image001When your baby reaches 20 months, they may already be starting to exhibit behavior associated with the “terrible twos.” At this stage your child should still be learning fun things, but it might be time to start teaching them appropriate behavior as well. As a parent you should focus on helping your child learn how to interact with the world and focus on helping them develop a bigger vocabulary that will make it easier to communicate.

How Is Your 20 Month Old Baby Developing?

Babies will develop at their own pace, but there are some guidelines which can be used to determine if there is a potential problem with your child’s development patterns. Some of the 20 month old baby development can be as follows:

1. Body Growth

A baby’s height is dependent on their genes, but weight will help you to determine if they are absorbing nutrients properly when they eat. If your child was born prematurely, you may find that their growth patterns are different. These are the WHO child growth standards for a 20 month old baby: the average height for boys is 84.2 cm, and for girls is 82.8 cm; the average weight for boys is 11.3 kg, and for girls is 10.7 kg.

2. Physical Development

Your toddler’s vision should have reached 20/20 by now which will make it easier for them to see and perform tasks which require coordination. They should be able to throw a ball over their head or stack blocks when playing. Encourage their interest in the things they can see by providing them with colorful toys or taking them for walks where you can talk about what your child sees. This will teach them to be interested in and observe their world.

3. Behavior Development

At 20 months old, you may have already noticed some behaviors associated with the “terrible twos.” To combat some of this behavior you should focus on teaching your child how to express themselves properly and limit negative behavior like hitting or biting. Toddlers do not have much impulse control, so it is important to teach skills like waiting or sharing to combat this. You may also find that your toddler is a fan of the word “no” at this stage, so you will need to teach them how to utilize this word properly.

4. Communication Development

A 20 month old baby's communication skills will be developing rapidly at this time, so it is important to stop using “baby talk”. Start focusing on teaching your child the proper words for things and engage them in conversation by asking them questions or responding when they speak.

How to Take Care of a 20 Month Old Baby

1. Feed Your Baby Properly

To help with the 20 month old baby development, your child should be drinking 3-6 cups of liquid a day which should include around 12-20 ounces of milk in addition to juice or water. You can continue to breastfeed at this state, but focus on introducing solid foods and allow your child to regulate how much milk they would like to receive from you.

You should offer your child 2-3 snacks and three meals each day, though do not be alarmed if your child skips a meal. They are still learning to understand the sensations of being hungry or full, so do not push your child to eat if they do not seem interested, but at the same time do not let your child eat all day long without restriction. If it appears as though your child is not eating as they should, you can talk to your doctor about providing a vitamin. Your child’s diet should include 4 servings diary, 2 servings protein, 2 servings vegetables, 3 servings fruit and 6 servings of grains.

2. Understand Their Sleeping Patterns

At this age your child should get around 13-14 hours of sleep each day. This is usually comprised of 11 hours of sleep at night and one 2-hour nap each day. Toddlers are very active, so you may find that putting them down for the night can be a battle. Creating a soothing bedtime routine can help with this. If you find that your child is climbing out of their crib to snuggle with you, work to break this habit early, particularly if you do not want to create a co-sleeping environment.

3. Set up Bedtime Routines

Starting a bedtime routine early can help your child see this as a positive experience. At 20 months you should encourage your child to get into their pajamas and brush their teeth. They can participate in choosing a book to read or reading a story. They may want to make noises or finish sentences if they are familiar with the dialogue, which can help them learn to read later while allowing them to burn off extra energy so they can sleep.

4. Pay Attention to Their Hygiene and Health

Most 20 month old babies are too young to toilet train, but will start to take off their diapers. Do not encourage this, and work to teach them that diapers should not be played with. Your child may also seem to become sick very quickly, because the sensors that regulate temperature in the brain are still developing. If your child’s temperature rises, get them to a doctor right away to prevent complications.

5. Understand Their Way of Playing and Interaction

In 20 month old baby development, you need to understand their way of playing and interaction. Children at this age like to find their own amusement, but may need some prompting. They should not need more than one planned activity a day, so if they are taking a class or have a play-date, remember to keep the rest of their day loose. This will help them learn to initiate their own entertainment and encourage their creativity. If you hear your child talking, work to interact with them, but avoid over-correcting their pronunciation, because children at this age are sensitive to criticism. Girls tend to develop language more quickly than boys, so try not to compare development points between the two.

6. Encourage Your Baby to Be Your Little Helper

You may find that your child wants to do chores with you or do things themselves. While they may not be ready for many jobs, you can provide them with tasks such as wiping up spills or placing napkins on the table, which will allow them to take part and feel important. Toddlers like to do things and do not divide tasks into work or play, so be sure to offer praise when they perform jobs so that they will be encouraged to continue this positive behavior.

7. More Tips for You to Take Good Care of Your Baby

  • Try to make your baby feel comfortable by keeping their routine and schedule consistent. At this age children are sensitive to change and will not handle inconsistency well.
  • Offer praise often and consider how often you say no. You want this work to keep its meaning, and positive reinforcement is more effective than negative.
  • Ensure both partners are contributing to parenting your child. Work to avoid stereotyping in your behavior, so your child does not pick up these tendencies.
  • Your child’s brain is developing quickly, so provide a variety of stimulation such as colors or music that will help them shape their perception of the world.
  • Avoid cleaning up after your toddler too rapidly. One big clean at the end of the day could be easier to manage.