Your 17-month-old has tons of new tricks, like opening every cabinet door in the house, chucking their toys across the room, stripping off his diaper and maybe even shrieking for the whole neighborhood to hear. You might also find that they're either terrified of dogs and strangers or show absolutely no fear at all. Offer support and supervision when needed. A preference for one caretaker above all others is common at this age. Tell your partner not to take it personally; they’re likely to get a turn as the favorite later
In this article:
Activities for a 17-month-old
17-month-old checklist and tips
Not all your 17-month-old's tricks are mischievous. Your little one keeps growing and reaching new 17-month-old milestones.
17-month-old weight and height
How much should a 17-month-old weigh and measure? According to the World Health Organization, the median weight of a 17-month-old is 22.1 pounds for girls and 23.7 pounds for boys. The median height of a 17-month-old is 31.4 inches for girls and 32.0 inches for boys.
Next month, at the 18-month checkup, the pediatrician will check how your child has been growing to make sure they're on track.
Once your tot hits toddlerhood, they practically become a new person. You won’t believe all the 17-month-old milestones they’ve been mastering. Look at all the amazing things they can do now!
- Walking. Your mobile 17-month-old may soon start to run and even learn to walk up steps with their hand held by a grownup.
- Speech. Most 17-month-olds are saying at least seven to 10 words; few are saying 50 or more words. If your toddler doesn't have a few words in their vocabulary, there’s not necessarily a cause for concern — so don’t panic. Does your kid point? Grunt? Make it clear that they understand what you’re saying? Those are all signs that your child is getting closer. (If your kid isn't doing these things, talk to your pediatrician and have their hearing checked.)
- Teething. A baby's upper cuspids tend to poke through around 16 to 22 months and the lower cuspids erupt around 17 to 23 months, so you could be in the middle of another round of teething.
- Potty training. If your child is showing signs of readiness, you can buy a potty seat and encourage them to sit on it. Read books about potty training, and point out older kids your child knows who use the potty. Eventually, they'll probably show you they want to really ditch the diapers. But for now, it's usually just about getting your kiddo into the routine of sitting on the seat and getting excited for making this upcoming milestone.
What should a 17-month-old be able to do?
Your 17-month-old is learning to communicate and play in all sorts of new ways and is beginning to communicate more than just basic needs. While 17-month-old milestones can vary quite a bit, you should be seeing signs of both verbal and nonverbal communication as baby brings you over to the cookies they want or shows you carefully pat their favorite stuffy. You will also see your 17-month-old baby showing interest in learning new things. They’re absorbing everything around them. Give them the words they need to describe their surroundings and the opportunity to practice skills like walking up stairs or drawing with a marker.
How can I encourage my 17-month-old to talk?
Speech is one of those tricky 17-month-old milestones—each kid hits speaking milestones at a different time. Help encourage your 17-month-old to talk by giving them the opportunity to hear words frequently. Read aloud to baby and narrate what you’re doing throughout the day. You can also describe what your busy little toddler is doing. Encourage your 17-month-old baby to try saying words. When they ask for something, have them repeat the name of the item: “Cup! Can you say cup?”
Your precocious 17-month-old may be exhibiting some challenging and pretty odd behaviors. Tap below for advice on dealing with:
There’s also nose-picking, repetition, whining and these other annoying habits
Common health questions parents have at 17 months are:
- My 17-month-old has a fever. What should I do?
- My 17-month-old has diarrhea. What should I do?
- My 17-month-old has constipation. What should I do?
- My 17-month-old isthrowing up. What should I do?
Got a hungry little tyke on your hands? Hopefully your child eats all the things, but there’s a good chance some picky habits might emerge. It’s all part of toddlerhood!
How much should a 17-month-old eat?
Keep giving your 17-month-old three balanced meals and two healthy snacks per day. Toddlers' portion sizes are about one-quarter of an adult's. For example, a serving of ground meat is only two tablespoons, a serving of pasta is four tablespoons, and a serving of fruit is ⅛ cup, and for veggies it's about 1 tablespoon.
