20 Month Old Baby Milestones And Development – New Parents Guide


That little sweet rebel is now probably resisting washing hands, changing, feeding, getting in the car seat… and almost anything good for her. Toddlers like to act like they’re in control at this age, which opens a door for a lot of opportunities to make their own choices and decide whether they should “help” with something. For example, you can try to let your baby feed herself and see what happens. This might have a positive impact on the rest of the 20 month old milestones. 

Just go with anything your baby thinks is right, let her feel like she’s the one making important decisions. Ask her if she wants to bring her truck or a teddy for a ride rather than just commanding her to get in the car seat. Keep on reading to find out more about all of these and a lot of other stuff that might influence your 20 month old development!

What You Should Know 

  • Your baby can now say about 20-30 words clearly. You can expect her to start asking questions and using two-word phrases very soon! 
  • Be prepared for some sleepless nights since this is the peak time for second molars to pop through. Soothe your baby and use teething gels if your doctor gives permission. 
  • Challenging behavior is a normal thing in a 20 month old development. Find reasoning and stay calm, don’t overreact, and explain to your child why certain things are not acceptable. 
  • Motor skills are now well developed and your child is learning how to climb steps. The next step is to learn how to get down and stand on one foot!

Important 20 Month Old Milestones 

Usually, toddlers have two personalities at this month: the challenging side and the energetic, fun-loving side. Both personalities have a lot to do with reaching 20 month old milestones as mood swings and stress can impact your baby’s development. 

According to the World Health Organization, the median height for 20 month old boys is 33.1 inches and 32.6 inches for girls. When it comes to weight, the average numbers are 25 pounds for boys and 24.4 pounds for girls. 

20 Month Old Skills and Milestones

Here are some of the important milestones your baby should’ve reached during this 20 month old development. 

  • Speech – Babies at this age usually know about 50 single words. Some two-word phrases may pop up sometimes, but those are still pretty rare. 
  • Walking – Your little sidekick is now probably learning how to walk up steps. The next goal is to learn how to walk down on them. Running, jumping, and dancing should be a piece of cake. 
  • Potty Training – Potty training readiness signs might start showing for some 20 month olds. This is a perfect time to start reading potty training books and even buy a potty training seat. Introduce the topic to your child if you haven’t already and see whether she wants to ditch her diapers
  • Teething – This month is about the exact time when babies get their second molars popping through. Make sure you have teething toys at home and be prepared for some restless nights if the pain is persistent. 
  • Behavior – Challenging behaviors are a normal part of almost every 20 month old development process. Dealing with separation anxiety and tantrums will become your second nature and you will eventually learn how not to overreact. 
  • Biting, hitting, and pushing – Your baby will most likely behave badly very often. Don’t use physical punishment, rather stay calm and explain to your child that hurting others is not okay and not acceptable. 
  • Health – Mild illness is very common among 20 month olds, you just can’t hit those 20 month old milestones without them! Consult with your doctor what you can do about your baby’s constipation, diarrhea, and high temperature since these are the most common problems. 

Q: What should a 20 month old be able to say?

A: Your toddler will try to imitate the words he hears in a day. You can expect him to learn at least one new word every week. The spoken vocabulary of  20 month olds is usually about 20 words, although some children know more words at this age. However, be sure that your baby understands a lot more than she says. 

Q: What should a 20 month old be doing?

A: Running, jumping, pointing at things, even asking simple questions such as “what” and pointing at something is all pretty common for 20 month olds. Some more creative babies might start scribbling. Imitating yours and your partner’s movements and language is also something you can expect from your baby. 

Q: How do you discipline a 20 month old?

A: Whenever your baby is doing the right thing make sure to give her positive reinforcement. When you notice that she is trying to do something bad, try to distract her rather than yelling, just show her a different activity. Make sure you set boundaries so your baby can learn what is acceptable and what’s not. 

Q: Should my 20 month old be talking?

A: Yes, your baby should know at least 10-15 words by this age. Some kids that are developing a bit faster know up to 40-50 words and they use two-word phrases. However, don’t be concerned if your baby has difficulties talking, rather consult with your baby’s pediatrician to determine what’s the cause. 

20 Month Old Food 

Your toddler should be eating as frequently as you do, 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. Make sure to fill your fridge with fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein to be able to offer your child a variety of foods. 

Babies usually don’t get enough fiber, iron, and calcium. That’s why you should introduce tofu, broccoli, and green leafy veggies into your baby’s diet in addition to dairy products. Tofu has almost the same amount of iron as lean ground beef, dried peaches, and fortified cereal. 

As your baby is getting more independent and her growth starts slowing down you might find out that she has become a lot pickier with her food. 

20 Month Old Sleep Schedule and Routine


This is about the right time to start transitioning your baby from a crib to a bed. Start by lowering your baby’s mattress every once in a while and make sure that they’re safe that way. When ready, let your toddler help you to set up a bed for him to let him feel like he is in control. 

Babies this age usually sleep about 11-12 hours during the night and they have a single 2-3 hours nap during the day. Your baby might start throwing you for a loop if regression starts happening. This is a common thing among toddlers who were good sleepers before they started walking more.

 Add illness and teething to that and you have a great recipe for a sleepless night. A regular bedtime routine is necessary to reach 20 month old milestones healthily.

20 Month Old Activities 

You will notice your baby is getting more independent each day, but her interest in playtime will still be at the peak. Make sure you introduce some of these games and toys for some fun time with your baby:

  • Blocks – You might notice that your baby is starting to stack blocks at this age.
  • Head, shoulders, knees, and toes – Naming body parts is common for babies this age. Keep teaching her other body parts too!
  • Crayons – Grab a piece of paper and start teaching your baby how to draw straight lines with crayons!

When Should You be Worried

If you notice that your baby is developing slightly slower than other babies, don’t be too worried. His happens sometimes and she will eventually start developing normally. Still, if you notice these symptoms make sure to talk to your pediatrician:

  • Lack of empathy
  • No affection
  • No appetite
  • Difficulties in communication
  • Clumsiness

My Babies Planet Overview

If your baby is hitting most of these 20 month old milestones there’s no reason to worry. Some babies will develop a bit slower and they tend to start talking or walking later than other children. Still, if your baby is using gestures, if it is eating well, and sleeping on time, you don’t have to panic. Hug your child, read her a story and wish her a good night’s sleep before you get ready for another beautiful day with your little sidekick!

Hello Mother's and Father's of the world. My name is Sarah Nielsen is this is my passion MyBabiesPlanet.com, as I am a mother of two beautiful babies and they are my world. Also I love blogging and sharing my experiences of what has worked for me when raising my kids. When I'm not juggling the madness at home, or working on my blog. You will find me product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest baby gear and helpful articles for my readers!