Your Baby's Second Year: What To Expect At Twenty Months

As your child quickly approaches her second year, she will strive to be a little adult. What can you expect out of her development-wise during her twentieth month?

At twenty months, your child is getting closer and closer to her second birthday. Was it really only a year ago when your child was starting to grab onto the side of the coffee table to lift herself up on unsteady legs? Now she is running as if she has been doing it her whole life. No longer is she falling all the time as she gets used to her legs beneath her. You and your spouse have got to face the fact that your child is growing up and growing up fast. What new developments can you expect out of your twenty month old?

At this age, a fixed and unwavering routine is the key to keeping your child happy and healthy and, thus, maintaining your own sanity. Try to wake your child up at the same time every day, schedule her daily nap at the same time every morning (or afternoon), give her a bath at the same time every day and have her in bed at the same time each night. It is tempting to allow her to stay up much later on the weekends so she can spend a little more time with you, but that will only cause her to get off her schedule, thus creating havoc in the early half of the work week. Do your best to stick to your schedule and speak with any caretakers about keeping this same schedule when she is not with you.

You may have heard about the "terrible twos" at one point. Did you know that the "terrible twos" don't always wait until the child turns two years old to start? Before you begin to panic, not every single child will go through this frantic time. Some children simply skirt by these months and years without raising a big fuss, while others are the reason the phrase was developed. The terrible twos define a period of a child's life when she is defiant and does anything and everything in her power to test you and your spouse. When you ask her to do something, like put away a toy, she may respond by saying, "No." Be patient with firm with your child during this period to help her understand that her defiance will not be tolerated.

During this point in your child's life, she is like a huge sponge yearning to fill herself up with knowledge. Instead of just playing with her toys in a distracted way, she is starting to really analyze them and figure out how they work. You will find her with one toy for a longer stretch of time, as she contemplates what makes it tick. You will also notice that she is becoming much more inquisitive when faced with a situation or concept that she cannot figure out. For example, if you have a friend who is pregnant who visits quite often, she may ask you why it looks like your friend has a balloon in her stomach. She will also want to know why things work the way they do, so be prepared to answer lots of her questions.

Her hand-eye coordination and motor skills are getting better each and every day. When she is allowed to scribble on paper, whereas before she used to simply scribble incoherently, now she is starting to make distinct shapes like lines and circles. She is also striving to be as adult-like as possible, so don't be alarmed if you catch her wearing your high heels or sporting a favorite skirt of yours. Despite any defiance she may frequently demonstrate, you may notice that she is still very affectionate with you and your spouse. She will also ask to help out with chores like washing the dishes or sweeping the floor, so help her to feel more useful by allowing her to help you out.

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