22-month-old Milestones: The Unpredictable Adventure

Your 22-months-old baby may become a little bossy and start showing some attitude at this age. You might be left wondering about setting limits on his behaviour while trying to inculcate good eating habits in him. It’s OK to take your time to figure it all out as you move along. As this month is going to be an unpredictable adventure for you and your 22-month toddler, strap yourself in!

22-month-old Milestones

Your toddler is learning and growing as the months go by, and it’s fun to cheer him on as he makes progress on several fronts. Each child develops on his own timeline, but you may see your child do some of the following 22 months baby activities a little earlier or later:

  • Stand on tiptoes:

Around this age, your little one may be able to stand on his tiptoes. Be extra careful to keep things packed away as he may be using those extra few inches to reach for objects on a table or shelf.

  • Follow simple instructions:

Now or in the coming months, your toddler may be able to understand and follow simple instructions you give him, such as to pick up a toy or sit down.

  • Sit in the director’s chair:

Don’t be surprised if your toddler gets a little bossy, telling you what role you have in your joint activities, and even instructing you on what you need to do and when.

  • Repeat words back:

Your toddler may be paying more attention than you realise. You may notice your toddler repeats words back he’s heard you say in conversations, so watch what you say around him.

Support for 22-Month-Old’s Development

There's a lot you can do to support your 22-month-old’s development. Here are just a few strategies you may want to try:

  • Be a cheerleader:

Encourage your toddler by responding enthusiastically to new skills he is mastering. Responding positively to good behaviour and noticing his achievements will encourage your child to keep learning.

  • Supervise curious explorations:

Your 22-month-old is becoming more mobile and independent and wants to explore his world. Although he’s starting to learn about cause and effect, he still hasn't developed common sense and the ability to think things through. Make sure you’re on hand to supervise so he stays safe as he explores.

  • Teach home safety:

Use simple terms to explain to your curious toddler about safety. Tell him not to touch the stove or pan because it’s hot, and not to go near plugs or sharp objects. If he asks why, try to answer briefly—say it’s hot or it will hurt. Keep in mind that explaining these things a few times doesn’t mean you can relax your vigilance, as he doesn’t fully grasp the concept of consequences and doesn't know how to keep himself out of harm’s way.

  • Encourage learning through play:

Play is the best way to help your toddler learn, so help him be creative during playtime. You can provide toys that encourage make-believe games, like blocks and kitchen sets, or help him set up a fort using sheets and a few chairs that can become a rocket ship or a tent on a camping expedition. Working on puzzles or doing arts and crafts together can also help stimulate your little one.

  • Organise playdates:

Playing with other children helps your toddler build social skills and also offers him a chance to make friends. Take your toddler to the local park and let him play with others, join a play group, or meet up with friends who have children of the same age so your children can play together while you catch up over a coffee.

  • Read to your on-the-go toddler:

While many toddlers love to climb onto a lap and cuddle when it's story time, others have a harder time sitting still for an entire book, or even for a few pages. If your 22-month-old baby is a bundle of energy, it's OK to let him stand while you read. Over time his attention span will increase, but in the meantime, picking a shorter book might be best. Children thrive on repetition, which helps them learn, so if your little one has a favourite he wants to hear over and over, go with it.

Mealtimes and Menus for Your Baby's Development

Your toddler needs a variety of nutritious foods for healthy growth and development. He may run out of gas quickly, so more frequent meals and snacks are a good idea. Most 22-month-olds will do well with three healthy meals and two snacks per day.

It’s OK if your toddler skips a meal or snack here and there or wants to eat more sometimes. The key is to offer a choice of healthy foods and let your little one pick what to eat. You might be surprised to learn that over the course of a few days your toddler’s diet will naturally balance out to ensure he gets the nutrients he needs.

Instil Healthy Habits Early

As obesity is a concern for people of all ages, forming good habits and making small changes in your child's lifestyle early may help keep him at a healthy weight. Remember, it’s important to encourage healthy eating without creating unhealthy relationships with food while. Here's how you can encourage healthy habits:

  • Encourage activity and movement:

Let your toddler move and be active as much as possible. As kids learn by example, try living an active life yourself. You both can enjoy dancing, playing with a ball, or even simply running around and chasing each other.

  • Establish good eating habits: </H3>

Offer different healthy foods at appropriate times and let your 22-month-old decide when he is full. Avoid controlling or insisting that he clean his plate, as it can affect your child’s ability to self-regulate.

  • Choose nutritious snacks:

Give him healthy snacks like fruits, whole-grain foods, and low-fat dairy foods instead of chips and cookies.

  • Don’t let him eat a lot of sweets:

If your child refuses to eat his main meal, it’s OK. However, avoid letting him eat cookies or other sweet treats after refusing his meal. He may develop a taste for empty-calorie foods over nutritious foods.

  • Eat at the table:

Avoid using phones or watching TV during meals. Enjoy a family meal together at the table. Family mealtimes with conversation helps bond and build your child's self-esteem and communication skills.

