Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months - Topic Overview
What kinds of growth and development occur during ages 12 to 24 months?
Your child's rapid brain development between the ages of
12 and 24 months causes amazing changes to happen—such as talking, walking, and
remembering—as he or she enters the toddler years.
The changes that happen in
this period are often grouped into five areas:
- Physical growth.
Expect your child to grow about
3 in. (7.6 cm) to
5 in. (12.7 cm) and gain
about 3 lb (1.4 kg) to
5 lb (2.3 kg).
- Cognitive development. This is
your child's ability to think, learn, and remember. Your child will start to
remember recent events and actions, understand symbols, imitate, imagine, and
- Emotional and social development.
Toddlers form strong emotional attachments and often feel uneasy when they are
separated from their loved ones. Around the same time, toddlers typically want
to do things on their own or according to their own wishes. This sets the stage
for conflict, confusion, and occasional breakdowns.
- Language development. At 15 to 18 months, a typical toddler
understands 10 times more words than he or she can speak. By the second
birthday, most toddlers can say at least 50 words.
- Sensory and motor development.Motor skills develop as your child's muscles and
nerves work together. Toddlers gain control and coordination and become steady
walkers. Climbing, running, and jumping soon follow.
Why are routine medical visits needed?
During a well-child
visit, the doctor examines your child to find out whether he or she is growing
as expected. Your child will get any needed immunizations, and the doctor will ask you questions about the new things your child
is doing, such as saying any words or walking. The doctor may also check your child for signs of developmental problems such as autism.
routine checkups for your child. Talk to your
child's doctor about when to make these appointments.
When should I be concerned about my child's growth and development?
Talk to your doctor if your child is not reaching
normal growth and development milestones. But keep in mind that every child
develops at a different pace. A child who is slow to reach milestones in one
area, such as talking, may be ahead in another area, such as walking. Usually
it is of more concern when a child reaches developmental milestones but then
loses those abilities.
See your doctor if your child makes repetitive motions or odd
movements or has not
bonded well with others, especially caregivers. Also, watch for signs of
hearing problems, such as not reacting to people or loud noises.
hesitate to talk to your doctor anytime you have concerns about your child,
even if you are not sure exactly what worries you.