Child Development

Toddler Milestones

Development is a journey where each child moves forward in a series of steps. Early milestones are important when one is assessing a child for any areas of concern and their achievement holds true even when the child is older. I would like to continue from my earlier post on infant development and the milestones to look out for. These milestones are guidelines to help you observe your child as he/she goes through these stages or even if you have an older child and they have not successfully completed these stages. Please use the below checklist as a way of understanding whether there is a need for a further evaluation of your child’s cognitive, motor, social and emotional skills. It is always best to consult a pediatrician or a clinical psychologist for further assessment.

We are now going to look at the major developmental tasks and speech milestones in the toddler phase. Do not worry if your child has not completed one or two tasks but look at the overall picture of his/her development. Please use the below checklist only as a guideline to observe your child and if you find any concerns, do visit your doctor today.

Developmental tasks Expected age Completed
Walks well without support 2 -3 years  
Carries toy while walking 2-3 years  
Squats to pick up a toy 13 – 18 months  
Recognizes self in the mirror 2-3 years  
Stacks two objects or blocks 13-18 months  
Refers to self by name 2-3 years  
Feeds self using a spoon or own hands 2-3 years  
Drinks from glass unassisted 2-3 years  
Occupies self in play 2-3 years  
Goes up on steps using two feet at a time 3 years  
Walks on tiptoe 3 years  
Runs easily 3 years  
Unwraps candy 3 years  
Pulls off socks as part of undressing 3 years  
Helps adults put away toys when asked 3 years  
Turns pages one at a time 3 years  

*Table taken from the “Academic Problems in primary school children enrolled under SSA-Karnataka”

Speech and language milestones in the toddler phase:

Expected Age Receptive language Expressive language Completed
13-15
months
Follows 1-step
command
without gesture
Points to 1 body part; Immature
jargoning; Can say up to 5 words
 
16-18
months
Point to 1
picture;
Points to 3 body
parts and to self
Mature jargoning; Up to 25 words;
Giant words: “all gone, thank-you”
 
19-24
months
Begins to
understand
pronouns;
Follows 2 step
commands;
Points to 5-10
pictures
Up to 50 words;
2-word sentences;
Early telegraphic speech,
for example: “Give water”, “Want mama”
 
25-30
months
Understands “just one”;
Points to parts
of pictures
Uses pronouns appropriately;
uses plural words;
speech is 50% intelligible
 
3 years Knows opposites;
follows 2
prepositions
250+ words;
3-word sentences;
Answers “what” and “where” questions;
speech is 75% intelligible
 

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