Your baby is officially closer to two than one! That means you're living with a busy, independent, and opinionated toddler—and even if they are not yet speaking clearly, they likely make sure you understand everything they want and need.
From running and jumping to dressing themselves, life may be a rollercoaster of laughing, tantrums, and exploration. Soon, when they can use more words to express themselves, things will get easier, but for now try and enjoy the ride.
Here’s what you may expect for 19 month developmental milestones.
Life With a 19 Month Old
You may have your hands full with a 19 month old toddler. At this age, they are becoming more independent and developing their own personalities. Here is an overview of what life may be full of.
- Exploration. 19 month old milestones may have to do a lot with curiosity about the world around them. They often will investigate objects, people, and their surroundings. They are keen observers and like to imitate the actions of adults and older kids. While picky eating is big at this age, they may still be interested in at least tasting new foods.
- Talking. While they may not be speaking in full sentences, they understand more than they can express and may get easily frustrated if you don’t understand what they’re trying to say. However, words and gestures are used in abundance and their vocabulary continues to grow, so soon they’ll make their wants and needs completely clear (if they aren’t already!)
- Independence. 19 month olds often want to do things on their own. They will attempt to dress themselves, feed themselves, and try out various activities without much help. This newfound independence can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for parents.
- Emotion. 19 month old milestones include developing a sense of self. This means they may exhibit a range of emotions from joy and curiosity to frustration and tantrums when things don't go their way, or they’re not understood. They also may start to show affection and empathy for others, such as giving hugs or comforting someone who is upset.
- Fun! Play is a significant part of a life of a 19 month old. They may enjoy pretend play, stacking blocks, playing with toys that have buttons and switches, and engaging in activities like coloring. They also love to run and climb, and their growing abilities may make the playground even more fun!
- Sleep Regression. The 18 month sleep regression may linger into 19 months because of all the developmental milestones. Most still need about 11-14 hours of sleep in a day, including one nap, so regressions can be disruptive to their routine. They pass though–keep to their routine and you’ll get through it. Apps like Smart Sleep Coach by PampersTM help make it easier to get through sleep regressions without disrupting their routine.
As toddlers continue to become more mobile and curious, keep an eye out for anything that may seem unsafe. Some are big risktakers!
As you enter the next phase with your 19 month old, remember each child develops at their own pace and the milestones you may experience can vary widely. Provide them with love, cuddles, and a safe environment while they navigate this stage of their 19 month old development.
Sleep and Nap Tips for 19 Months
Most 19 month olds have typically transitioned to one nap a day, and they may be getting a good amount of sleep at night—meaning you are too! However, it's common to encounter a sleep regression around 18 months, and you may not be out of the woods yet. The sleep regression at this age can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the significant developmental milestones and changes that happen around this age. Verbal, emotional, and physical developments can cause disruptions in their sleep patterns as they want to practice these new skills. Teething can also play a role!
Here are some strategies to help maintain your child's sleep routine if they are still experiencing symptoms of a sleep regression:
- Keep Your Bedtime Routine Consistent. Stick to a consistent and calming bedtime routine to signal that it's time for sleep. This can include activities like reading a book, having a warm bath, or gentle cuddling. Even during a regression, try to keep the time you start your routine the same.
- Create a Comforting Sleep Environment. Make sure your 19 month old’s sleeping space is comfortable, dark, and quiet. Use a nightlight or white noise machine to help create a soothing atmosphere, and make sure the temperature is set to 68-72 degrees.
- Teething Relief. If teething is causing your 19 month hold discomfort, offer teething toys, cold washcloths, or safe teething remedies to alleviate pain. Talk to your pediatrician to see what other treatments are recommended.
- Positive Sleep Associations. Encourage positive sleep associations, such as a favorite stuffed animal, lovie, or blanket, to provide comfort during the night. The American Academy of Pediatrics says this is okay for children 12 months or older.
- Be Patient. Remember that sleep regressions are a normal part of 19 month old development and will eventually pass.
