Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 9 Month Old

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 9 Month Old

It's time to break out your routines again, parents, because your tiny tot is beginning to plan ahead! Exciting!

It's said that you cannot teach a toddler with a long list of instructions. Kids are the perfect example of a mirror – they learn the most by imitating you. At 1 year and 9 months, your toddler's attention is completely on you. Be very careful of what you say and do in front of him.

1 Year and 9 Month Old Baby Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?

22 Month Old Baby Development

Physical Development

Have you noticed that your tiny tot is beginning to take care of himself? He can wash his hands and his feet after playing outside. He can put on his own slippers, even though they might be on the wrong feet. Or he might even feed himself by now if you've shown him how.

Although it might seem as if he's always on the move, did you know your little one actually spends almost 20 percent of his waking time simply looking at things?

At this stage, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Height: 85.0 cm (33.5 inches)
    – Weight: 11.5 kg (25.5 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Height: 83.5 cm (32.9 inches)
    – Weight: 11.3 kg (24.9 lb)

Your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 47.8 cm (18.8 inches)
  • Girls: 46.7 cm (18.4 inches)


  • At this stage of toddler development, it's still all about running, climbing and dancing. Your little trooper might even be adding jumping into the mix soon!
  • No time like the present to put some soft tiles near the sofa if you haven't done so yet.
  • He will be able to stack six blocks!
  • It will be a delight for you to see how he kicks a ball and throws a small ball overhand.
  • Be vigilant when he walks down the stairs without any support. Oh so independent!

When To See a Doctor

  • If your toddler has shown new skills in the past, and suddenly is unable to perform them anymore, then this is a cause for concern. Please visit the doctor immediately.
  • Instead of your little one waking in the middle of the night, maybe you are the one waking up! Yes, some toddlers snore quite loudly. Generally, this is harmless, but if you are worried, check with your paediatrician.
  • Be very vigilant of what is around your child. He might just choke himself or gulp a coin. Visit a doctor immediately if that happens.

Cognitive Development 

Play is by far the most important way your toddler learns. He has a short attention span, but loves to play games. He might even be able to do puzzles of three or four pieces if you have done them with him before.

His attention span may be short, but he is beginning to develop a sense of time. You could begin to talk him through the day, telling him what activities will be happening next. For instance, you could tell him that after lunch he will take his nap, and after his nap you will be going down to the playground.

Setting such expectations gives your little one an anchor in an ever-changing world. It makes him feel safe and secure. It is important that once you set a schedule and tell him, you keep to it as well.


  • You might notice your tiny tot begins to develop a preference for "boy" or "girl" stuff.
  • Around this time he might also begin to comment on gender differences, especially if he sees a sibling in the bath tub. He could also be crossing gender lines, and even declaring his preference to be another gender. Don't worry – it's part of normal development.
  • However, you do want to pay attention to another developmental phase: the one where he shoves small things where they don't belong, such as his nose or ears! Be extra careful with small items. Try to limit his access to beads, coins and other trinkets.
  • Finally, your adorable little angel is not the only one who prefers to be difficult in the most public and visible of places.
  • Keep visits to places like the library short, and have reasonable expectations.
  • Sitting still in the MRT may be the most difficult thing your toddler has had to do in his life so far.

When To See a Doctor:

  • When your child loses interest in the things he/she used to like.
  • Shows a decrease in attention span, over time. 

21 Month Old Baby Development

Social and Emotional Development

As your tiny tot develops a sense of time, routines become increasingly important. Knowing what to expect make transitions from one activity to another go much more smoothly. For instance, a consistent bedtime routine of bath, teeth brushing, story and cuddle, relaxes your little one and helps him fall asleep.

This stage of toddler development is all about setting expectations – both your toddler's and your own! There are many ways to do this. You could talk him through the day's schedule and remind him throughout the day what will happen next.


  • Draw up a chart for the week, put it on the fridge and let him put a magnet on each day. This helps him distinguish between weekdays and weekends.
  • Give your tiny tot a bit of warning before you leave a play date or another fun activity. This way, he can prepare himself mentally. A few minutes is usually enough. But be consistent – if he asks for more time, let him know that this is the limit for today.
  • The same goes for behaviour. Let your little one know what you expect of him. At this age, pushing and poking is still an acceptable form of communication between toddlers, but you can let yours know that it isn't nice. Show him how to be gentle. At the same time, don't force your child to play with other kids. If he prefers to hang out on his own, respect his preference.
  • Fortunately, there are still lots of hugs and kisses! At this age, the love just bursts out especially if he sees you, his favourite person, come through the door.

When To See a Doctor:

  • At 1 year and 9 months, your toddler has already started showing defiant behaviour and mimicking elders. If your child doesn't seems to be doing so, and seems aloof, visit a doctor. 
  • When you toddler shows a lack of or reduced interest in engaging with peers.

Speech and Language

Word acquisition is picking up speed! Once your tiny tot has the confidence to begin speaking, he'll be wowing you with his conversational skills. Last month, it was fifteen words. This month it's already up to twenty! But don't worry if you're getting the silent treatment. Speech is one of those developmental milestones that varies widely among toddlers.


