As parents, we all want to know that our kids are developing properly; that they’re at par with other kids their age. We want to ensure that our kids aren’t facing any disabilities or challenges when it comes to their development. In order to ensure this, we need to keep track of whether or not they’re achieving specific milestones that are considered normal for their age group.
The problem with this is that many of us don’t know what milestones to look out for that are normal for the age group. Defining age categories is a challenging task, but the generally accepted age group that is termed ‘toddler’ is taken between 12-36 months or 1-3 years old. In order to better equip you to properly gauge your child’s development, here are the milestones to look out for:
At 12 months:
General characteristics that are seen at the 1-year mark or at 12 months of age include:
-Using simple gestures like waving hands to greet people, and responding to simple requests.
-Attempting to imitate a parent and using simple words with tone changes.
-Problem-solving skills exist - kids know how different objects are supposed to be used and generally explore new things or the same things in -different ways.
-They exhibit having preferences or favorites whether it be people or objects.
-Kids exhibit shyness or fear in certain situations.
-Limited ability to walk without support which includes being able to sit up without help and pull them up to a standing position.
Between 12-18 months
General development that occurs in this period includes:
-Communication and language skills improve - they start pointing out things they want and can generally say many single words.
-Toddlers, this stage, begin showing more affection to familiar people, while they may express fear or discomfort in the presence of strangers.
-Toddlers generally begin to throw temper tantrums at this stage (by about 16 months).
-Kids at this stage generally engage in pretend play and can learn how to squat with a little help/demo.
-You kid should be able to scribble and turn pages in a book.
-By 18 months, your kid will know how to pull or push their toys
-Kids tend to eat with spoons or drink from cups without help from parents.
From month 19 to month 24
-By 19 months, toddlers can generally run a bit and are able to throw and kick a ball.
-In this period, they learn how to stand on tip-toes as well as climb things (furniture mostly) and can walk up and down stairs.
-They start to develop hand preferences at this stage and are also able to use a spoon and fork with sufficient coordination.
-They are able to follow two-step instructions and attain simple goals.
-Kids in this stage will engage in more elaborate pretend play such as taking care of a doll.
-Your child should be able to say simple sentences with a few words.
-Socially, kids get excited about children their own age and may even defy instructions given.
24 months to 30 months
-This is the stage in which you can think about potty training your toddler, but results vary because kids tend to take their own time with this one.
-At this stage, their coordination improves as they can now engage in activities such as stacking blocks.
-Vocabulary and communication skills also improve; speech becomes more understandable and they can string longer sentences (which make sense).
-They are able to perform self-care activities such as brushing teeth and washing hands, with assistance. They should also be able to take off their clothes and dress.
-They learn how to jump.
2 and a half to 3 years old can be considered the final stage of toddlerhood before a child enters childhood. You should be able to observe behavior such as:
-Being able to identify colors and pictures in books.
-Use more words to form longer sentences.
-Follow more complex instructions involving more than 2 steps.
-Starts showing affection and empathy and concern, and moves away from egocentrism.
-Gets affected by changes in routine.
-Is able to work with more intricate objects involve finger dexterity, such as buttons.
-Your child can probably ride a tricycle and solve easy few pieced puzzles.
-When looking for these milestones, do keep in mind that there are many individual differences to be considered when it comes to development.
Each child takes his/her own time and pace to develop skills. This is just a general framework of traits that kids are likely to show at these different stages. You can always help them along by promoting them and encouraging them towards certain behavior.
If you feel like there is some milestone your child hasn’t reached, wait a bit or try prompting them to behave in that way. If you still think that there might be an issue, consult a specialist. The best thing to do is to give your kid the time and the space to learn these behaviors and actions without interfering too much unless it’s to prompt them in the right direction!