- Consult with a Pediatrician: If the sleep regression persists or you have concerns about your toddler's sleep or 19 month old developmental milestones, speak with your pediatrician.
Motor Skills Milestones for 19 Month Old
Motor skills continue to mature all throughout toddlerhood, and this is no different at 19 months old. At this age, children are becoming more adept at both gross and fine motor skills. They are gaining confidence in their walking and running abilities, and many can climb stairs and engage in activities that require balance and coordination!
In the world of fine motor skills, they are developing the dexterity needed to pick up small objects using a pincer grasp and will likely practice that during mealtimes. They also are often eager to scribble and draw—make sure they are keeping their markers to the paper!
These milestones not only mark their physical development but also their growing independence and exploration of the world around them, making the 19 month developmental phase an exciting time for everyone.
Communication Skills Milestones for 19 Month Old
At 19 months old, your toddler may be able to say 50 to 100 words or more! Their expanding vocabulary helps them express their needs and desires, and while their speech may still be somewhat limited, they might be starting to form two-word phrases or simple sentences. This helps you better respond to them and stop guessing what they want—reducing potential tantrums and frustration for all! However be patient with them, it can still be upsetting when they feel like they aren’t understood.
They also now may understand a lot more—and often can follow simple instructions. Nonverbal communication skills, such as gestures, facial expressions, and body language, are also becoming more refined, allowing them to convey their thoughts and feelings effectively. This increased ability to communicate makes social interactions easier, and you may see them starting to make friends!
The 19 month milestones are a period of remarkable linguistic growth, and it is amazing—and even funny—to witness.
19 Month Old Mealtime Ideas
Picky—and fickle—eating continues into the nineteenth month. Sometimes they may refuse dishes they enjoyed just days ago, and other times they suddenly eat everything in sight!
Here are some tips for feeding your 19 month old
- Continue offering three small meals and a couple of snacks daily, even if they reject them.
- If they skip a meal or snack occasionally, don't worry—keep offering nutritious options and their diet will balance out over the next few days.
- Allow your child to decide what and how much they eat—they are independent and will eat if they’re hungry.
- Use mealtime as an opportunity to introduce good manners such as not speaking with food in their mouth and chew with their mouth closed.
- Let them practice their motor skills! Using spoons and forks, and their fingers, is all part of the learning process for 19 month developmental milestones.
19 Month Old Milestones Checklist
Here's a checklist of 19 month developmental milestones you might expect. Remember that children develop at their own pace, so not meeting all these milestones at this exact age is common and normal.
- Walks independently and may even start running and jumping
- Climbs stairs with support or hand-holding
- Builds simple towers with blocks
- Uses a pincer grasp to pick up small objects and eats with a spoon and fork
- Begins to scribble or make marks with crayons
Language and Cognitive Development:
- Has a vocabulary of around 50 to 100 words or more and may start forming two-word phrases or simple sentences
- Understands and follows simple instructions
- Points to body parts or common objects when asked
- Enjoys listening to stories and may turn pages in a book
- Engages in pretend play and imitates everyday activities
- Begins to sort objects by shape or color
Social and Emotional Development:
- Shows affection, such as giving hugs or kisses
- Displays empathy and may comfort someone who is upset
- Starts to understand basic concepts like "mine" and "yours"
- Shows interest in playing with other children, though parallel play is common at this age
Remember that every toddler is unique and developmental milestones are meant to offer a broad overview of what many children can do at a certain age. There's a wide range of normal development, especially when it comes to 19 month old developmental milestones. If you have concerns about your child's development, it's always a good idea to discuss them with your pediatrician.
How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
CDC, “How Much Sleep Do I need?”
American Academy of Pediatrics, “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5”
American Academy of Pediatrics, “The Wonder Years”
American Academy of Pediatrics, “Media and Young Minds”
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, “Toddler Bedtime Routines and Associations With Nighttime Sleep Duration and Maternal and Household Factors”
Behavioral Sleep Medicine, “The Family Context of Toddler Sleep: Routines, Sleep Environment, and Emotional Security Induction in the Hour before Bedtime”