem concerned about how slow their teeth seem to be coming in and said it’s normal for preemies. It definitely doesn’t stop them from eating anything, and the teeth they have, they use – we are having to redirect a lot of biting.

POTTY TIME:

Potty training is on the horizon but we aren’t quite there yet – mainly I’m just not ready, so I plan to wait until they’re about two. Still, they’re showing some signs of readiness. Primarily Nathan, who knows what “poop” is and every now and then will pat his diaper and will tell me what’s in it. We’ll get there soon! But I haven’t fully gotten on board that train yet.

TWIN RELATIONSHIP:

They’re definitely getting closer than ever. They can call each other by name and sometimes identify the other in a picture (or think their reflection is their twin looking back at them.) Just yesterday, Alexander pointed to Nathan and said “brother.” The older they get, the more they really start to act like siblings. They fight over things, tell each other “NO NO!,” push, bite, wrestle. But then they’ll do something sweet like share without being asked, feed each other, give each other a hug or a kiss, tickle each other, or just play nicely and laugh together. I don’t really get upset when they fight, because they’re brothers – it’s gonna happen. I’ll reprimand them, but as long as no one is hurt and they’re still getting along for the most part, I don’t lose sleep over it. I honestly think it’s normal, healthy twin behavior.

I feel like I’m leaving out a lot of stuff because so much has changed in the past six months, but I think this post is already long enough. If you want to know anything they’re doing that I haven’t listed here, just message me or comment below and I’ll answer it! 18 months is a super fun age and I’m really enjoying them – but not at all prepared to have twin two-year-olds in just a few months’ time.



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