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Toddler Development Milestones: 12-24 Months

Toddler

This is the age where your child will make huge developmental leaps, both physically and emotionally. Prepare yourself to adjust your expectations constantly for some amazing changes in your toddler’s motor ability, use of language and their social and emotional skills. This is all part of your little one developing into their own person!

Age
 Physical Development Language Development   Emotional and Social Development
12-18 months
 

Starts to learn to throw a ball. Encourage by rolling a ball between you, and moving further and further away until they want to throw it.

 

Starts squatting instead of bending down. Encourage by showing them to bend knees and squat instead of stooping over.

 

Begins to push or pull objects along. Encourage this activity by attaching a string to a toy car for your toddler to practise.

 

Starts to climb almost anything! Provide safe opportunities to climb, like sofa cushions or a toddler-friendly playground.
Shows interest in books and being read to. Read aloud to your toddler and encourage them to engage with their books and turn the pages when you read to them.   
18-24 months  Begins to run. Play tag or chase or race your toddler on a soft area to practise. Says a few single words to communicate. Create opportunities for your toddler to say words, and avoid finishing their sentences for them   Gains increasing independence and sees themselves as individuals. Practise patience and plan for more time for your toddler to do things by themselves, like pulling on their shoes. Say yes to their decisions if it isn’t unsafe, inconvenient or unreasonable.
After 24 months  Starts to learn to kick a ball. Encourage by using your feet instead of your hands to pass the ball between you and your toddler.  Uses words in small phrases. Model good speech rather than correct pronunciation or grammar. Learns empathy by connecting between their own feelings and behaviour and those of other people. Help your toddler to identify and accept their emotions. Express your own emotions to your toddler, but avoid blaming negative emotions on them. 

Keep in mind that the above chart is only a guideline. Each toddler is unique and will develop in their own special way and pace. If their development is very much delayed, or there are signs of the red flags below, consult a healthcare professional to discuss if there are any developmental problems.

Some worrying signs to keep tabs on:

  • Your toddler isn’t walking by 18 months.
  • Your little one has no understanding of the use of everyday objects.
  • By 18 months, your toddler is not saying at least six words.
  • By 24 months, your toddler isn’t speaking two-word sentences.
  • Your toddler doesn’t imitate words or actions during this period.
  • Your little one can’t, or doesn’t, follow simple instructions.
  • There seems to be a loss in the skills your toddler has already picked up.

References used:

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