Growth and development at 22 months old
You may also be thinking about moving your toddler from their crib to a bed now, especially if they are tall. This typically occurs somewhere between 2- and 3-years-old. There can be a period of adjustment until your toddler acclimates to their new sleeping environment. Be patient and consistent in your approach. Your toddler is old enough now to understand simple directions related to sleep.
You may want to record your toddler’s height on a part of a wall in the house and show your little one how big they are. Your toddler will still be growing in an on-again, off-again way. If it’s winter, you’ll notice their pant legs are getting just a little short. It’s a surefire way to tell they had a growth spurt.
Play and interaction at 22 months old
Use your imagination to initiate some games and then leave the rest to your 22-month-old. They are designed to seek their own stimulation and fuel their brain growth but will need your help to get started. If money is tight, find some gently used toys from secondhand stores and garage sales. Swap toys with friends who have children the same age. Rotate your toddler’s toys so the novelty of playing with something new is maintained. Toys don’t need to be complex to keep your toddler entertained. Look for ones that combine color and noise and that are interactive. Those which have a cause-and-effect function, such as a drum and drumsticks, are still popular for this age group.
Don’t expect your toddler to handle their toys gently or appreciate them as much as you do. Special toys which require parental supervision are likely to last longer, but they won’t be considered much fun if you need to be with them every time they’re brought out of the box.
What you can expect at 22 months old
Tantrums which result from frustration, distress, fear, or misunderstanding are best dealt with by using empathy and reassurance. But tantrums that stem from the child demanding the parent do something or give in to their child’s demands are best managed by ignoring and walking away. Kids of this age can become upset very quickly and overwhelmed by the magnitude of their own feelings. When this happens, they really need their parents support to know they are not on their own.
Everyone else may seem like an expert when it comes to toddler management, but don’t be fooled. If your 22-month-old has a meltdown at the supermarket, don’t get caught up in other people’s opinions of how best to deal with them. Have a plan of action in case you need it and follow through. There may be times when you need to abandon your plans and make a quick exit.
Time your outings for when your toddler is neither tired nor hungry. Take some snacks with you and be organized. Being restrained in a stroller while being pushed around a shopping mall for hours is a recipe for an unpleasant tantrum.
Food and nutrition at 22 months old
Unless your toddler has an issue with their growth or it has been prescribed by your healthcare provider, they do not need toddler formula. This tends to be high in calories and will satisfy their hunger but will impact their interest in meals. If your toddler won’t drink plain whole milk, try a gradual weaning process of adding less flavoring over a period or simply stop buying it.
At 22 months, they are old enough to take their plate and cup to the sink and help a little with cleaning up. Plastic plates and cups are ideal for this age as some will inevitably end up on the floor. Keep any special or breakable plates and cups for fully supervised meals and let them know they need to be extra careful. Children who are fully insulated from having access to good things don’t have the opportunity to develop an awareness of what special or nice things are and the care that is needed when handling them.
Keeping your toddler healthy at 22 months old
Children who see their parents prioritizing their own health and working to stay healthy learn that this is important and valuable. Try not to invest so much energy into your parenting that there is nothing left for yourself or your partner. Couples who retain some shared interests and look out for each other are in the best possible position to care well for their children. Avoid seeing the time you invest into yourself and your partner as being selfish. Your children can only benefit from this.
Restrict your toddler’s screen time at this age or, better yet, don’t let them have any at all. Sitting down for long periods and focusing on a screen negatively impacts interactive play opportunities.
Show your toddler the moon, the stars, and the sun and make some early attempts at teaching them the seasons. Although they are still too young to comprehend the different seasons, it is important they have early opportunities in learning about seasonal cycles. Teach them to name how they fee—cold or hot, for example—and what they can do to become more comfortable. Showing them how to put on a jacket, how to ask for a drink, and how to take off their shoes are all tangible ways they can contribute to their own comfort needs.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.