At 22 months, your toddler will make it quite clear when they want to do something all by themselves. Depending on their personality, that could be anything—from feeding to getting dressed to buckling in the car seat. Other kiddos are more comfortable being “babied.” In some ways, this can make your life easier—especially if you’re a perfectionist or in a rush. But, push back against the tendency to swoop in and take care of everything for your kiddo. What they need most is encouragement. 

Your 22-Month-Old’s Behavior

You’ll want to think about encouraging their positive behaviors while putting a quick stop to unpleasant behaviors. One of the best ways to go about this is using my “green-light, yellow-light, red-light” approach. A quick refresher:

  • Green-light behaviors are good. Examples include sharing, putting away toys, eating a good meal... Foster more positive moments like these through praise, confidence-building activities (like playing the boob), routines, and loving attention.
  • Yellow-light behaviors are annoying. Think: whining, interrupting, not doing what you asked, and so on. Help your child learn better responses by connecting with respect, offering win-win compromises, and giving mild consequences (like kind ignoring or a clap-growl).
  • Red-light behaviors must be stopped immediately. These behaviors include hitting, breaking an important family rule, or doing something dangerous. Stop these behaviors in their tracks with a “take-charge consequence,” like time out

Your 22-Month-Old’s Brain

If you were to chart out your toddler’s thought process, it would probably look a lot like a squiggly line that moves all over the place. Yes, some kids naturally seem to have better attention spans than others—but that’s all relative for toddlers.  

Factors that can affect attention span include interest in the task at hand, comfort with their surroundings, if they are hungry or tired, learning disabilities, mood disorders, and more. That said, don’t expect too much for now. In general, if your 22-month-old can stay focused on a task for about five minutes, they are right on track! 

Something even toddlers with limited attention spans tend to enjoy? Nursery rhymes! So much more than catchy songs and stories, nursery rhymes can help children develop an ear for spoken word, improve their vocabulary, and learn about syllables. For now, this can boost language comprehension and verbalization skills—but also is part of the foundation for reading down the road.

22-Month-Old Milestones (and Beyond!)

At 22 months, your little one is probably quite the pro and walking and even running. Watch now as they work on more motor skills, such as kicking, throwing, and balancing. Gross motor skills like these pull on several different muscle groups and require coordination. Think now how far your child has come since the days when they couldn’t even roll over! 

For many parents with kiddos approaching 2 years, potty training is on the mind—either because of peer influence, personal goals, or signs of readiness from your child. But definitely wait for signs of readiness from your child before ditching diapers. 

If your kiddo wants to sit on the toilet or is telling you when their diaper is dirty, you can start moving in the potty training direction by reading books about potty training, allowing them to sit on the potty, and asking them to help you pick out a training toilet at the store. Just know that although there certainly are kids who potty train before the age of 2, it’s usually an easier and faster process if you wait a few months—or more!

Your 22-Month-Old and Teething

Yep, your 22-month-old teeth is still getting new teeth! Here are teeth to expect around this age:

  • Upper canine (cuspid): between 16 and 22 months
  • Lower canine (cuspid): between 17 and 23 months
  • Second lower molar erupts: between 17 and 23 months
  • Second upper molar erupts: between 25 and 33 months

 See the complete teething schedule here! And for help easing your tot’s pain, check out our go-to teething tips and a guide to pain relievers for babies and toddlers. 

Your 22-Month-Old’s Sleep: Child Nightmares and Night Terrors

Your child has been sleeping soundly for hours and then wakes up in a state of alarm. It can cause you to panic, too! Sleep disruptions are never fun, but especially when they involve your child being so upset. Here’s what to know about confusional arousals and baby night terrors

  • About 1 in 20 young kids experiences sleep terrors, although they generally don’t begin until after the age of 4. If either parent has a history of sleep terrors, the chance the child will experience the same increases. 
  • Night terror episodes can last more than five minutes. While experiencing this, your kiddo may seem to be in a real state of distress—but can’t really be comforted by parents. This is because the child is still in a deep state of sleep, even though it doesn’t seem that way. The best thing to do is stay with the child until it passes with them waking up or settling back into a restful sleep.
  • Nightmares are more common and can begin closer to the age of 2. These can be upsetting to children during the night and after they wake if they have recollections of the scary dream.


< 21-Month Milestones | 23-Month-Milestones >




  • The Happiest Toddler on the Block, Dr. Harvey Karp, MD
  • The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep, Dr. Harvey Karp, MD
  • American Dental Association: Teeth Eruption Chart

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.