Month 22

Toddler Development:Your 22-month-old


You may have heard of "why" but your little toddler is all about "What is that?" He may not yet be able to say the full sentence, but he is definitely trying to get you to explain the world to him. It's time to get talking!

Physical Development

Did your toddler grab that toy with his right or his left hand? By now, he's developing a preferred hand! Will he be an artsy left-hander or a logic-loving right-hander? Don't worry too much, though – research has not yet shown any definite differences between right- and left-handers. The future is still wide open, whichever hand he prefers!

Don't worry too much about the other stuff he might be getting up to with his hands. He is discovering it feels nice to rootle around in his diaper, and explore his genitals. And, parents, this goes for girls too! It is completely normal for your little girl to explore down there as well.

It's all part of your child's journey of discovery. If you're in a public place or other people are present, it's easy enough to distract toddlers. Later on, you can explain that this is best left for private moments.

Some children have a full set of teeth at 20 months, some are still growing theirs. Some toddlers are continuously asking questions, other toddlers prefer to figure things out for themselves.


  • Other things your toddler is discovering: building blocks! By now, he could be building towers of up to five blocks all on his own! And what is more fun than letting all those blocks tumble down again?
  • He is still a little tornado, moving, dancing, jumping, throwing, making full use of everything his body is able to do! If you help him out, he can even balance on one foot for a little while. He can also throw a small ball overarm now, but make sure it is not too heavy.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If you see your toddler is lethargic, or not very active, or not able to grip things, then it's best to visit the doctor. 

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Cognitive Development

Your little toddler learns by observing and playing. At this age and stage of toddler development, formal education is still miles away. He's figuring things out the experimental way, and by watching what you do. You can help him by showing how to do things, like how to stack blocks or fit a puzzle together, and by playing with him.

He also loves to touch everything, including putting things into his mouth, to find out how things feel. He uses all his senses in his explorations!

Don't worry if he seems bent on destruction. Letting things fall, throwing them, dropping food and toys on the floor, are all part of discovering how the world works. He doesn't yet realise this could damage things or hurt people. Tell him gently, but be prepared to remind him often!


  • Another favourite game at this age is putting things into each other, like bowls or filling up baskets and tipping them over. A little wheelie toy with a basket, such as a shopping cart, is perfect for him.
  • It's a good idea to have a few different type of toys within easy reach so he can pick the ones he wants. But don't overwhelm him with choice. You can rotate a few toys each week, so he doesn't get bored.
  • Start playing more nursery rhymes, or singing in front of him. You could also maybe read a book with him. This will not only engage him but it will also find a place in his memory, and one day, he may be able to identify it.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • He has started to understand and respond to things, knowing when you might say no and when to stop. But if you see that your toddler is completely ignoring you, or is not scared of anyone, or shows no interest in listening to anyone... it is best to consult a doctor.

Social and Emotional Development

Play time means mummy time to your little toddler! You are his favourite person to play with, and he can't wait for you to come through that door and get down on the floor with him. He may be curious about other people, but you and daddy are his safe haven.

At this stage of toddler development, his mind is far ahead of his skills. He understands so much more than he is able to let you know! This of course leads to frustration, because he may know what he wants, but he doesn't know how to ask for it yet. Patience is key.


  • Children thrive on predictability and routine. So regular meal and nap times, as well as morning and night rituals, make them feel secure. They might even surprise you by helping you clear the table after breakfast or getting their tooth brush after dinner!
  • This predictability gives them a sense of control over the world, and your adorable little tyke might turn into a little tyrant if you try to change things. This is completely normal. A bit of warning, such as "We're leaving in three minutes," usually sorts out most of these issues.
  • By now your child has not learnt to share his things with others, especially someone younger to him. But because he has started to listen to instructions, it is best to start instilling this virtue lovingly. Make them meet more kids of their age so that they start becoming more social.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Your child may be scared of strangers and new people, and that is absolutely normal. Every child develops at different speeds. It is only a cause for worry when he is fearful of you or your spouse, or is not ready to move out of his comfort zone or home.

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Speech and Language Development

It's time to start talking, mummy! Your little one's mind is whirling with ideas and pictures, and he wants you to put names to everything. Describing what you see is now becoming a conversation as your toddler points and waves at things.

You could also begin telling him more about the things he points at, by telling him that cars honk or that the stove is hot. This is where opposites and adjectives come in. He is also ready to understand simple processes, such as "First we get the cup, then we pour the milk, then you drink the milk."


  • The naming of body parts is a favourite game at this stage of toddler development, as well as singing songs and listening to stories. Don't worry if your little one seems to get distracted by the pictures from the story line. His inquisitive mind is busy exploring!

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child has not started talking in bi-syllables or broken simple words, then it might be a concern. Best to confirm any developmental delays with the doctor.

Health and Nutrition

By now, your little toddler has almost a full set of teeth! But that doesn't mean he can eat everything. Keep paying attention to the size of food, as he might still choke on bigger pieces. Food like candy, nuts, popcorn and lollipops require adult supervision, and grapes should be cut into quarters, not halves, to avoid choking hazards.

The average weight of a 22 month old toddler is 9.8-15.5 kg, while the average height is 81.7-94.2 cm. Around this time, nearing or completing two years, toddlers are given influenza shots. Speak to your doctor and make sure you do not miss the schedule.


  • Because your toddler has almost got all his teeth, the chances of decay are higher. It is very important to cultivate good oral hygiene habits and make sure he brushes his teeth once, at least before sleeping at night, if not twice a day.
  • Other common illnesses that are common for this age group are cold and cough, fever, measles and HFMD. But don't worry, many such common illnesses help to build your child's immunity. But doctor's intervention is required.
  • At 22 months, your toddler would like to imitate more than follow your instructions. So if you want them to eat healthy, eat with them. Or invite kids of his age group with good eating habits and make the group eat meals together. Meal times can be made fun too! 
  • Your toddler may be fussy about eating, but proper balanced nutrition is very important for his growth. Limit his milk intake to a maximum of two to three times a day, around 200ml per session. Feed him at least one whole fruit a day, otherwise one big cup of mixed fruits like banana, apple, watermelon, pear, orange divided into regular intervals. In a day, limit the processed food intake to one portion – one slice of bread, one biscuit/cracker/cookie.
  • Try to avoid excess salt (in packaged food) and additional sugar apart from those in natural food items, as much as possible.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your toddler has a skin reaction after eating certain food items, or starts coughing/choking/wheezing, then your toddler might be allergic to something. Best to visit a doctor and get him checked. Also notice if your toddler is not able to see clearly, holds screens/books closer while reading or is unable to identify objects from a distance. You may want to visit an ophthalmologist.