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  • Baby Milestone Markers: 20th Month

    Stay on top of your 19-20-month-old tot's developmental milestones!
    Published Aug 14, 2009
  • Physical Development
    • Improves grasping and hand-eye coordination, so he can now draw vertical and horizontal lines using a crayon.
    • Curious about his body parts, and may be touching his genitals.
    • Able to handle/use a spoon or fork but more often prefers to use hands to feed himself.
    Cognitive and Mental Development
    • May like to dismantle toys then try to put them back together, as he is curious about how things work. Also intrigued by toys and things with “hidden surprise,” that’s why he peers down the bathtub drain to see where the water goes.
    • Enjoys listening to and imitating sounds of objects such as sirens, dogs barking, clock ticking.
    • Makes sense with simple sentences though still using just two words, for example, “Daddy hat” which is his way of saying, “There’s daddy’s hat.”
    • Some 20-month-olds who haven’t started using simple sentences can still understand a lot more words than he can say. You can ask him to go to his room and bring you a pillow and he’ll be able to do that.
    • Shape-sorting and “hidden object” games are still favorites.

    Emotional and Behavioral Development
    • Hunger, tiredness and sleepiness are still the prime tantrum triggers, so avoid late dinners close to his bedtime especially when dining out.
    • Might show new signs of assertiveness, like insisting on doing exactly what you told him not to.
    • Loves pretend play and imitating you, by putting on your shoes, hat, etc., and by taking on parenting roles on his stuffed toys.
    • Likes to sit on your lap and cuddle–his way of getting your undivided attention.

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