Learning & Development - Toddler (1-3 years)
Toddler Development: 1-Year-Old
"Your baby’s first big birthday has arrived! As you get ready for the celebration, think back over the last 12 months as a time of incredible growth and development. In just one year, your baby has transformed from a completely helpless newborn into an independent little person.
One Year Baby Milestones: Motor Skills
Your 1-year-old should be standing alone, and may even have taken those first tentative solo steps. If she hasn’t, hopefully, you’ll have your video camera ready to capture the moment when she does.
Wobbly WalkerMother And Son Playing With Toys On Floor At Home
Push toys will be tons of fun for your tot at this age because it allows them to show off their new skill! Toys like these also help them build balance and strength. Baby may still fall occasionally, but it’s okay. Helping baby up and saying “you’re ok” will get them back walking in no time.
One Year Baby Milestones: Growth
Your baby’s weight has likely tripled since birth. At month 12, babies also have grown by 50% -- about 9 to 11 inches -- and their brain is about 60% of its adult size. After an incredible one-year growth spurt, your baby’s weight gain will start to slow down as her activity level increases.
One-year-olds are pretty good at doing a few things for themselves, such as eating with their fingers, helping their parents dress them, and turning the pages of a storybook. Your baby should be starting to use a few everyday items correctly, including a spoon, telephone, and hairbrush. Although her aim with these things might not be perfect, she certainly has the right intention.
One Year Baby Milestones: Sleep
By one year, your baby should be sleeping less during the day and more at night. Most children at this age still need an afternoon nap, but their morning nap may be a thing of the past.
One Year Baby Milestones: Eating
At one year, you can make the transition from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk. Start with whole milk. Your baby needs the extra fat for healthy brain growth and development. Don’t transition to low-fat milk -- or any other low-fat foods, for that matter -- until after your baby’s second birthday, or advised by your pediatrician.
If you’ve been breastfeeding, you might decide that one year is the time to start weaning your baby. It tends to be easier on both mother and baby to wean gradually, dropping one feeding at a time. The bedtime feeding is usually the last one to go. To replace nursing, you can give your 1-year-old a cup of milk, a snack, or something to suck on.
Now that your baby is eating more table foods, be very careful about choking hazards. Avoid giving your 1-year-old whole grapes, pieces of hot dogs, popcorn, or any other foods that could get stuck in her throat. Always stay close by your baby during mealtimes. You can now give foods that contain honey. Eggs and nut butter are also acceptable.
One Year Baby Milestones: Communication
Your baby’s vocabulary is expanding quickly. You’ll probably hear a few words, like “Mama,” “Dada,” “no,” or “uh-oh” on a regular basis now. One-year-olds learn language by imitating their parents’ speech, so expect that your baby will turn into a little mimic if she hasn’t done so already. At this point, mama really refers to mama, and dada really means dada.
By one year, babies are becoming more social. They are starting to understand what people are saying to them, and they are using their newfound language skills to get the attention of those around them. In month 12, your baby will also start testing the limits, which can include responding to your requests with a “no” or even throwing a tantrum. Be firm and let your child know that these behaviors are not acceptable. Meanwhile, reward good behaviors with praise or a treat.
Now that baby is a little older you might be able to tell that they understand the words you are saying. Your baby probably has several words that they use regularly and can even respond to simple questions you ask like, “Do you want a cookie?”
Your baby will prefer certain people to others now. You can see her becoming shy or anxious around strangers, and clinging to you when you try to leave. Both stranger and separation anxieties will pass. For now, be sympathetic to your baby’s worries. When you have to go out, make leaving as quick and painless as possible and assure your baby that you will return soon.
No… A Favorite Word
You may have noticed that baby is very curious and is constantly getting into things in their quest to discover new things. Because of this, you may be using the word “no” quite a bit and it may even be your tot’s favorite word. Saying “no” is your child’s first show of independence.
One Year Baby Milestones: Baby’s First Shoes
Now that your baby may be starting to walk, it’s time to think about buying that first pair of baby shoes. Though you might be tempted to reach for the cutest shoes on the shelf, comfort, and fit are the most important priorities for your baby’s first pair of shoes. Go to a store that specializes in children’s shoes and ask a salesperson to measure your baby’s feet. Make sure there is enough room in the shoes for your baby’s feet to grow. You’ll probably need to go shoe shopping again in two or three months as your baby’s feet continue to grow.
Tips for Your Baby’s 12th Month:
One-year-olds love to explore. Provide plenty of opportunities for safe exploration by filling cabinets with unbreakable Tupperware containers, wooden spoons, and whisks or by putting large, different textured items inside a box. Use a firm ‘no’ when something is off limits and redirect your baby's attention.
If your child is a good climber, think about removing the bumpers from her crib and dropping the crib mattress now so that she doesn’t get a leg-up and fall over the top of the crib railing.
At your one-year visit, check with your pediatrician to make sure your baby is up-to-date on all vaccinations.
Make sure that the house is still baby proofed with stairways gated, no blind cords hanging down where baby can reach them, pots and dishes put back away from counter edges, and household cleaners out of reach.
Make sure your baby is in a rear-facing car seat.
Personality All Their Own
Your child’s likes and dislikes are becoming more obvious during playtime. They probably like to stack blocks and knock them down, scribble, and put things in containers. All of these are great activities to learn new fine motor skills."
Your Child at 2: Milestones
At this age, your child should be able to:
Stand on tiptoes
Kick a ball
Start to run
Climb on and down from furniture without help
Walk up and down stairs while holding on
Throw a ball overhand
Carry a large toy or several toys while walking
You've probably noticed how your child has stopped staggering when he walks and has transitioned to the smoother heel-to-toe movement of the typical adult walker. In the months ahead, he'll become a more coordinated runner, learn to walk backward, turn corners, and with a little help, stand on one leg.
He'll naturally improve his motor skills by running, playing, sliding down slides, and climbing. It's good for him to have a time each day to go outside and explore. This will let him improve motor skills, have fun, and let off steam. But you need to supervise him.
Hand and Finger Development
Your child should be able to:
Scribble at will
Turn over a container and pour out its contents
Build a tower of four blocks or more
By now, your child can coordinate the movements of his wrist, fingers, and palm so he can turn a doorknob or unscrew a jar lid. He also can hold a crayon or pencil, even though the grip might seem awkward to you. Still, it's good enough for him to start making some lines and circles on a piece of paper. His attention span will be a lot longer than at 18 months and now that he can turn the pages in a book, he can participate more when you read together. Drawing, building blocks, or using a construction set will keep him happy for a long time.
Your toddler may show a preference for either his left or right hand at this age. But there's no need to pressure him to choose one or the other. Some kids develop a preference later on. Others can use either hand equally well. So let it happen naturally.
Your child should be able to:
Point to things or pictures when they are named
Know the names of parents, siblings, body parts, and objects
Say a sentence with two to four words
Follow simple Instructions
Repeat words overheard in a conversation
Your child may:
Copy others, especially adults and older children
Get excited around other kids
Show growing independence
Play mainly beside, instead of with, other children
Show increasing defiance (doing things you told him not to do)
Be more aware of himself as separate from others
Learning, Thinking Skills
Your child should be able to:
Find things even when they're hidden under two or three layers
Starting sorting shapes and colors
Complete sentences and rhymes in familiar books
Play simple make-believe games
Follow two-part instructions (such as "drink your milk, then give me the cup")
Tell your doctor if your child can't do any of the following by age 2:
Walk properly -- he should not be walking exclusively on his toes or unsteadily after several months of walking
Say a two-word sentence
Imitate actions or words
Follow simple instructions
Remember skills he used to have