Developmental Milestones

12-24 months

There will be lots happening in your toddlers development between 12 and 24 months. But it’s important to remember that no toddler is the same. As with babyhood, toddlers reach milestones at their own pace, and the guide below is just that; a guide.

If you are concerned, speak to your GP or community health nurse.

By the time your baby is a toddler at 12 months, their ability to crawl will be excellent. They’ll move fast towards objects of desire, and begin to hone another useful skill; climbing! Drinking from a cup, even feeding themselves will start to become and interesting challenge.  By this time, they will have a strong emotional attachment to mum and dad and will miss you or show some upset when separated from you. They can understand a few words and follow simple commands if accompanied by body language.

Your toddler’s dexterity will improve drastically, as will their desire to pick up objects using the pincer grip. This will allow them to engage in drawing, colouring, and painting. Your toddler will also show some more self-awareness, and become shy around new people, or even when they realize they’re being watched. They will listen to and respond to their own name, even self-identifying by saying it, instead of ‘Me’ or ‘Mine’. Your toddler now will also recognise their face in the mirror, and much like narcissus, be enamoured with it!

If your toddler hasn’t started to walk at this stage, then it might be the time to contact your GP for some advice.

Stairs are now the new challenge on the block, though watch them carefully when they attempt them – their legs are not quite long enough yet. Your toddler at this stage will also start to play next to children, but not necessarily with other children – the ego is still all-powerful. Your toddler will show some ability in dressing and undressing, as well as eating and drinking on their own. Though at this stage they can start to exhibit some fussiness around food that wasn’t previously a problem.

Your toddler will also become more emotional feeling complicated emotions like anger, excitement, and shame. This can lead to them processing these emotions through temper tantrums. Though your toddler may be sleeping for two to three hours during the day, you may notice some disruption to their sleep pattern. Separation anxiety can start to ease of between 22 and 24 months.

Language skills tend to explode around this age with toddlers knowing approximately 50 words, and constructing sentences of about two or more words to iterate what they need (or desire!).