In case of any questions about encouraging physical activity and healthy eating, consult your toddler's doctor for advice.

Dealing with Constipation

Identifying constipation can be tricky, as bowel patterns vary. Some children can go two or three days without a bowel movement and not be constipated. However, if you notice any of the following, it may be constipation:

  • It is uncomfortable or painful for your little one to pass a stool

  • After a few days of your child not having a bowel movement, the stools are large, hard, and dry

  • There is blood on or in your child’s stools

  • Your child strains for more than 10 minutes yet doesn’t pass any stool at all. If you suspect your little one may be constipated, there are a few things that may help:

  • Add high fibre foods to his diet. Food like prunes, apricots, plums, broccoli, and whole grain cereals can help get things going.

  • Give your little one more water or unsweetened juice. Water or unsweetened fruit juice can help with constipation. Fruit juice like apple, pear, or prune contain a natural laxative, sorbitol, which can help loosen your toddler’s stool.

If your child is still struggling with constipation after modifications to his diet, check in with his doctor, who may recommend or prescribe a mild stool softener.

Sleep Schedule for 22-Month-Old Toddler

Your little one needs around 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day, and at 22 months old, he may be down to one nap per day.

Toddlers do best with a routine, but that doesn't mean he will always get to bed or go to sleep on schedule every single night. You may find you’re struggling to get him to bed as planned.

Bedtime Won’t Go as Planned Always

Your toddler’s sleep is important, but as a parent, you shouldn’t worry if things don’t always go smoothly. Try to put your little one to bed at the same time each night, but don’t worry if this happens later than planned on occasion.

Life is exciting for your toddler, and things like having a guest over or a new toy may make him want to stay up past his usual bedtime. Keeping excitement to a minimum in the hours before bed and a soothing bath or bedtime story may help him wind down.

If he is up late one night, just try to get back on track the next night and help him return to his usual bedtime schedule and routine. The odd late night here and there won’t make a difference in the long run.

A Day in the Life of Your Toddler

Although you could argue there’s no such thing as a “typical” day with a 22-month-old toddler, here’s a look at what a standard day in your home might look like:

Well-being of Your Child: Emotional Intelligence

When your toddler is around 22 months old, she is feeling a lot of new emotions but may not know how to express them. Your toddler learns by watching everyone around her, especially her parents! Here are some strategies to help your little one develops emotional intelligence:

  • Highlighting when someone shares:

When sharing takes place between the adults or any older children in your home, make sure your little one is aware of it. Maybe even say that mommy is sharing her chocolate with daddy, so your 22-month-old begins to understand the concept of sharing and how good it is to do it.

  • Expressing your own emotions:

Your 22-month-old looks up to you to learn and may copy your behaviour. You can help your little one learn how to communicate emotions by explaining your feelings in a constructive way. So, if you’re feeling frustrated, rather than yell, feel free to share your feelings in an appropriate way. For example, say “Daddy is frustrated today” when you’re stuck in traffic rather than hitting the steering wheel. This helps teach her to vocalise her own emotions.

  • Rewarding good behaviour with attention:

When your child is doing something you like, notice this, and give her your full attention. Reinforcing her positive behaviour with your attention and approval builds her self-esteem and is the most productive way to encourage good behaviour in the future. When she's misbehaving, try ignoring the bad behaviour (as long as you’ve stopped her from doing anything unsafe) and give her minimal attention, which helps her learn that acting up just isn't worth it.

FAQs at a Glance

You may notice she’s more curious and independent and walks more confidently now. She may even be able to speak more words, perhaps even say a couple of two-word sentences. Just keep in mind that each child is unique and that not all 22-month-olds will reach the same milestones at the same time.

Handling Bad Behaviour as a Parent

Toddlers can be little terrors with their temper tantrums and other aggressive behaviour. Here's what you can do to minimise the upcoming “terrible twos” and curb any aggressiveness:

  • Know that toddlers can't control themselves:

At around 22 months, your toddler may have very less self-control. So, you must help him learn not to push, hit, bite, or kick when angry. Encourage him to use his words to express what he is feeling.

  • Set the house rules:

Some simple house rules can help teach your little one. If he breaks the rules, be clear and firm about his mistake. Remember, teaching the rules and making him obey them will take time.

  • Avoid using threats:

Appreciating and praising your little one's good behaviour is more effective in reinforcing good behaviour. Teach an alternative way instead of threats if you notice bad behaviour.

  • Use distractions:

Present better alternatives to prevent poor choices or bad behaviour at this age. For example, when you see your toddler picking up something breakable like a ceramic salt and pepper shaker, offer an alternative like a spoon instead.

  • Control your own temper:

Losing your cool and running out of patience is easy, but it’s essential to pay attention to your own behaviour around your toddler. As you’re a role model for your toddler, try expressing your anger or frustration in a cool, calm way so that your child will learn to do the same.

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