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Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development

During ages 12 to 24 months, children learn and develop best in a caring and loving home from which they can safely explore and experience life. You can help nurture your child by knowing the challenges of toddlerhood, learning basic parenting techniques, and using behavior management strategies.

Physical growth and development

Promote your child's physical growth and development by:

  • Adopting healthy eating strategies. Although picky eating is common during this age, a simple and relaxed approach to eating usually helps your child to eat well. Offer healthy foods at regular times. It may also help to set a pattern by being together at the table for all main meals. For more information on helping your child to eat well, see the topic Healthy Eating for Children.
  • Seeing your doctor for all well-child exams. During these visits, the doctor will measure your child's growth to make sure he or she is on track. The doctor will also give your child any needed immunizations.
  • Teaching healthy habits to help reduce your child's risk of infections.

Thinking, reasoning, and memory skills

Promote your child's thinking, reasoning, and memory skills (cognitive development) by:

  • Building with blocks. Help your child learn to stack blocks and knock them down.
  • Scribbling on paper. You can find washable and thick crayons and pencils that are made for a toddler's fisted grip.
  • Playing with balls and other moving toys. Toddlers love to watch a rolling ball. It helps them learn to track objects and fosters eye-hand coordination.
  • Finding toys he or she can turn, sort, pound, push, and pull. Examples include knobs, sort-by-shape toys, and thick-paged books.
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