McKenna Toddler Summary: 20 Months Old

A full summary of life for this 20month old. Find out what daily life was like and find a 20month old sample schedule to follow.

McKenna 20 months

This is a summary for McKenna 19-20 months old. I don’t think I could love this age any more. Everything she does is adorable to me…well, almost. It was not adorable yesterday in church when she screamed several times at her siblings.

Okay, sidebar. My husband and I were both singing in sacrament with two other people. You don’t know the exact time you will go up; it is just after the speaker is done. It could be in one minute or 20.

McKenna was on one yesterday. I don’t know what it was. But I couldn’t promptly take her out into the hall like I usually do because I didn’t know when I would be up. I was so frazzled by the time it was time to sing.

Afterward, she tried to hit my husband (out of fun, not anger, but still not okay with me) and I took her out into the hall where she instantly transformed into an angel and sat on my lap as quiet and nice as could be. She knew she was in trouble. 

Let me tell you, we have one more month before church moves to 9 AM instead of 1 PM and I, along with many other mothers, could not be more excited.

Back on track. Despite the tumultuous times that come with this age range, I find this age so much fun.


Eating is as intense as ever. By intense I mean that she eats a lot of food and loves it.

She has figured out what sweet things are and where I keep them. She will stick a hand out and say “cookie” and is concentrating so hard she shakes.

If she had ever read Matilda, I would swear she is trying to move the sweet item to her using her mind.

She doesn’t understand why she can’t just have “cookie” whenever and why she can’t have it first in a meal, but she is start to figure out that is just the way it is.

A big event is that she is starting to drink a good amount of milk. Once I wrote that post on sneaking milk into the day, she started drinking it.

Maybe she was just holding out so I wouldn’t forget about writing the post? My mom also introduced her to chocolate milk on Thanksgiving, which you can imagine was a huge hit.

>>>Read: What To Do When Your Child Hates Milk: Adding Dairy to the Diet


This is going well. I think she is about to hit a huge language leap. As for right now, “uh-uh” currently means “yes.”

Speaking of chocolate milk, she finished her first cup, then held it out asking for more. My aunt took it and said, “Do you want more?” To which she replied “uh-uh.”

So my aunt, of course, put the cup down. McKenna then gave her a very dirty look. I had to explain that right now, no means yes. It was quite funny.


Hurray! Success! She is now officially in roomtime.

Each day, I would go in and put her on the floor as I set up the playpen and got it ready. She would cling to my leg all upset. That was good because it showed me she wasn’t ready without me having to officially try it.

One day when I set her down and she walked over to her toys and started handing them to me.

I took them, then she came and arranged them in a circle. She then sat in the middle of the circle and said, “bye-bye.” So I left. She played in her circle of toys not budging.

It took her a week to move at all, but she only got up to get more books then went back to her circle. She is slowly getting more comfortable with the idea of playing in the room.

I am not sure what drove her to decide playing in the room was okay, but I am thrilled to no longer be putting up and taking down a playpen!


She is such the little mimic right now. I love having her tag along with me as I sweep and do other chores. She loves to help and is a good little worker. I can give her the placemats and she will put them on the table as best she can. It is great. 


One day early on in this month, McKenna found her screaming voice. That female intuition kicked in one day and she screamed at the top of her lungs at Brayden.

He immediately backed off and she knew she had a powerful weapon at her disposal. I have been working to banish that behavior, but as you read in my opening story, that is definitely not a full success right now. 

>>>Read: The Screaming Non-Verbal Baby/Toddler


While I have adamantly vowed to never do bangs with a little girl (I don’t want to keep up on trimming bangs on a wiggly little one) I decided McKenna looks much better with bangs and had to cut them.

She held quite still, which isn’t surprising because she does pretty well when I do her hair. So I will be having to trim that every so often (remember my post Never Say Never?).

>>>Read: Parenting Tip #1: Never Say Never


Nap is good. Nothing of interest to report.


Just last night, she had her first nightmare. I know that cry. It took her a minute of being held to calm down.

I think it was largely to do with being tired from missing a nap at church. Somehow, Kaitlyn skipped the nightmare thing, but Brayden had them, so we know what a nightmare cry is like. 

>>>Read: Nightmares vs. Night Terrors: How To Help Your Child Through Each


One day, McKenna was playing a recorder (you know, the musical instrument) and fell and cut the roof of her mouth open. Scary. But she was okay.

Even so, we had to do a soft diet for a couple of days and had to keep the wound rinsed well with water. She is also a thumb sucker, so I wondered if it would interfere with her nighttime sleep.

Night one she did great.

Night two, she woke every two hours until midnight. We would go in, rocker her for a while, then put her in bed. Both my husband and I enjoyed this immensely. But after a couple of nights of that, I could tell she was starting to enjoy it immensely and was waking just to get a visit. 

