Your baby: Month 20

What's the baby up to?

Growth points

Your toddler has a limited vocabulary and although it might look like he understands what you are saying, he may not. Don’t use too many words but at the same time avoid baby talk most of the time. And while he'll see if you're cross or sad, he won't know why, or be able to empathise.

 Use “nonverbal” communication like facial expressions, hand movements and your body language.
 Keep eye contact with your toddler when you speak to him.
 Kneel next to him so that you are on his eye level when you speak to him.
 Try not to raise your voice, rather change your tone of voice.
 Show affection through touch not only words or actions.

Other stuff to think about

Keep it clean

Improve your odds of keeping your toddler's hands germ-free by ensuring they wash their hands after using the toilet, coming in from outdoor play, playing with pets, and messy play. It should be a habit to wash their hands before each meal or snack.

 Toilet training goes a lot easier if you use a special potty seat, or one that fits over an adult toilet seat.
 Although you will want to do an “once-over” afterward, have your toddler wipe him- or herself with toilet paper. Teach girls to always wipe from front to back.
 Toddler bowel movements can be messy. Use disposable wipes to add an extra level of cleanliness between baths.
 Teach kids the proper names for their body parts.
 Teach your toddler to brush herown hair morning and night to prevent knots. A soft nylon brush made especially for toddlers is best for their still baby-fine hair.
 A good detangling shampoo or conditioner will make hair-washing tear-free and more pleasant.
 Make sure your toddler rinses soap and shampoo off thoroughly to prevent irritation.

Go back to the complete list of Baby week-by-week updates.

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