Big Toddler Milestones to Watch For

Babies grow up and develop so quickly. For most kids, toddlerhood typically begins with walking and lasts from ages one to three. Toddlers seem to learn something new each day as they progress from one toddler milestone to the next. If you are the parent of a toddler, get ready to add new updates to your child's memory book on a frequent basis!


Toddlerhood is kicked off by your little one's evolution from crawling to walking. Some kids take their first steps as early as eight months, while others don't start until 16 or 17 months. In the early walking period, your toddler will usually practice standing and bending down, as well as push or pull toys along the ground. As he gets older, and more confident, he'll start carrying items while he walks. From around 19 to 24 months, he'll usually learn to run as well. In the third toddler year, your darling will probably add jumping, skipping, climbing and balancing on one foot to his walking repertoire.


Many parents say that they couldn't wait for their baby to talk and now they can't get him to stop talking. They probably were talking about the toddler phase. By 13 months, most toddlers can say at least three words, such as "Mama," "Dada," and "bye." At 14 months, they have probably picked up several new words, including "dog" and other frequently used terms. You can help your child's development by introducing rhyming songs and games at this point. She will also learn the often dreaded, "No!" too. By 19 months, your toddler will start using verbs and may even start speaking in sentences at the 20-month mark. By age two, she will most likely ask you seemingly never-ending questions.

Motor Skills

Most toddlers develop fine motor skills during this period in life. If your little one is between one and two, show him how to roll a ball back and forth with you. By age three, he should be able to throw (and maybe catch) it, too. Your toddler will probably be able to make marks on a piece of paper by 18 months and may even be able to draw a line or a circle by age two. Other motor skill milestones during the toddler period include dressing and undressing, stacking and sorting, and filling and dumping.

Social Development

While your baby's world revolved around you and close friends and family during the first year, toddlerhood is the beginning of a lifetime of friendships and social interactions for your little one. Toddlers learn a sense of "me" in months 13 to 16. By month 18, she may start acting interested in other kids and even begin playing and interacting with other children. Between 18 months and two years, your toddler may not understand how to play well with others and may prefer to watch older kids or her own peers from a distance. Some toddlers may even argue, physically push or want to boss around their peers. However, by age two, most kids have observed enough interactions and begin to actually play well with others.

Toilet Training

While you may be sad that your baby is growing up, you'll probably be happy when he finally learns how to use the bathroom on his own. This physical milestone occurs differently for each child. Some are potty trained around 12 months, while others don't start practicing until age two. Many parents begin trying to start the training process by 18 months. Most 2-year-old toddlers are ready to potty train because they now understand the concept of everything having a place, including the contents of their diapers.

Delayed Milestones

Finally, don't worry if your toddler isn't on the same timeline as other kids near his age or his siblings -- every child develops at his own individual pace. If you think your child is having developmental problems, talk to your pediatrician. You may be able to catch issues before they turn into learning problems by simply helping your child with physical or cognitive exercises.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Big Toddler Milestones to Watch For