Your baby’s development
The most prominent feature that you may notice about your 20 month old toddler may be his phobias which seem to have developed over night. So one week it might be strange noises and another week it might be tigers or doctors. You must understand that his imagination is developing at this stage and he cannot distinguish between what can actually happen and what cannot. So while you know that a tiger cannot possibly climb up to your tenth floor apartment and eat him up he doesn’t.
First of all acknowledge that these fears are very real to him, tell him about what you were afraid of as a kid and how you over came the fear. This will bring some level of normalcy to the whole situation. Another “new” behavior you may notice is that your angelic child has suddenly turned into this aggressive child who is kicking and yelling and biting. This is also quite normal for this age and this aggression usually stems from frustration, your child knows what he wants but he had no idea how to get it. Try to be patient, as aggression from your part will only worsen the situation. Treat it as a passing phase and help your child over come it.
Praise positive behavior, and give him ample opportunities to tell you what he is frustrated about. Then you will find that you can help him better. Physically you will notice that he is now able to run (though he is still a little wobbly) and will probably be able to kick a ball lightly and even climb stairs. Your toddler may begin to sting a couple of words together and will use every opportunity to show off his new skills.
Your life as parents
Being a parent to a 20 month old toddler can be exhausting and downright difficult with so many changes happening. Ensure that you teach your child that aggressive behavior, like hitting another child is simply not acceptable, however intense his feelings. Try not to spank your child as this will show that it’s ok to respond with aggression. Your child may still have trouble watching you leave the house. Tell him clearly when you will be back, like after lunch and make the farewell brief with a quick hug and a kiss.
Your child will probably want to do what ever you are doing at the moment, let him do it. If you are folding clothes, give him little face towels or handkerchiefs to fold and he will feel a sense of accomplishment. Listening and taking directions from you is a wonderful way for him to build on his language skills. So keep your cool and gear up for the terrible two’s.