Toddler Development Milestones: 1-3 years old

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Update Date 03/08/2020 . 2 mins read
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As a parent, you are probably watching your child closely, checking whether they are meeting their developmental milestones: like their first word, first tooth, first step, and more. Here is a checklist of the normal patterns of development and health milestones that you can use as a guide.

Toddler Growth and Development Assessment

Theories on Child Development

Theories on child development propose different types of milestones for a child’s growth process. For example, Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Child Development Theory focuses on how children’s thinking or cognitive function passes through four stages. Meanwhile, Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory also has four stages of child development, but it considers both how children think and how they socialize with friends and adults.

UNICEF has four domains that cover a child’s development:

  • Literacy-numeracy. A child needs to learn the alphabet and recognize the basic symbols for numbers.
  • Physical. A child needs the capability to move and play.
  • Social-emotional. A child can play with other children and does not easily get distracted.
  • Learning. A child can follow simple directions and do tasks independently.

These theories are important because they can be used as standards for screening a child’s development. Such standardization is especially important for children in developing countries like the Philippines who are in danger of malnutrition or poor home conditions, which can harm their cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional development. Generally, children who live in poverty have stunted growth or do not perform well in social or educational settings.

Types of Developmental Milestones

Here are milestones for a child’s development from 1 to 3 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

13-18-month-old developmental milestones

  • Moves independently, including walking, squatting, and helping themselves get dressed
  • Stacks objects
  • Develops a regular sleeping schedule
  • Eats a wider range of foods
  • Uses simple words and follows simple directions

The Best Learning Activities for Your One Year Old

19-24-month-old developmental milestones

  • Uses and understands more complex words
  • Is able to follow simple commands and directions (e.g., pick up your toy, put it in the box)

2-3-year-old developmental milestones

  • Gets excited when playing with other children and becomes affectionate or concerned over friends even without prompting from adults
  • Displays a wider range of emotions and behavior (e.g., defiant or stubborn behavior due to the need to be more independent)
  • Likes routine and may become upset if scheduled activities are not followed
  • Speaks in phrases and can answer simple questions
  • Understands many simple sentences
  • Starts recognizing shapes
  • Plays make-believe games
  • Performs physical activities like running, climbing, throwing
  • Can handle buttons, door handles, or crayons

Important Nutrients for Toddlers: What They Need

Key Takeaways

It is important to recognize the whole child when evaluating if the child’s development is on track. Physical development covers weight, height, and motor functions. Mental and behavioral standards cover domains like language and social behavior.

But experts emphasize that each child is unique and development is multidimensional. So, your child may have a different growing and development rate. If you are worried about whether your child is hitting their developmental milestones, then consult a pediatrician and share your initial checklist results.

Learn more about your Toddler here

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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