Baby girl looking up
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Great Expectations: Year Two

Every day with a toddler is an adventure -- and there's so much to look forward to as your child grows. Wondering when your little one will start to walk, talk, and do all those cute toddler things? Here's what to expect in baby’s second year.

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Parents helping baby take first steps
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Baby's First Steps

One of the most thrilling toddler milestones usually comes early in the second year. That's when your child will probably walk without help, one wobbly step at a time. Most kids start walking between 9 and 17 months. The average age is about 14 months. There's no stopping them now!

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Boy toddler running (blurred motion)
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Running Around

The chase is on! About six months after your toddler masters walking, they will probably be running. Then the question is, can you keep up?

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Toddler boy climbing out of his crib
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Your child will really start to explore once they figure out they can go up! "Up" means climbing up stairs and climbing on the furniture -- and in some cases out of their crib -- so be prepared for an adventure.  Your toddler will probably start climbing furniture and stairs (while holding the railing) some time during the second year, so keep an eye on them. Once your child gets close to climbing out of their crib, stop using the crib.

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toddler kicking a soccer ball
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Kicking a Ball

Kicking a ball is a big step. Your toddler needs the coordination to kick, plus the ability to make the connection that if they kick the ball, it will roll or bounce. Once your child discovers that balls bounce, they will probably throw toys, food, and other objects to see if they bounce, too.

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toddler scribbling with yellow crayon
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Scribbling and Eating

It's too soon to tell if you’re raising the next Picasso, but your child’s early doodles will be priceless to you. During the second year, kids get more control over the small muscles in their hands and fingers. These fine-motor skills help toddlers scribble with crayons and eat with a spoon.

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Toddler girl feeding teddy bear
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Playing Make-Believe

Your child's imagination is coming to life. Between 18 and 24 months, a toddler's brain is ready to start playing make-believe. You may catch them "feeding" a teddy bear or talking into a toy phone. Enjoy their sense of magic.

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Girl toddler using mobile phone
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Talking, For Real

Until now, your toddler may mostly babble. But around 15-18 months, you can expect to hear some real words.  Between 18 and 24 months, most kids start using simple phrases, like "no more" or "go there." By age 2, you may even hear a short sentence or two.

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Two toddlers sitting in playroom
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Playing With Friends

Let the play dates begin! By the end of their second year, most toddlers show more interest in the company of other children. They may not be quite ready to share their toys when they play, but it's a big step in their budding social life.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 09/17/2020 Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on September 17, 2020


(1)   Image Source / Getty Images
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(3) Vladimir Pcholkin  / Taxi / Getty Images
(4) Steven Puetzer / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images
(5) Jan Tyler / iStockphoto
(6) James Woodson / Digital Vision / Getty Images
(7) David De Lossy  / Photodisc / Getty Images
(8) A. Chederros / ONOKY / Getty Images
(9) Olivier Ribardiere / Photodisc / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images


American Academy of Pediatrics.
Marat Zeltsman, DO, pediatrician, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD, medical epidemiologist, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC.
Michelle Bailey, MD, medical director, Duke Health Center at Southpoint.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on September 17, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.