What to feed a 17-month-old
About two 8-ounce cups of whole milk per day is recommended for a 17-month-old if they aren't getting calcium from other foods. Aim for about 700 mg of calcium total per day.
Many 17-month-olds continue to breastfeed—and you may continue for as long as you both like. If you're considering weaning your 17-month-old, remember to go slowly. Drop one daily nursing session for at least three to seven days before dropping the next. If you go too fast, you could risk a clogged milk duct or mastitis. Your child may feel slightly vulnerable during the transition, so remember to give them plenty of attention during weaning and find ways to distract them during their usual breastfeeding times. Many moms like to go by the "don't offer; don't refuse" method, which is very gradual and easy on both mom and baby.
Food ideas for a 17-month-old
Looking for food ideas for a 17-month-old? Check out these ideas and recipes:
17-month-old not eating
If your 17-month-old won't eat and everything else seems normal, it's likely just a case of picky eating. Rest assured that your pediatrician is keeping tabs on your kid's growth to make sure it's on track. Continue to offer your child a variety of healthy foods for each meal and limit unhealthy treats. But never try forcing or bribing your child to eat. Here's more great advice on how to deal with picky eating.
If your child won't eat anything at all, it could be a sign of illness, and you may decide to call the pediatrician to discuss.
17-month-old feeding schedule
*A toddler's serving size is about ¼ of an adult's
Ready, set, sleep! Hopefully, you and your toddler are getting lots of rest these days. Setbacks are to be expected though, so don’t be shocked if suddenly your sound snoozer has a rough patch.
How much sleep does a 17-month-old need?
One- to 2-year-olds need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep total each day.
How many naps for a 17-month-old?
At this age, your child is probably getting the majority of their sleeping hours in at night, plus an afternoon nap (as long as they’re not resisting naps!). Some 17-month-olds do still hold onto their morning nap, though that may indicate they need more sleep at night. If they’re going to sleep later than you’d like in the evening, try gradually bumping up their bedtime by 15 minutes each day. As counterintuitive as it may sound, sleep often begets sleep; an earlier bedtime could help streamline their routine.
17-month-old sleep schedule
Here's one example of how it might go:
Fun activities, games and toys for a 17-month-old include:
- Riding toys. Most 17-month-olds will pretend to drive a car or ride a horse.
- Play ball. Your tot is developing the coordination to throw a ball underhand and may soon be able to kick it too.
- Sorting. You may start to teach your 17-month-old how to sort toys by color or shape. Maybe one day, they'll help you sort the laundry! (A parent can dream, right?)
- Your 17-month-old still isn't big enough to be left alone—not even for a second. If you have to run to the bathroom or get dinner out of the oven, it's a good idea to have a playpen where they can sit safely for a minute or two until you return.
- It's normal for a 17-month-old to have a favorite blankie or soft toy that gives them comfort. If you can, buy a duplicate—just in case the original ever gets lost or damaged.
- Find baby playing with his poop? More than once? Keep hands out of diapers with snug diaper covers or one-piece outfits.
- Take some time for self-care. Dealing with screaming, toy throwing and poop-playing isn't easy, and you deserve a break every now and again.
- Help your 17-month-old learn empathy by showing it to them. When they’re sad, frustrated or excited, describe what you notice and respond appropriately. “I saw that when the puppy came over you were so excited and wanted to pet it! We have to be gentle with the puppy so that we don’t hurt it—let’s practice gentle touches!”
- Encourage language development by teaching your toddler new words when you’re in new places and experiencing new things—even a trip to the grocery store can be a linguistic adventure.
- Practice imaginative play with your 17-month-old baby to help prepare for new experiences and encourage empathy. Pretend that a stuffed animal has to go to the doctor’s office if your little one has a pediatrician’s appointment coming up, or role play how to help a friend who is hurt.
Your 17-month-old is an intelligent, spritely creature. Raising a toddler is hard work, but your love for each other is unconditional. Enjoy all the 17-month-old milestones and cherish every exciting, exhausting moment.
Medical content was reviewed by Dina DiMaggio, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC and NYU Langone Health in New York City, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the coauthor of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers.