Your toddler is 23 months old!
Toddlers are notoriously resistant to change. If changes (like a new caregiver or even just a new sippy cup) are stressing him out, maintain stability in other parts of his life and offer support and understanding.
You may be wondering when your 23-month-old will stop asking to replay songs on the annoying kids’ playlist you just played for the five billionth time. Toddlers love repetition, so embrace this phase as they’re learning and processing new experiences and ideas.
Your child is making physical and verbal leaps and bounds, and you're probably astonished by the progress she's made. A year ago, she was a squishy baby attached to your hip. These days, she’s grown taller, probably leaned out a lot (oh, how we miss those cuddly baby rolls!) and is much more verbal and active.
23-Month-Old Weight & Height
Average weight of a 23-month-old is 25.9 pounds for girls and 26.3 pounds for boys. Average height of a 23-month-old is 33.7 inches for girls and 34.2 inches for boys.
Here are some milestones your 23-month-old may have hit or may be working on:
• Motor skills. Your 23-month-old might be kicking a ball, walking backwards, and may even be able to balance on one foot while holding onto a sturdy chair or wall. Soon, she might be able to pedal a tricycle.
• Speech. He's probably saying 50 words or as many as 100. He's probably working on saying sentences of two to four words, and is listening closely—learning up to 10 new words each day.
• Teething. Your toddler's lower second molars and/or upper second molars might be erupting, causing some teething discomfort.
• Potty Training. Some 23-month-olds show signs of potty training readiness. And it's okay to start if you feel she's prepared. But beware of putting pressure on your kid to potty train—it's still early. Most kids aren't quite ready to start until about 27 to 32 months.
As your child gets older, here’s advice and tips on how to deal with new behaviors:
• Tantrums. Get ready for the terrible twos. It's normal for a 23-month-old to completely lose control over his emotions—especially when he's tired or hungry. So keep your toddler well-rested and well-fed. When a tantrum starts, try to stay calm and use the art of distraction when you can.
• Autism. At the upcoming 2-year checkup, your child's pediatrician will likely ask you a series of questions about your child's behavior to look for signs of autism. Bring up anything you think may be atypical.
• Separation Anxiety. Your child is probably starting to figure out that if he throws a fit, you might not leave. As hard as it is, gently show him that his tears aren't going to change the routine. Keep goodbyes short and sweet, and reassure him you'll be back—and be specific with the details. For example, “I’ll be back after your nap.”
• Seeking approval. Soon your child will show signs she's aware of your approval…or disapproval. This is an important early step in learning positive behaviors.
Health is always a top concern for parents, and this age is no different. Some common health questions parents of 23-month-olds have include:
Whether your child loves or hates bedtime, you probably have questions about what's typical when it comes to sleep for a 23-month-old—and what to do when there are hiccups in the usual sleep routine.
How Much Sleep Does a 23-Month-Old Need?
Most 23-month-olds need around 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep, plus a nap of about 1.5 to 3 hours, for a total of about 13 to 14 hours of sleep per day.
Every kid is different, but your child's schedule may look something like this:
23-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
23-Month-Old Sleep Regression
Is your 23-month-old waking up at night? Sleep regression can happen because of teething, separation anxiety or a change in sleep routine. To get back to the usual snoozing routine, it's important to know the root of the problem, so you can help your child get through it. Stick with the usual bedtime routine and set limits (such as no sleeping in mommy and daddy's room) that will help your child get back on track.
When feeding a 23-month-old, curb your expectations. They're not likely to eat nearly as much as older family members, and they might seem to love a food one day, then totally reject it the next.
How Much Should My 23-Month-Old Eat and Drink?
One- to 2-year-olds should be eating much like you do: Three meals per day, plus two snacks. Offer him a variety of foods in all food groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy—daily.
A serving of pasta the size of a Ping-Pong ball, protein as big as four marbles, and chopped veggies or fruit around the size of four dominoes are all considered normal portions for a toddler this age.
What to Feed My 23-Month-Old
Continue to offer your child a variety of foods at each meal and snack. Most toddlers should eat about ¾ to 1 cup of fruits and veggies, ¼ cup grains and three tablespoons of protein per day.
Looking for some tasty and nutritious meal inspiration? Check out these food ideas for a 23-month-old:
23-Month-Old Feeding Schedule
23-Month-Old Won’t Eat
Got a picky eater? Most toddlers do get proper nutrition when their parents serve a variety of foods—even if it doesn’t always seem that way. But, unlike adults who often eat out of habit or boredom, toddlers tend to eat only when they’re hungry. And remember: New foods are scary to your toddler. So manage your expectations; it may take inspecting new foods several times before she’ll actually taste them—don’t force it. But continue trying, so she gets used to sampling different flavors.
Activities for a 23-Month-Old
Now that your tot is steady on his feet, there are lots of ways to have fun and stay active together.
Things to Do With a 23-Month-Old
Fun activities, games and toys for a 23-month-old include:
• Walking games. A game, like “Let’s try not to step on the cracks,” can keep your toddler on his own two feet when you’re out and about without the stroller.
• Pull toys. Your child is walking more smoothly than he did months ago and is probably ready to pull a wagon or a wheeled toy with a handle.
• Tricycle or balance bike. Look for a trike or bike built for a 2-year-old, so your child can learn to pedal or scoot.
23-Month-Old Baby Checklist/Tips
• Plan your child's second birthday party and send out invitations.
• Time for a third (or fourth) round of childproofing—now that your kid is an experienced climber and more thorough explorer.
• Keep a quote book. Now that your child is saying sentences, you'll want to write down the funniest and smartest lines as a sweet memento of the toddler years.