Toddler Month by Month: 21
- August 18, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi everyone and welcome to Month 21 with your toddler and Month 21 with my toddler Bracey. Wowsa.
Growth and Development of 21-Month-Old-Toddler
How Many Years Old is a 21-Month-Old?
A 21-month-old toddler is 1 year and 9 months old. In 3 months, your toddler will be 2 years old. Another way to look at this is that your toddler is 1¾ years old with just ¼ of a year remaining before their second birthday.
21 Month Old Developmental Milestones
How Much Should my 21-Month-Old be Talking?
You’re likely asking yourself “how many words should a 21-month-old say? Boys tend to develop language skills a bit later than girls, but in general, 21-month-olds are saying a range of words (some say as many as 50). Right now Bracey is saying “agua” (Spanish for water), “bye bye”, “no”, “mama”, “mom,” “moon,” “wow” and some animal sounds (“ruff ruff,” “neigh,” and “quack”). I would say Bracey has about 10 words. The amount of words he is uttering has grown a lot over the past month, since month 20. That said, Bracey’s doctor told me that in most cases, children’s vocabulary begins to expand dramatically after the age of 2. Apart from their vocabulary, many 21-month-olds are able to follow two-step directions such as “please bring those shoes (direction 1) over to your Mommy (direction 2). Or “can you pick up the bucket (direction 1) and dump the sand out (direction 2).” Contact your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s development when it comes to speech or communication.
How Can I Encourage my 21-Month-Old to Talk
Narrate what you do, explain things, interact with your child, read, sing, and try to explain concepts, opposites, aspects of nature, animals, vehicles, types of food, and types of furniture. Try to say things aloud, articulating the words. Here are a list of other activities recommended by the NHS of the UK:
- Repeat words. Say things like “where are your boots today, are you wearing brown boots?”
- Use simple instructions. Keep instructions short and simple so that your child can understand and execute.
- Try asking “Where’s your …”Ask your child to point to their legs, arms, ears or feet.”
- Sing, play music, and listen to the radio.
- Limit TV time to no more than 30 minutes for children under 24 months. Playing and listening to stories is more helpful when children are learning to talk.
Why is my Toddler Bringing me Things that I Don’t Need?
Bracey’s new favorite pastime is to bring me things that I don’t actually need like a shoe, boot, book, or diaper. I invariably say “thank you, Bracey.” This is funny when you think about it because Bracey has observed adults passing objects back and forth and this is his way of imitating that. Bracey is too young to figure out that I don’t perhaps need the object he is bringing to me in that exact moment. He just thinks he is doing me a favor. Asking your child to bring you things that you don’t really need or are perfectly capable of getting yourself is actually a fun way to interact and a great language-rich activity for your child. Repeat the name of the object a few times as well as the verb bring. So say: “Bracey, can you please bring Mommy that book over there.” And then say “Thank you so much for bringing me that book.” Funny because I have a bunch of teenagers now and they won’t ever bring me anything I ask them for (nor will they clear the table!).
Intellectual Activities for a 21-Month-Old-Toddler
In addition to blocks, trains, basic puzzles, books, and other manipulatives, try to expand on your toddler’s play doh activities.
Play Doh Activities for Toddlers
First, allow your toddler to just play with the play doh to get a sense of it. It’s great for their core hand strength. After doing that for a bit, try a few more organized play doh activities. Here are some great activities to do with play doh:
- Play doh cupcakes. You can decorate with beads and straws. Be careful with the beads if your child is under 3.
- Nature play doh. Bring in things from nature and imprint them into the playdoh. Examples include a pine cone, leaves, a branch, acorns, flowers and bark.
- Basic shapes with strips of play doh: try a circle, square, rectangle, oval, or triangle.
- Basic forms: house, fish, star, sun, truck (easier than car), Mommy, Bracey (maybe Daddy too if he helped clean up)!
- Smush it up play doh. Make balls of play doh and put on a paper with a number, such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Smash them as you count.
Physical Activities for a 21-Month-Old Toddler
Most 21-month-olds can run, squat and throw a ball underhand. Bracey is actually throwing a ball overhand. Try to play with the ball a lot, tossing it back and forth. This is great for hand-eye coordination and for gross and fine motor skills since your child is using their fingers to grip the ball. Other great physical activities include: running, hopscotch, jumping, going up and down the slide, and climbing onto the jungle gym. Here is a list of some new activities that are classic, inexpensive, and easy to do at home or outside:
- Pillow walk – line up pillows along your living room and have your toddler walk along them. Great for balance – and safe!
