Mobility / physical development
Most toddlers now need little help when it comes to getting about the house and garden and clambering over everything in sight, though she'll most likely still need help walking down the stairs. She's probably doing plenty of running around and getting from 0 to speedy in a couple of seconds, though coming to a stop remains a bit more challenging.
Her determination to do things on her own, and her own way, hasn't abated and will often be frustrating for both of you. Luckily she is able to more and more things for herself, including washing and drying her hands, drinking from a cup, putting things like toys and books where they belong and helping to clean up.
She may well already started trying to take her own clothes on and off, and some toddlers might even be able to manage some clothing on their own. If she's giving it a good go but finding it frustrating then help her along a bit by choosing clothes that are easier for her to manage and showing her how things work, help her with the bits that she finds difficult but give her a sense of achievement and encourage her by letting her do some bits herself. Of course, this can take time and patience and there will be times when you're in too much of a hurry, but try to factor in extra time for dressing as often as you can and remember that's it's just as valuable learning time as reading a book together.
Many toddlers are developing bladder control by 22 months and she may have started telling you not just when she's just done a wee, but when she needs to do one.
Communication / emotional development
For a while now your toddler has been able to follow simple one-step instructions, such as "Can you bring me your teddy?" but by around this time she should be able to follow two-step instructions, "Can you go into your bedroom and bring me your teddy?" She's learning new words at an astounding rate, as many as ten each day. So don't be afraid of using words that you think she doesn't know when you talk to her and give her instructions, this is exactly how she learns and besides, she may surprise you with her ability to understand.
Her active vocabulary is increasing rapidly too, and she'll probably be putting words together more often now, rather than trying to convey meaning with just one word. After months of being told what to do by you it's normal for toddlers to revel in their ability to boss you around instead. This might sometimes be simply a demand that you pay attention to something she's managed to do, or it may be a demand for help or an insistence that you stop doing something. If pleases and thank-yous are important to you then now is a good time to remind her than you'll pay more attention if she's polite. And if you think your toddler is making unreasonable demands then try asking her why she wants you to do, or not do, something. There may be no reason, but even just raising the question may divert her attention away from a possible stand-off.
One of the things she might demand that you do is sing her favourite nursery songs, and by now she'll probably be joining in with at least some of the words and any actions that go along with them.
Creativity is key to your toddler's play at this stage and the building, shaping, squishing, stacking, sorting and very basic puzzle games she plays all help to improve her manual dexterity - fitting in perfectly with the skills she needs to dress and undress herself. If you watch her as she plays you may notice that she now has a preference for one hand over another.
Activity books with flaps, things to turn, press or move are wonderful right now, but while she'll enjoy exploring the book and its bits she'll likely enjoy pulling it apart given half a chance, so be prepared for damage with this sort of book.
Your toddler is probably quite interested in other children, but she's most likely to express this interest physically by pushing, prodding or trying to kiss or cuddle the other child - sweet but often no more welcome than a shove! Encourage her to be gentle with other children and particularly to avoid touching their faces, where she's most likely to hurt them.
She might now show enthusiasm for particular friends who she sees a lot of, and may be more cooperative with them, but most 22-month-olds have a long way to go when it comes to sharing their toys. She can now understand the difference between what belongs to her and what belongs to others, and might be willing to swap toys for a short time, you can expect though that often the most interesting toy will be the one that someone else is playing with.
What you can do
This is a great time to get out the play-dough, building bricks, paints, glue and string and get making things together, or to sit and play puzzles with shapes, pictures and jigsaw pieces.
As you play you can help her learn the contrast between different textures, sizes and temperatures and help her grasp opposing concepts such as hot and cold, hard and soft, wet and dry, smooth and rough and so on. Try putting out an assortment of contrasting objects and asking her to group them. Keep the game very simple though, just stick to one contrast at a time and don't push her if she's not interested.
Your toddler will continue to be very interested in all the household chores that you do and will love to pick up the brush or vaccuum cleaner and join in. While this may slow you down it's well worth letting her help as she's combining learning, play and time with you - she won't always be this keen to help, so make hay.
She's now old enough to enjoy activities like helping you bake things. Why not let her have her own mixing bowl and spoon and a little of her own baking mixture (just keep her away from anything that she shouldn't eat raw, like eggs, as at least some of the mixture will probably make it into her mouth) and let her help you to sift, stir and shape. Biscuits are great to make together, if you make quite a firm dough without eggs she can even use it as play-dough before you get out the cookie cutters and pop them in the oven. That's multi-tasking! Do remember though to keep her away from sharp, hot and breakable items in the kitchen.
NB: All babies develop at their own pace and some will reach developmental landmarks more quickly than others. This time line is meant only as an approximate guide for parents. Premature babies will develop more slowly than full-term babies and can be expected to develop in line with their age calculated from their due date. If you are worried about your child's health or progress consult your doctor.
Scribbling, painting and drawing for toddlers - Your 22-month-old will love to leave her marks when given the chance, here's how these skills develop along with ideas for encouraging your budding Picasso.
Teeth cleaning - Our toddler is 22 months and we have been trying for months to get him to brush his teeth at bedtime.. all he wants to do is suck the toothbrush and eat the toothpaste! Nicky gets advice on how to encourage teeth cleaning
Blogging your baby's development -
Keeping a diary of your baby's development is a great idea, on ThinkBaby you can keep an up-to-date online blog that you can email to your nearest or dearest or print out later for yourself, so why not start your own?
When you and your partner are at odds - Almost all relationships involve a bit of conflict now and again, and the stress and time pressures involved in raising a family make disagreements particularly likely. The key to resolving any differences of opinion is good communication, if that doesn't come easily to you then try our recommendations for practising active listening with your partner.
Get support -
You can join in the discussions and share parental experiences and advice with other ThinkBaby members in the baby and toddler forum folders.
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