The problem with that is that interrupted sleep is not as restful as uninterrupted sleep. So we cut back to just picking her up and holding her for a minute before we put her back in bed. After one night of that, she stopped waking up.

>>>Read: Weaning Thumb/Finger Sucking


9:00–bath/get ready
10:00–sibling playtime
10:30–independent playtime11:30–learning time
4:00/4:30: get up5:00–Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00–in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.



20 month old toddler daily schedule

12 thoughts on “McKenna Toddler Summary: 20 Months Old”

  1. I am just curious what you do on Sundays when you have church at 1 PM when that is when her nap usually starts?? Does she take an earlier nap for short? Boy, I can believe how relieved you'll be for 9 AM again! Just nosy how you rework the schedule and how McKenna does.

  2. First, I love your blog and have been so successful with BW and your posts! I havent had much reason to comment or questions until now: my 14 month old has been sleeping 7-7ish since about 3 months. I can't think of ONE instance that putting her to sleep has been an issue-sucks the thumb, rolls over and is out. Since 8 months, she has taken a morning and afternoon nap, and they've gotten a little shorter each (1.5, now only 1ish hours),but same nights. The last two weeks, she suddenly is fighting bedtime. We arent getting outside as much now to burn energy, so we pushed bedtime to 7:20 and that worked a few nights, but now she is babbling, or crying, until falling asleep at 8 and waking earlier, before 7. She sometimes is fighting the naps, as well. My thoughts are that she may be ready for 1 nap, but she seems tired at 9:30. And we tried one day for 1 nap and she ate lunch poorly, and only slept 1ish hour as usual. I dont know what to do, she's getting only 11 vs. her normal 12.5at night now and less daytime sleep a lot, too. Thoughts?

  3. I noticed that you mentioned your daughter sucks her thumb. My 17 month old sucks her first 2 fingers, usually when she is tired or upset, but definitely on a daily basis. My pediatrician says to not worry about it, that she will stop eventually. But of course I worry about it and wonder if I should have a plan to try to eliminate that habit. Just wondered what you plan to do and if you dealt with this with your other kids. Thanks.

  4. Thanks so much for your posts. You mentioned McKenna tried to hit your husband. We are dealing with hitting with our 18 mo son and I just wondered how you dealt with it? His hitting doesn't seem mean spirited but in fun but it's upseting to my 2 yo niece who is typically on the receiving end….Thanks!

  5. Ha. The Matilda remark made me laugh. So funny. One of my all time favorite books by the way. I used to day dream I was her…

  6. Michael and Yvonne, We put her down at 10:30 or 11 and she actually falls asleep. Weird, I know. Brayden never did that (we were on 1 when he was this age, too). We also often put her down for a quick nap when we get home from church. But it is getting worse and worse for her. She is routinely waking up crying one hour after going to bed every Sunday night. Poor thing. Just a couple more weeks!For more on how I work church at any time, see the "church" blog label or church index. I have lots more details.

  7. Baby Forcine,I would try doing some activities to get some physical stimulation for a few days and see if that solves it. Go for a short walk (all bundled), do some gross motor stuff in the house…try to get her moving.

  8. ajkhurdle, Kaitly also is a first to finger sucker. Some kids drop it naturally around 3ish. Kaitlyn hasn't done that. But I find if I put a band-aid on one of those fingers, she doesn't suck. For now, try limiting when she can suck her thumb. You can allow it in bed and in stressful situations (or situations you need her to be quiet), but at other times remind her not to suck.

  9. Kelly,I immediately removed her from the situation. McKenna also did it in "fun," but I don't want her to think hitting is ever okay. It will be a lot of years before she is able to playfully do things like that in a safe manner. So it is just no right now. I just remove her and not allow her to be near the person. So in your case, I would pick her up and not allow her to play with the niece anymore for a period of time. You could hold her on your lap or put her in a time out place. I like the holding on lap. Then you can still allow her to play with other things, but make it clear that she doesn't get to play with other people since she can't be nice to other people.Also, McKenna tends to do this when she is tired, so limit play around meal and bedtimes.

  10. Hi, I never post questions because I know the answer is usually somewhere on this blog! But I have looked for what you do about McKenna's screaming. What is the logical consequence for that? Is this one of the rare time out situations? My little one seems to do it most in the high chair, and she's little enough (almost 9 mos) that it's more of a squak. I'm not super worried about it, but my husband and I couldn't figure out the logical consequence here in case it evolves into a less cute issue. Thanks!

  11. Janice, I have a post coming on this next Tuesday, February 8. Maybe I will move it to this Friday? Watch for it Tuesday or Friday.


Leave a Comment