- Ball slide – take a cutting board and balance it along the sofa. Have your toddler throw some balls down it and watch them roll.
- “Follow the leader” – this game involves having your toddler imitate what you do. You can do just about anything. Here are a list of basic physical movements to try:
- Downward dog
- Touch toes
- Touch knees
- Jumping jacks
- Goddess pose
- Warrior 2 pose
- Chair pose
- Basic stretches on floor
- Roll on floor
- Fly around the house with outstretched arms
- Household chores
- Cleaning windows with a wet cloth
- Tucking in sheets
- Drying dishes
- Putting spoons in dishwasher
- Wiping down the table
- Find the apples and oranges. Plant apples and oranges around your house. Skip around looking for them. Get two pieces of paper and write Apples on one and Oranges on the other. Every time you find one, note it down. At the end count how many and write that number down.
What Should my 21-Month-Old be Eating?
As discussed in prior months, keep introducing a variety of foods from the four food groups while opting for whole grains (stay away from white rice, flour and pasta), low sugar, and non-processed foods. If you are breastfeeding, make sure to also offer whole milk and water. Offer a panoply of fruits and vegetables.
Schedule for Breastfeeding or Milk Feeding Babies at 21 Months of Age
- Grains: couscous and quinoa mixed with vegetables.
- Protein: pork cooked soft, small slices of steak, and almond butter.
- Vegetables: green beans with mushrooms, cauliflower roasted in the oven, whipped potato with grated cheese mixed in, whipped sweet potato, slices of zucchini roasted with olive oil.
- Fruit: plums and peaches (opt for fresh fruit, not canned or frozen fruit).
- Dairy: camembert, feta, goat milk yogurt.
Hopefully, by this point, your child has settled into the transition to one nap. Children this age need 12.5 hours sleep per day usually 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep with naps of 1.5 to 3 hours. This is actually exactly what Bracey is doing as he sleeps 11 hours at night and takes naps that are 2.5 to 3 hours long.
- 7am breast milk feed* and breakfast or breakfast and then give milk or a milk substitute
- 10am snack
- 12pm feed & lunch (1-3pm sleep)
- 3pm feed & healthy snack
- 6pm dinner
- 7:30pm final milk feeding
- 8pm bedtime
*If no longer breastfeeding, give milk or its alternative after the meal.
21-Month-Old Sleep Regression
Sleep regression occurs when a previously good sleeper takes a turn for the worse by waking up during the night, refusing to go down to bed at night, waking up early in the morning or from naps, or resisting going down for naps. I’ve dealt with this a few times, especially after a vacation or a change in schedule, such as when family was visiting. If ugly sleep regression crawls your way, fight back with a consistent schedule. Just keep doing the same thing day after day. Waking your child up consistently in the morning by 7 or 8am can really help.
21-Month-Old Weight & Height
If your child is on the small side, as is mine, you’re likely asking yourself “how much should a 21 month old measure and weigh?” The average 21-month-old baby boy weighs 25 pounds 5 ounces (11.6 kilos) and the average baby girl weighs 24 pounds 9 ounces (11.3 kilos). The average height for a 21-month-old is 32.9 inches for girls and 33.5 inches for boys. At his 21-month checkup, Bracey weighed approximately 11.3 kilos (24 pounds 9 ounces), and measured 82.5 centimetres (32.5 inches). He was just 1 inch under the average height for boys, and 8 ounces under the average weight. Neither his height or weight had increased significantly from the prior month but his doctor was not concerned.
Should my Toddler Visit the Doctor at 21 Months
Unless you have something specific you want your doctor to check, your child will not have a check up at 21 months. Bracey’s doctor wants to see him every month until the age of 2 since he was born prematurely, so he went to the doctor to get all the usual things checked out. Fortunately, Bracey did not cry throughout the entire appointment (as he had in prior appointments). We were pleased to learn that everything is on track.
Bracey greatly enjoyed the month of June. Outside, he enjoyed the swing, shoveling sand into a bucket in the sandbox and getting his feet wet in one of his first puddles. Swimming in a nearby pool was a great adventure although he got chilly. At home, sorting shapes, stacking play doh and playing with his older siblings were fun activities. The highpoint of the month was visiting Paris and enjoying its beautiful parks and food, although some of the waitresses were not thrilled with Bracey’s habit of throwing food on the ground. Thank you so much for watching and see you back next month for Month 22!