MONTH 22 - MONTH 24

22 - 24 Months baby

Please keep in mind that all children are unique.  Whether your child reaches milestones early or late, she has her own developmental path to follow.  The dividing lines between these months are very fuzzy.  If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s development, please check with her health care provider.

No Longer a Baby  

Before your eyes, your cuddly baby has blossomed into an active, opinionated, independent toddler.

She wavers back and forth between desires to separate from you and wanting to be cuddled.  At times she wants to be held and other times, she’ll say ‘NO’ to your advances.  For these reasons, we have all heard this dynamic period unfortunately referred to as the “terrible twos.

Accepting the challenges of this age is the first step toward maintaining your sanity – patience and a good sense of humor also help.  Understanding what is happening inside the minds and bodies of these little people will also give you the support not only to survive this part of child development but also to enjoy life as a parent of a two year old.


What’s Happening With Physical Growth?

Have the lovely folds on your child’s legs and arms just about disappeared?  Is her head starting to look more in proportion to the rest of her body?  During this year, her legs and trunk will start to lengthen.  That pudgy belly that seemed to always hang over her waistband will flatten – helping her develop a straighter looking back.  Overall, she’ll look more like a preschooler with a leaner, longer body appearance.  But despite these changes in appearance, she may appear to be eating relatively less than when a baby.  Relative to body size, her caloric needs are fewer.  Some days she’ll devour her meals and other days – she’ll push it away.  Don’t worry -- her growth will be well maintained by your consistent offering of nutritious meals and snacks.

To support the changes in physical appearance, make sure she has plenty of time to stretch her legs.  Besides releasing bound-up energy, she’ll be practicing her motor skills – learning to run smoother, turn corners easier, go up and down stairs and jump.  Put her in a room or better yet outside and she’ll find things to do that are challenging and interesting.


Language – The Big Leap

During the previous year, gross motor accomplishments, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, were the obvious developmental milestones.  This year, her language development will astound you.   There are two different language skills at play – receptive and expressive.  By now, she can understand just about everything you say to her.  She can follow commands and understand your questions (though she may at times pretend to not hear you). 

Expressive language skills though vary according to the individual child.  It is very hard not to compare with other kids her age – but try once again to respect her individual path of development.  With most kids, all of a sudden in this year, there is an explosion of language.  You may hear her practicing to say some of her favorite words – words that are based on her individual interests -- when she is by herself.   And soon she’ll start putting two words and simple sentences together. 

What you can do to support language development is continue the routine of daily reading.  Have her select the books that she wants to be read.  Talk about what is happening on each page.  This sort of loving interaction cannot be replaced by any educational videos or flashcards.  Most of all she wants to share her discoveries, including learning words, with you.  Even 5 or 10 minutes a day of lap-time reading will be an enormous support to her development of language.


What’s Happening Cognitively?

The best way to understand what is ticking in your toddler’s mind is by watching her play.  You may have noticed that her play has become more complex.  She also may be able to stick with one activity that interests her for a longer period of time.  Her thought process has shifted from learning about the world through physical and sensory manipulation to mental concepts, thoughts and ideas. 

Her job this year is centered on independence.  She probably displays behaviors characteristic of this age that may at times push your buttons but demonstrate her “exercising” of new mental skills.  Some of these behaviors include:

  • Rituals and repeating actions or words – This is important for her to master a new skill.   Even when it seems quite obvious that she has learned the skill, she’ll still enjoy and take great pride in repeating a particular action for you to watch

  • Testing limits  As an independent little girl, it may seem that she will do anything not to hold your hand when walking down a busy sidewalk. But she really wants to know that she is safe.  Her feelings of security come from established limits and rules that cannot be broken – even with her continual challenging

  • NO!  Me do it!  --  She needs to challenge to establish herself as separate from you. Her achievements give her great confidence and set the stage for positive self-esteem.

  • Exploration and then Clinginess – Her goal is to become a separate individual but every now and then she needs to refuel in the warm arms of a loving caregiver.  Also, she may revisit feelings of separation anxiety as her abilities to remember you and hold a picture of you in her mind sharpen.  

Puzzles and manipulates are perfect activities to hone fine motor skills, eye hand coordination and challenge young minds with new ideas.  Check out our selection of these and more toys for toddlers.


What’s Happening Socially?

At this age, your child is able to remember peers and show preferences for other children.  But she is still what the child development experts refer to as ‘ego-centric.’ The world revolves around her.  For this reason, she still may not understand concepts about sharing.  When there are conflicts over toys, describe to her what is happening.   This will be a big year for her to learn about the feelings of others, develop the important skill of impulse control and use language to communicate with her peers.   If she is not in childcare or around other kids her age, some tips for starting a playgroup for your toddler.


Baby Growth from 1-30 months at various ages and stages
1st month

6th month 11th month 22nd-24th month
2nd month

7th month 12th month 25th-27th month
3rd month

8th month 13th-15th month 28th-30th month
4th month

9th month 16th-18th month  
5th month 10th month 19th-21st month  


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