Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months - What to Expect
General growth and development
progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to
the next. Children who are 12 to 24 months of age make gains in five major
areas: physical growth, cognitive abilities, emotional and social development,
language skills, and sensory and motor development.
- Physical growth, although slower than
in the first year of life, continues at a steady pace. In the second year,
toddlers gain an average of
3 lb (1.4 kg) to
5 lb (2.3 kg) and grow an
average of 3 in. (7.6 cm) to
5 in. (12.7 cm) Also,
teething continues with the eruption of the first
molar teeth .
- Cognitive development is a child's
increasing skill at thinking, learning, reasoning, and remembering. A toddler
begins to recall past events, understand symbols, imitate, imagine, and
- Emotional and social development during the second
year is characterized by strong emotional attachments to parents. Your child
may feel uneasy and cry when he or she is separated from you. During this time,
toddlers typically develop two conflicting feelings: wanting both independence
and reassurance from their parents. Although their emotions change often,
toddlers' personalities and
temperament are becoming more defined.
- Language development rapidly progresses. At 12 months,
many children can say a few words. And they jabber often. At 15 to 18 months, a
typical toddler understands 10 times more than he or she can put into words.
Speech begins with one- or two-syllable words, such as "mama." This progresses
to short two-word sentences, such as "no peas" or "walk dog," sometime between
18 and 24 months. By 24 months, most toddlers can say at least 50 words.
- Sensory and motor skills advance as your toddler
starts walking and moving around. Climbing, running, and hopping soon
Although most children reach milestones, such as walking
and talking, by a specific age, it is important to remember that development
happens at an individual pace. Also, many children tend to make progress in one
area, such as talking, while another skill, such as walking, levels off. If
your child has a slight delay in an area, it does not always mean there is a
problem. But be sure to talk to your doctor anytime you have a concern.
Milestones by age
12 months (1 year) of age many children are walking without help or by
holding onto furniture ("cruising"). Most children will have a few teeth and
like to put almost anything in their mouths that they can. And many children
will say a few words and practice a lot of sounds. Your child may like to
"flirt" with you and other caregivers.
18 months of age—look out!—most children are walking with ease and anything
within reach is fair game. Your child may like to press buttons, move handles,
and turn knobs. You may notice your child pretending to "feed" a toy or a
similar act that he or she sees. Most children understand 10 times as many
words as they can say, including the names of some people, body parts, and
objects. Many children can often point to an object in a book when
24 months (2 years) of age most children feel excited, confused, and scared
about their emerging independence.
Temper tantrums may start happening regularly.
Children may start thinking in more complex ways, such as recalling events that
happened days earlier. A child's make-believe world gets bigger as he or she
may have play "events" rather than just one act. For example, he or she may
pretend to be a mommy or daddy and care for a baby by changing a stuffed
animal's diaper and feeding it a bottle. Most children say at least 50 words
and use two-word phrases. Not only can most toddlers walk, but they also can
run—and go up and down stairs.