21 Month Old Baby Milestones & Development

21 Month Old Baby Milestones

Being a parent is a gift that truly keeps on giving. No matter how you prefer to raise your child, helping them grow into a responsible adult is one of those wonderful things that can’t be described in words. This is because your child is at a very vulnerable point in their existence, coming into their understanding of the world around them. The same vulnerability, though, also means that it is important to understand which skills they are developing and which ones will continue to impact the ways in which they see the world.

This is why it is important to understand the various 21 month old baby milestones so that when your baby is in that stage of development, you will be able to recognize just how they are growing. Keeping track of the 21 month old baby milestones is also a great way to ensure that your child is getting the proper care that they need and are being sufficiently stimulated developmentally.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will consistently hit all of the 21 month old baby milestones. Though these milestones are broad in nature, all children grow in unique ways, causing their developments to not be exactly the same. On top of this, there are also some children that might have different developmental patterns, causing them to have a different set of milestones to reach.

There are some potential warning signs that you should look out for, though. These are not “red flags” necessarily, but things to speak to your doctor about if you notice them. By noticing developmental differentiations early on, you can ensure that you can provide the proper support and encouragement for your child.

Developmental Red Flags

  • Has not begun walking at 21 months
  • Loses skills they previously had
  • Can’t name some household objects

That being said, here is our list of the most important 21 month old baby milestones:

They Can Start Naming Objects

As your child becomes more familiar with the world around them, they will start naming objects. This is a unique stage in the 21 month old baby milestones because it allows them to start connecting with the world in a new way. Whereas previous developmental stages helped them start to understand the function of certain objects, now they will learn names to make lasting connections between them.

Your Baby Will Begin Running on Their Own

Though your baby might have needed help in the past to run, they should now be able to run all on their own. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep a close eye on them, though—running can be dangerous at any age, so always be sure that your child isn’t running into dangerous situations!

They Can Pull a Toy Behind Them While Walking

Many of the 21 month old baby milestones focus on your child’s ability to play with toys. This is because toys are objects with which children can express themselves and gain a taste for basic cause and effect reactions. At 21 months, your child should be able to pull a toy behind them (i.e. a small wagon). This will also help them build their physical coordination.

They Can Carry Large Objects While in Motion

Being able to carry things is an important part of the 21 month old baby milestones. However, what distinguishes this milestone from earlier developmental periods is that your child will begin to carry large objects while moving. For example, being able to carry their favorite stuffed animal across a room to show an adult is a good way to demonstrate this milestone.

They Can Sort Toys Based on Certain Categories

Sorting toys is a great cognitive exercise for your child to practice. This is one of the most useful 21 month old baby milestones, as learning how to sort toys will not only train their brain, but also their motor skills. For example, giving them toy sets where they have to match shapes to holes can teach them about physicality just as much as it can about shapes. If you want to encourage your child’s development at this stage, we recommend also introducing numbered blocks to them and giving them tasks to organize them chronologically.

Your Baby Will Start Playing Hide-and-Seek

With your baby learning a lot about the ways in which they can move around the world, it makes sense that they would always want to be on the move. This will inevitably lead your baby to playing hide-and-seek! This is a great way to not only encourage them to move around more frequently, but also use their reasoning skills to figure out where someone is hiding.

They Will Use Drawing Utensils

Though your child has likely needed assistance when scribbling with crayons for long periods of time, at 21 months they will be able to do significantly more. Many 21 month old babies will celebrate their newfound creative liberties by scribbling extensively with crayons, regardless of which surface they are scribbling on. This is one of the 21 month old baby milestones that many parents need to be careful about, as your child might begin making art on your wallpaper!

They Can Follow Specific Instructions

While 21 month old baby milestones are often about children understanding their freedom in the world, they will also begin to push even more limits than before. This is why it’s important to continually try and teach your child the limits of their home. Thankfully, your child will be able to interpret instructions at this age, making it easier for you to direct them in certain directions.

They Will Start Trying to Dance

As your child begins to walk and run more frequently, they will also start to explore more complicated forms of movement. This will include them trying to dance when they hear music, associating the sound with certain types of grooving. This is one of the 21 month old baby milestones that they won’t completely develop, but it’s definitely one that you should continually encourage.

They’ll Become Fascinated by Mirrors

When you’re buying new books for your child to play with, we recommend finding some that either have mirrors on the cover or in the inside. This is because that your child will start to really enjoy engaging with mirrors, trying to use them in a variety of situations. We encourage you to expose them to mirrors to show them that they are embodying a physical space, something that will help your child understand their body and headspace better.

Your Child Will Try Talking to the World Around Them

As your child is growing their vocabulary, they will also be working on their communication skills. This 21 month old baby milestone will also find them trying to talk to you, indicating things in their environment that they either enjoy or do not like. However, they will still not be able to form entire sentences consistently, making this communication a bit fragmented. If you’ve been a parent for 21 months, though, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with your child’s personal preferences and needs.

If you want to help your child explore communication on a more personal level, we recommend introducing objects to your child. For example, holding objects up to them and repeating their names is a great way to allow them to make connections between words and objects. By doing this, they’ll be able to expand their vocabulary and also use those words in situations to try and communicate to you. If your child does not have an expanded vocabulary at this age, that is no problem—all children learn differently and will have different learning experiences. However, if your child’s vocabulary hasn’t expanded in the past few months at all, then perhaps it’s time to get a doctor’s opinion.

They Might Have Tantrums When They Don’t Get Their Way

Everybody knows that the 21 month old baby milestones are riddled with deviance. This is because your child is trying to become familiar with the world around them, causing them to push boundaries that you’ve set. However, if you don’t give your child exactly what they want, they might throw a tantrum, so be careful. It’s important that you know how to settle your child in place of a tantrum and clarify boundaries in a way that is amicable and caring.

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