  • He loves singing songs with movements.
  • Some toddlers adore reading books on their own, but their fine motor skills may not be up to par yet. If you don't want any tears in your books, go for board books. Avoid lift the flap books for now.
  • Play memory games with you little one. Teach him the names of daily objects and review with them daily. A little stuttering around this time is common. But make sure that you correct them instead of joking around and repeating what they say.
  • Play popular nursery rhymes every day and see how they pick it up in bits and pieces! 

When To See a Doctor:

  • If you think that your toddler has lost any speech-related skill that he has acquired, or if he has suddenly gone silent, visit a doctor.

Health and Nutrition

Break out the cups, your little one is ready for sipping all by himself. He can also hold on to cups. He is still learning how far to tip the cup, so keep an eye on him if his cup doesn't have a lid.

Don't worry if it takes him a while to figure out how to use a straw. Some children catch on immediately, but for others, it can take weeks before they work out how to suck the liquid out.

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 943.5 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 925.7 Kcal/day 

To meet their daily nutrition needs, it should be composed of the following:

  • Protein

Introduce your tot to sources of protein such as poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds, eggs, and tofu. One serving equals one to three tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or one egg (in total 17.5g of protein). Introduce 2 servings of fish or meat 1/3 the size of your palm. 

  • Fruits 

Your child needs about 3 cups (100g/cup) of fruits every day. 3 cups of fruit equals 2 of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half cup of dried fruit and half of a large apple, cut into small pieces.

  • Vegetables 

At this stage, your child requires 1.5 cups (25g each) of vegetables every day. 1.5 cups of vegetables equals to 1 cup cooked mashed or finely chopped vegetables, 1/4 large tomato and/or 1/4 a medium carrot.

Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.

  • Grains 

Introduce up to 3 ounces of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.

Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child should drink a minimum of 400-700ml of breastmilk. You can choose to switch it up with milk, cheese or yoghurt.

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: 3 cups for boys; 3 cups for girls 
  • Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys; 1.5 cups for girls
  • Grains: 3 ounces for boys; 3 ounces for girls
  • Proteins: 20g for boys; 20g for girls  
  • Milk: 16 to 24 ounces for boys; 16 to 24 ounces for girls
  • Water: 1200 ml for boys; 1200 ml for girls


  • Our biggest tip for this stage of toddler development: Plan ahead when going out. Your little one might get hungry, but he's also beginning to develop strong preferences. So bring a snack he likes to avoid meltdowns.
  • Make sure his water bottle is filled up as well, and throw in a cardigan or sweater if you're heading to the malls. His body is still small, so it can be hard to keep warm in the icy AC.
  • Your 1 year and 9 month old's body is still small and needs to be kept warm in cold weather or around AC. Always carry a small blanket or jacket. 
  • Your child will now develop preferences for certain food items. But sometimes, he may ignore his favourites completely. Make sure you serve him a variety of food items and eat them along with him to build trust.
  • Make sure you avoid feeding a lot of baked items to your toddler, and feed him more proteins – at least 1 egg a day, full fat milk (200ml), a small bowl of vegetables (twice a day), and 1 whole fruit. You may also want to start introducing nuts to him in powdered form. 1 almond or walnut a day will also help his overall growth and development.


To find out what vaccinations your child should have gotten up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here. As of 18 months, these immunisations should have been introduced to your child:

  • DTaP – 1st booster: Immunisation against Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus
  • IPV – 1st booster: Immunisation against Poliomyelitis
  • Hib – 1st booster: Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine
  • MMR – 2nd dose : Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella

Even with a complete vaccination record, your child might still catch colds, the flu and other common illnesses like Hand Foot and Mouth disease. If your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever (over 38°C/100.4°F), please consult a doctor.

Do read up about hand, foot and mouth disease. Find out what it is, and what you should do in the event your toddler has it.

Treating Common Illnesses

To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following: 

  • To treat fever in kids

Try using children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To manage your child's temperature, you can also give your child a sponge bath with lukewarm water. Make sure to dress him/her lightly.

When it comes to treatment of cough and cold, cold medicine should be avoided. The The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (DFA) does not recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for children younger than 2 years old. It is always advised to seek the opinion of the paediatrician.  

  • To treat coughs and cold in kids
    • Serve half a teaspoon of dark honey, such as buckwheat, which works effectively because they are high in antioxidants. 
    • Try feeding your child chicken soup as it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties while also clearing his/her nasal passage. 
    • Have your child drink ice water, cold or warm juice, or decaffeinated tea mixed with honey.
    • Place a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room, near him/her to help loosen chest and nasal congestion— a great remedy to help tackle coughs at night.
    • Prop your child's head up with a pillow or folded towel which can help him/her to breathe easier.

When To See a Doctor

  • When your child is not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration (such as decreased urination)
  • Your child experiences excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  • When your child experiences persistent ear pain
  • If your child's cough lasts for more than three weeks

Source: Livestrong, WebMD

Your toddler’s previous month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-8-month-old

Your toddler’s next month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-10-month-old

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