Month 21

Toddler Development:Your 21-month-old


It's time to break out your routines again, mummy, because your tiny tot is beginning to plan ahead! With a little bit of warning and a smattering of kisses and cuddles you and he are ready to go on adventure.

Physical Development

Have you noticed that your tiny tot is beginning to take care of himself? He can wash his hands and his feet after playing outside. He can put on his own slippers, even though they might be on the wrong feet. He might even feed himself by now if you've shown him how.

Although it might seem as if he's always on the move, did you know your little one actually spends almost 20 percent of his waking time simply looking at things?


  • At this stage of toddler development, it's still all about running, climbing and dancing. Your little trooper might even be adding jumping into the mix soon!
  • No time like the present to put some soft tiles near the sofa if you haven't done so yet.
  • He will be able to stack six blocks!
  • It will be a delight for you to see how he kicks a ball and throws a small ball overhand.
  • Be vigilant when he walks down the stairs without any support. Oh so independent!

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your toddler has shown new skills in the past, and suddenly is unable to perform them anymore, then this is a cause for concern. Please visit the doctor immediately.

Cognitive Development 

Play is by far the most important way your toddler learns. He has a short attention span, but loves to play games. He might even be able to do puzzles of three or four pieces if you have done them with him before.

His attention span may be short, but he is beginning to develop a sense of time. You could begin to talk him through the day, telling him what activities will be happening next. For instance, you could tell him that after lunch he will take his nap, and after his nap you will be going down to the playground.

Setting such expectations gives your little one an anchor in an ever-changing world. It makes him feel safe and secure. It is important that once you set a schedule and tell him, you keep to it as well.


  • You might notice your tiny tot begins to develop a preference for "boy" or "girl" stuff.
  • Around this time he might also begin to comment on gender differences, especially if he sees a sibling in the bath tub. He could also be crossing gender lines, and even declaring his preference to be another gender. Don't worry – it's part of normal development.
  • However, you do want to pay attention to another developmental phase: the one where he shoves small things where they don't belong, such as his nose or ears! Be extra careful with small items. Try to limit his access to beads, coins and other trinkets.
  • Finally, your adorable little angel is not the only one who prefers to be difficult in the most public and visible of places.
  • Keep visits to places like the library short, and have reasonable expectations.
  • Sitting still in the MRT may be the most difficult thing your toddler has had to do in his life so far.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Be very vigilant of what is around your child. He might just choke himself or gulp a coin. Visit a doctor immediately if that happens.

src=https://sg content/uploads/sites/12/2016/04/shutterstock 219942274.jpg Toddler Development: Your 21 month old

Social and Emotional Development

As your tiny tot develops a sense of time, routines become increasingly important. Knowing what to expect make transitions from one activity to another go much more smoothly. For instance, a consistent bedtime routine of bath, teeth brushing, story and cuddle, relaxes your little one and helps him fall asleep.

This stage of toddler development is all about setting expectations – both your toddler's and your own! There are many ways to do this. You could talk him through the day's schedule and remind him throughout the day what will happen next.


  • Draw up a chart for the week, put it on the fridge and let him put a magnet on each day. This helps him distinguish between week days and weekends.
  • Give your tiny tot a bit of warning before you leave a play date or another fun activity. This way, he can prepare himself mentally. A few minutes is usually enough. But be consistent – if he asks for more time, let him know that this is the limit for today.
  • The same goes for behaviour. Let your little one know what you expect of him. At this age, pushing and poking is still an acceptable form of communication between toddlers, but you can let yours know that it isn't nice. Show him how to be gentle. At the same time, don't force your child to play with other kids. If he prefers to hang out on his own, respect his preference.
  • Fortunately, there are still lots of hugs and kisses! At this age, the love just bursts out especially if he sees you, his favourite person, come through the door.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • At 21 months, your toddler has already started showing defiant behaviour and mimicking elders. If your child doesn't seems to be doing so, and seems aloof, visit a doctor. 

Speech and Language

Word acquisition is picking up speed! Once your tiny tot has the confidence to begin speaking, he'll be wowing you with his conversational skills. Last month, it was fifteen words. This month it's already up to twenty! But don't worry if you're getting the silent treatment. Speech is one of those developmental milestones that varies widely among toddlers.


  • He loves singing songs with movements.
  • Some toddlers adore reading books on their own, but their fine motor skills may not be up to par yet. If you don't want any tears in your books, go for board books. Avoid lift the flap books for now.
  • Play memory games with you little one. Teach him the names of daily objects and review with them daily. A little stuttering around this time is common. But make sure that you correct them instead of joking around and repeating what they say.
  • Play popular nursery rhymes every day and see how they pick it up in bits and pieces! 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If you think that your toddler has lost any speech-related skill that he has acquired, or if he has suddenly gone silent, visit a doctor.

Health and Nutrition

Break out the cups, your little one is ready for sipping all by himself. He can also hold on to cups. He is still learning how far to tip the cup, so keep an eye on him if his cup doesn't have a lid.

Don't worry if it takes him a while to figure out how to use a straw. Some children catch on immediately, but for others, it can take weeks before they work out how to suck the liquid out.


  • Our biggest tip for this stage of toddler development: Plan ahead when going out. Your little one might get hungry, but he's also beginning to develop strong preferences. So bring a snack he likes to avoid meltdowns.
  • Make sure his water bottle is filled up as well, and throw in a cardigan or sweater if you're heading to the malls. His body is still small, so it can be hard to keep warm in the icy AC.
  • Your 21 month old's body is still small and needs to be kept warm in cold weather or around AC. Always carry a small blanket or jacket. 
  • Your child will now develop preferences for certain food items. But sometimes, he may ignore his favourites completely. Make sure you serve him a variety of food items and eat them along with him to build trust.
  • On average, a 21 month old toddler should weigh 10.1- 12.7 kg, while his height should be around 81.4-87.0 cm.
  • Make sure you avoid feeding a lot of baked items to your toddler, and feed him more proteins – at least 1 egg a day, full fat milk (200ml), a small bowl of vegetables (twice a day), and one whole fruit. You may also want to start introducing nuts to him in powdered form. 1 almond or walnut a day will also help his overall growth and development.