Toddler Milestones, Behavior and Development


A toddler undergoes enormous growth and development. Here are the major toddler developmental milestones and characteristic toddler behavior.


      When a baby has been through one full cycle of a year after birth, he or she has officially crossed infancy and is said to be entering the toddler stage. As one year is also the approximate time for babies to begin to walk on their own, a child who walks can be referred to a toddler. Toddlerhood continues to the next two years, that is, from 1 to 3 years of age.

1. Walking

Beginning 7 or 8 months of age, babies try to stand up on their own, keep their first baby steps holding support and gradually learn to walk. By the first birthday, most babies can walk without support though they may still wobble in their movements. A delay in learning to walk by one or two months should not be a concern. However, if the child has shown no Baby Milestones development in independent walking beyond 15 months, it is a red flag and requires a medical consultation


2. Communication

Toddlers can recognize a lot of words that you use every day. As they start to imitate your words, they slowly learn to talk. While it may take a while for them to speak a coherent sentence, most toddlers can speak words, two or three-word sentences and can respond to adult’s questions and conversations. For instance, when you ask your toddler if he wants milk, he or she will be able to answer you with a ‘No’ or a head nod. 


In the process of trying to utter a sound of a word they listen to, they may tend to replace one syllable with another. Sounds of R, D, and F, for example, can come later for toddlers. So, they may say ‘Pish,’ instead of ‘Fish,’ trying to replace the closest sound that they pick up. Toddlers may also pronounce only half of some words like ‘Op’ for ‘Open.’ By two years, they will be able to recognize many objects around them with their names. They will also be able to identify relationships like momma, dada, grandpa etc. and as well respond to their names when called.

3. Potty Training

Another important accomplishment in toddler development is becoming aware of nature’s call. If they have been habituated to diapers in their infancies, they’ll now begin to become self-aware of the urge to pee and potty. In the initial stages of potty training, they will begin to communicate with an elder about their urge, either with words they associate with the act or by body gestures like running towards the toilet. With repeated and consistent training, toddlers can learn to control the urge until they are placed on the potty. It can be a time-consuming process and of course, involves a lot of mess. Also, one child may learn it sooner than the other and is one of the challenging tasks for parents at this stage. 


Further Reading: Tips to Help your Baby to Crawl

4. Toddler Tantrums

Toddlerhood is sometimes referred to as terrible twos or terrible threes, and there is a reason! As a child begins to understand his or her surrounding environment and tries to get involved in it, they may want to explore several things around them. In the process, they may fail, get disappointed or feel challenging. They may feel restricted by their inability to communicate what they want and what they feel. A child who feels sleepy or hungry may not recognize what he or she is feeling. They may get upset when the parents impose a ‘no’ on something they want to try. A child may want to flip the pancake but the parent may not allow for safety concerns around a gas stove. They may feel terrible if they are unable to accomplish a task that their tiny hands try to do. A child trying to stack blocks may continuously see it falling down.


As a result, they begin to express their frustrations as loud cries and tantrums. They might take a long time to settle down. And, they don’t understand yet the etiquettes of behavior in public places. They may adamantly sit on the floor of a mall refusing to get up until they get the toy they saw at the store.

It may be difficult and sometimes overwhelming for parents to handle toddler behavior. The reasoning ability of a toddler is at its infancy stage and this may make any attempt by the parent to reason out things terribly futile. It requires patience and maturity for the parents to help soothe their toddlers. 

5. Imitating Parents

On the brighter side, toddlers love to feel responsible and do activities just like their adult counterparts. They may get really serious about helping with laundry or sorting out the mess on the floor or watering plants. It is their way of trying to become the mini versions of their parents. As a parent, it could be heart-warming to witness this growing behavior of their little ones. It is important for parents to acknowledge and encourage them to get involved in the daily chores of home. 


Baby Milestones: Toddler Learning and Development

Learn about Toddler learning and Baby Milestones development to help them grow.

Toddler Playtime

Once babies start walking, their curiosity to explore things around shoots up. They find the freedom to run around, grab objects and study them with their hands and mouth. Playing is important for them. As a matter of fact, as Maria Montessori says, a play is the work of a child. Popular interests of toddlers are:

  • Stacking building blocks
  • Pretend play (Ex. house and kitchen)
  • Playing with a ball
  • Running, hopping and jumping
  • Peek-a-boo


Motor Skills Development

Most of a child’s motor skills are developed at this stage. They get adept in gross motor skills, that is, the use and control of larger muscles of the body like that involved in running, jumping and climbing. Their fine motor skills also develop at this age. Fine motor skills are the control of smaller muscles like that involved in pincer grasp, catching a ball and using a spoon to feed themselves. 

Hope you read about Baby Milestones and its developmental stages. Every child grows at his or her own pace but the above are the most common milestones of toddler development. Post your baby's milestones timeline in the comments section.

Related Reads:
>> Top tips to help your baby crawl independently

>> How to Massage your baby for improved sleep?


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