As your toddler grows


How old? A toddler is a child between the ages of 12 months and 36 months.

Your toddler is moving around more than before. He is aware of himself and what’s around him. As your toddler grows, he will develop his own ideas and feelings.

Every toddler is different. Your toddler may take longer than other toddlers to do something new. If you are concerned, talk to your toddler’s doctor.

Your toddler from 12 to 18 months
When your toddler is about 12 months old, he may be walking and getting into everything. He probably will be able to eat with a spoon and hold a cup. Your toddler will love toys and probably understand how they work.

• He may have tantrums.
• He may be afraid of strangers.
• He may show affection to people he knows.
• He may play make-believe, such as feeding a doll.
• He may hold on tight to parents or caregivers when something is new.
• He may point to show others something interesting.
• He may say a few single words.
• He may say ”no” and shake his head “no.”
• He may point to get other people’s attention.
• He may point to some of his body parts.
• He may scribble by himself.
• He may walk up steps while holding onto a handrail or someone’s hand.
• He may pull toys while he is walking.
• He may help to undress himself.

Read more about a 1-year-old here>>

Your toddler from 18 to 24 months
When your toddler is about 18 months old, he may begin to say phrases with 2 or 3 words. And he probably will begin to sort things by shape and by color.

• He may copy others, especially adults and older children.
• He may get excited when he is with other children.

• He may become more and more independent.
• He may play next to other children and sometimes include other children, such as in chase games.
• He may point to things or pictures when you name them.
• He may know names of familiar people and the names of body parts.
• He may follow simple instructions.
• He may repeat words he hears in conversations.
• He may finish sentences and rhymes when you read him books that are familiar to him.
• He may play simple make-believe games.
• He may build towers using 4 or more blocks.
• He may use one hand more than the other.
• He may follow instructions that have 2 steps, such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
• He may name things in a picture book such as a cat, bird or dog.
• He may stand on his tiptoe.
• He may kick a ball.
• He may begin to run.
• He may walk up and down stairs holding on to the rail.
• He may throw a ball.

Your toddler from 24 to 36 months
When your toddler is about 24 months old, he may follow instructions that have 2 or 3 steps. He will probably enjoy playing games and may take turns playing.

• He may copy adults and friends.
• He may show affection for friends.
• He may show concern when a friend is crying.
• He may show many different types of emotions.
• He may dress and undress himself if someone helps him.
• He may name most familiar things.
• He may begin to understand words like “in,” “on,” and “under”.
• He may say his first name, age and sex.
• He may tell you his friend’s name.
• He may speak well enough that strangers will understand him most of the time.
• He may work the buttons, levers, and moving parts on toys.
• He may play make-believe with dolls, animals and people.
• He may play with puzzles that have 3 or 4 pieces.
• He may copy a circle with a pencil or crayon.
• He may turn book pages one at a time.
• He may build towers of more than 6 blocks.
• He may climb well.
• He may run easily.
• He may pedal a tricycle (a 3-wheel bike).
• He may walk up and down stairs with one foot on each step.

Read more about a 2-year-old here>>

Is your toddler a WIC toddler? If your toddler is a WIC participant and you are concerned about how he is developing, you can talk with your WIC educator about your concerns.