Baby's 21st Month - A Guide To Development And Milestones

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Weight and height aren’t the only indicators of a baby’s growth and development. The skills babies develop as they progress each month, referred to as developmental milestones, also mark their growth and development. For example, you may notice that by your baby’s 21st month, when they are just a few months away from turning two, they understand a few terms and how to use some objects.

Continue reading to learn more about the developmental milestones most babies achieve by 21 months.

21-Month-Old Baby Development:

There is nothing to worry about if your baby has not attained some milestones that are mentioned in the development charts. Every child is different, and it is best to let them develop at their own pace. While some babies remain ahead of the milestones, others reach them a little later. Each of these situations is perfectly normal. Get to know the 21-month-old developmental milestones (1):

1. Development Of Motor Skills:

Some of the motor skills that your baby has developed by this age are as follows:

  • Capable of climbing, running and walking.
  • Able to walk alone, carry a toy with him while walking and start running as well.
  • Able to kick a ball now.
  • Able to climb furniture and walk up and down the stairs.

2. Development Of Fine Motor Skills:

Your baby has now developed some fine motor skills. Take a look below:

  • Scribble without help.
  • Turn over a container.
  • Use one of the hands more than the other at this stage.

3. Development Of Cognitive Skills:

Some of the cognitive skills that your baby has developed at this stage are as follows (2):

  • Reasoning and thinking skills with the help of five senses.
  • Engage in turn talking.
  • Using buttons and switches on a toy.
  • Aware of the use of different objects like cabinets and drawers.

4. Development Of Language Skills:

Your baby has started developing language after the first birthday. By this time your baby shall be able to speak different words (2).

  • Recognize body parts, objects and people.
  • Use simple phrases and two or three sentences.
  • Follow simple instructions and can also point to similar objects.

5. Emotional And Social Skills:

Now that your baby enjoys the company of other children and loves playing with them, it is another developmental milestone (3).

  • At this age your baby has started imitating others and considers themselves as a separate individual.
  • This age marks the beginning of new found independence and also shows decreasing signs of separation anxiety.
  • They also start imagining and creating by indulging in pretend play.

Coping With Your Baby’s Tantrums During 21 Months Development:

The best thing that you can do is to keep your cool while they throw temper tantrums. Here are some tips (4) (5):

  • You must stay close to them and wait till they vent out frustrations.
  • Lend them a shoulder to cry or give him a hug to feel better. You can also distract with toys that they love.
  • Don’t show anger and speak to them in a calm and composed tone.
  • Asserting their will is a part of their growing up process. But make sure you don’t give in to their demands.
  • You may find them insisting on doing things that he has been asked not to. Make sure to be around when they show self harming behaviors such as hitting their head or any other body parts on the floor in a fit of temper.
  • Distracting them by taking them outside or inside, or showing them something interesting will help you subside their tantrums.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it normal for a 21-month-old to not talk?

Yes. Your child may be a late talker which means the toddler understands language, has developed play skills, movement, thinking, and social skills, but uses very few words for their age. They should have fulfilled certain points such as:

  • Has said simple words such as mama or dada by 15 months
  • Understands simple instructions such as “no” or “stop” by 18 months (6) (7).

2. How much does a 21-month-old understand?

At this age, toddlers will understand the concept of ‘mine’ and simple instructions such as ‘bring it to mum’ or ‘let’s go for a walk’. They may also start following two-step instructions (3) (8).

3. Does TV cause speech delay in a 21-month-old baby?

Children younger than 22 months do not seem to learn new words by viewing child-directed TV programs, and learning was found more effective in their natural environment. TV or screen exposure is thought to create stimuli that are absorbed but do not have developmentally constructive effects. This may affect brain development related to achieving language skills. Judicious use of screen time may improve vocabulary and language skills in two-and-a-half-year-old or older children (9).

4. Can we punish a 21-month-old baby for bad behavior?

Physical punishment or angry/abusive words should never be used against children. Toddlers of this age are susceptible to the fear of separation, and a “time-out” may be detrimental. They are not mature enough to understand consequences or verbal prohibitions. Moving the child from the place where they’re showing bad behavior and using a strict “No” may be appropriate at this age (10).

A baby’s growth and development are indicated by the milestones they achieve by a certain age. Your baby’s 21st month will be filled with many new experiences. Their motor skills will improve, and they will now be able to walk, run, kick, or climb. Babies will also develop better cognitive skills, allowing them to reason and think more logically. They will start using simple phrases and following instructions. By now, they will also indulge in pretend plays and display independence. However, at this age, babies will start to throw more tantrums. Staying calm and showering them with love can help you control their tantrums. It is important to remember that although every age marks some milestones, all children are different, and so are their abilities. So, do not compare your children with others. Instead, support them and give them enough time to achieve these milestones at their pace.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more