Development is a journey, not a race. Your toddler will probably develop in fits and starts. One week, your child might proudly learn to kick a ball and name three body parts. Then nothing happens for a while. The development process soon kick-starts again.
What your toddler might be doing
Below is a guide to some of the important milestones for children aged 1-3.
By 12 months, toddlers can:
- pull up to standing position
- get into a sitting position
- cruise (move from place to place, always holding on)
- clap hands (play pat-a-cake) and wave bye-bye
- indicate wants in ways other than crying
- respond to their own names most of the time
- look where you point when you say, ‘Look at the …’
- say dada and mama appropriately
- say at least one word
- point to things they want
- babble with changes in tone and pitch of voice
- take turns ‘talking’ with you.
By 18 months, toddlers can:
- use two words (by 16½ months)
- drink from a cup
- point to body parts
- point to interesting objects to ‘share’ them with you
- bring things to show you
- point to objects so you will name them.
By two years, toddlers can:
- take off an article of clothing
- 'feed’ a doll
- build a tower of four cubes
- identify two items in a picture by pointing (by 23½ months).
By 2½ years, toddlers can:
- use 50 words or more
- combine words (by about 25 months)
- follow a two-step command without gestures (by 25 months)
- use pronouns like I, me and mine
- use at least 50 words and understand even more
- combine words (by about 25 months) like ‘Daddy go’ or ‘All gone’
- follow a two-step command without gestures (by 25 months).
By three years, toddlers can:
- identify four pictures by naming
- wash and dry hands (just more than three years of age)
- identify a friend by naming
- throw a ball overhand
- speak and be understood half the time
- carry on a conversation of two or three sentences
- use prepositions (by, to, in, on top of).
All children develop at different rates. Your toddler might dawdle with some milestones. Don’t worry – children nearly always catch up. But you know your toddler best, so if you are worried about development, speak to your GP or baby health nurse.