Your child is almost 2 years old now, and it is a delight to see him enjoy the freedom that comes from becoming more independent. Here are the 23 month old baby development milestones you should expect in your little one.
In this article:
- Physical Development Milestones
- Cognitive Development Milestones
- Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Language & Communication Milestones
- What You Can Do As Parents?
- 23 Month Old Toddler Behaviour
- Baby Care for Your 23 Month Old
Physical Development Milestones
- Gets better at walking and running on flat surfaces or even at the park or garden.
- Will be able to kick a moving ball.
- Your baby can climb up and down the stairs though he may still need to hold your hand.
- Will be able to sit on a tricycle but may not be able to pedal and move forward.
- His fine motor skills have evolved enough to open small containers with lids.
- Can eat with a spoon or a fork with more confidence than ever.
- May be able to undress himself only from waist down.
Cognitive Development Milestones
- Your little one will enjoy drawing and scribbling. May try to draw long straight lines and circles when shown how.
- Though he can’t say the names clearly, he can distinguish different colours well. May also have a favourite colour.
- Can understand and follow your two and three-word commands.
- Can distinguish the relative size of objects and separate the big from the small.
- Though he may not get all the words right, will start singing nursery rhymes and lullabies that are familiar to him.
Social & Emotional Development Milestones
- Your little one may copy and imitate other kids.
- May offer his toy or a cookie to a sibling or a friend mostly because he likes them or to gain acceptance.
- Will have separation anxiety but not as much as it was before.
- Is more interested in the company of other children. However, most of the time, he will play on his own and not directly with other kids.
- Will try to put his socks and shoes on.
- Will enjoy and have fun having silly interactions with adults, like endlessly repeating the words you say or the gestures you make.
Language & Communication Milestones
- His vocabulary is increasing and will continue to increase at a faster pace outside of the basic words he has learnt thus far.
- If you show pictures of the larger family members and put a name to each of their faces, and do it repeatedly across a week or two, he will be able to say most if not all their names. The more you repeat, the better he will get at memorising and recalling.
- When asked, will be able to name the objects and animals from a book.
- Can point out at least 5 to 8 names of parts on the body correctly.
- Will say 2 or 3 words together to communicate his ideas or thoughts, like “my hat”, “there cat”, “I want”, “dog gone”, etc.
What You Can Do As Parents?
- This is a great time to introduce all the colours to your little one. A simple yet effective way to is to simply label the colour of any toy or objects across rooms and the pictures of animals and things in a book.
- Put together pictures of all your larger family members and friends in a photo album, and introduce each one of them along to him. This not only helps in his memory and recall, it also lays the foundation to understand how big a family he has got and develop a bond with them.
- If any of your cousins, friends or long-time neighbours have small children around the same age, you can co-ordinate and plan for a play day for your child along with all of them. This is a great way to socialise your child and help him practice interacting with other kids.
- His memory is building fast at this stage and anything repeated will aid build his memory, be it names of objects or colours.
- Another way to build his memory is by singing nursery rhymes or his favourite song with him.
- Since he will be going to pre-school sometime soon, introduce him to caregivers, starting with someone in the close family. Make him get used to being with them for 30 to 45 minutes and gradually increase the duration over time.
- Facilitate your little one to articulate his needs and wants in words. You may understand what he’s trying to convey, but once in a while, just act as if you couldn’t understand him. This will make him take conscious efforts to choose his words carefully, talk clearly and express himself fully.
23 Month Old Toddler Behaviour
Your child’s tantrums may emerge right from nowhere now-and-then. Temper tantrums are normal for toddlers him age and you are therefore expected not to get too anxious about it.
Losing your patience and getting annoyed or angry will only result in you getting aggressive with him, which aggravates the situation. Try being assertive with him instead. Over time, in most if not all situations, your assertiveness will encourage him to respond positively instead of reacting mindlessly.
Discipline is more about teaching and making him understand what acceptable behaviour is, and far less about making him do what you want him to do. When you change your perspectives, you change outcomes.
For instance, if it is bed time for him but he wants to play, instead of saying “No. This is not the time to play“, you may choose to say “Let us first read a nice book together and go to bed. We can play tomorrow after your breakfast. Okay?“
If you observe closely, what you want to communicate is the same in both cases (that he can’t play as it is bed time). The difference lies in the words you choose and the manner in which you communicate it. The bottom line: How you say is far more important than what you say, no matter how good your intention.
Baby Care for Your 23 Month Old
- It is important that you make your toddler stick to his sleep time. Refrain from any late night sessions with him, as this could not only make him restless and cranky the next day, it could throw your day out of gear too.
- Try and experiment with a range of nutritious food, as your little one may get bored eating the same food.
- Never force feed him as this could make him resent eating altogether. When it comes to kids, feeding them requires a bit of tact. With consistent effort, it can be developed over time.
- As he can run and climb, his independence to move around will make be all over the place across the day. That’s why baby-proofing your home is critical.
- Channel his energy into select activities that specifically develop his physical and cognitive abilities.
- Read and sing to your little one often, as he is fast learning to talk and understand better. This is an effective way to enhance his vocabulary.
- Make sure a range of fruits and vegetables are part of his meals across the day, so that he gets his daily dose of nutrition.
Parents pampering their kids is nothing unusual. After all, they just love their children. Having said, one has to make the right judgement about “how much is too much?”
Pampering looks nice from the child’s point of view but too much of it is not nice from your toddler’s developmental point of view. Even if it goes a little over board, it could have long term repercussions.
Therefore, never heed to all your toddler’s demands. Tell him ‘No’ when you have to. And (practice to) tell him nicely. Looking back from the future, you’ll be glad you did.
Note: Each baby is different and therefore tends to grow at a different pace. Chances are that your little one may have crossed certain milestones already, or is probably a little behind on a few others, which is normal. If you still feel there is something of concern, do speak to your paediatrician/registered professional child healthcare provider.