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The 22nd Month

Enjoy your last few months with your toddler as your beloved one approaches his or her second birthday; your little one is growing older, so cherish these special moments when they still rely on you for most of their needs before they begin to move on. If you feel that your child is behind in terms of mental and physical development, talk to your pediatrician.

Mental Development
At this stage most children will love sitting quietly while being read to, so invest a bit in buying your little ones fun picture books and take the time to read to them regularly. Have them help you turn the pages and let them "read" to you too by inventing their own story based on the book illustrations.

Also, this month your children will be setting their own goals, and will feel frustrated if they can't achieve them. Assist your toddlers with their burgeoning independence by offering them aid when they seem like they need it.

Now that your little ones are better at communicating, they might become considerably bossy and will demand things of the people around them, such as by demanding "give me!" or "stop!" This is the perfect time to start teaching your child the virtue of using words such as "please" and "thank you". Be firm but patient in teaching your child proper manners, and keep reminding them to use the correct words when they want things.

In terms of vocabulary, the typical 22-month-old will know how to speak 20 words and will be able to combine a couple of words to ask questions or make statements. They also understand more words than they actually use. You'll notice that your child will be using the same intonations and inflections that you use when they speak.

Physical Development
Children will want to dress themselves without your help this month, and it's alright to let them try. You can make it easier for them to learn how to do so by demonstrating how to get dressed and purchasing clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Praise your children when they succeed, as their physical prowess is something to celebrate.

Greater hand dexterity means a better ability to play with more challenging toys, and your little one may try and succeed in stacking a pile of blocks on top of each other to knock down later. Offer your toddler play dough and other toys that help them practice their fine motor skills.

Your toddler should also be able to kick a ball forward without falling and balancing on one foot for a short period of time. Let them practice their balance and coordination by taking them to the park where they can kick a ball freely and learn through play. They will have also developed enough coordination to run more smoothly, but will still need to practice making turns without falling.

Eating Habits
Try to make your family meals as healthy as possible since your child will be eating the same thing you're eating. Use cooking techniques that don't destroy the food's nutritional content, such as sautéing instead of boiling and deep-frying, and avoid overcooking your meals. Offer your child lots of raw fruits and vegetables for snacks.

Sleeping Habits
You're unlikely to be experiencing pronounce bedtime struggles unless you haven't begun following a bedtime routine yet. If you have been following a routine but still can't seem to get your child to settle down without getting into a full-blow battle of wills, then you must be doing something wrong, such as being inconsistent in reinforcing the routine.