Child Development Timeline

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Child Development Timeline

Guiding Your Child Through The Early Years
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Behavior and Development
Child Development Timeline
Child Development Timeline
htmChildDevelopmentTimelineToddler
Use our developmental timeline to learn what milestones your child may be achieving.
346588
InteliHealth
2011-05-29
f
InteliHealth Medical Content
2013-08-06
 
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School
Child Development Timeline — 12 Months Through 4 Years

 

 

12 Months
Physical:

By 12 months, toddlers usually can stand alone well and may even take their first steps. With this increased mobility, make sure your home is childproofed to keep your curious toddler out of harm's way. Your toddler can drink from a cup, particularly one with handles and a lid to minimize spills. He can turn pages of a book, a few at a time, and can play ball with you by rolling it or tossing it back to you.

Mental/Language:

Your toddler is discovering words. She now uses "mama" or "dada" specifically to refer to her parents, and says one or two other words clearly (such as "kitty," "ball" or "cookie"). She has learned that objects do not disappear when they go out of her sight, and can uncover a toy hidden under a cup. Although her vocabulary is limited, your toddler understands much of what you say and can follow a simple command that is given with a gesture. For example, she will bring you the book when you point to it and say, "Please bring me the book."

Social/Emotional:

Your toddler can let you know what he wants by gestures or words. He may point, reach, and make sounds, or put his arms up (to show that he wants to be picked up), pull on your arm, or say a word (for example, "up" or "bottle"). He can imitate simple acts, such as hugging or loving a doll, and can play games with you such as peek-a-boo, so-big and pat-a-cake.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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15 Months
Physical:

At 15 months old, your child is now a full-fledged toddler who can walk well alone. He may even walk backward, stoop down and stand back up without help, and climb up on furniture. He has more control of his fingers, will hold a crayon and can scribble. He also lifts a cup to his mouth to drink, though with some spillage, and wants to feed himself, somewhat messily with a spoon or his hands. He may also be less cooperative now when you dress him and take off clothes that are more easily removed such as socks, mittens or a hat.

Mental/Language:

Your toddler now says at least two or three words besides mama or dada. She can understand more words and will follow simple commands, even without a gesture. Although a few weeks ago she would have banged two blocks together, now she will stack two blocks on top of each other!

Social/Emotional:

Your child gives kisses and greets people with "hi" (including everyone she passes in the grocery store). She loves to imitate many activities she sees around the house such as cooking, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming or talking on the telephone.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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18 Months
Physical:

Although technically still a toddler, an 18 month old no longer toddles with uncertain steps. He now runs and walks up steps, holding your hand or using a rail. He can seat himself in a small chair and eat with a spoon and fork. He also is able to drink from a cup without spilling. He can remove most of his clothes, and you may have a hard time keeping on any of his clothing!

Mental/Language:

Your toddler's vocabulary is expanding rapidly and she now says six or more words and may use some two-word combinations. She points to a few body parts, and can build a tower of three or four blocks. She likes to play with wind-up toys and on-off buttons (especially light switches).

Social/Emotional:

Your toddler now wants to be more independent, may say "no" when interfered with, and could throw a temper tantrum. She can also hug and feed her doll.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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2 Years
Physical:

At 2 years old, your toddler walks up and down steps holding the railing. He can jump in place, throw a ball overhand, and kick a ball, all fun activities for playing outside. His fine motor skills are improving; he can open doors by turning the knob and unzip zippers.

Mental/Language:

Your toddler now uses so many words that you have probably lost count (usually 50 or more words). She also puts two words together into noun-verb sentences (for example, "want cookie," "see car," "play ball," "go bye-bye") and a stranger would understand at least half of her speech. (Parents usually understand all of their child's words.) Your 2 year old can build a tower of six or more blocks, name six or more body parts, and follow two-step commands without gestures (for example, "give mommy the ball and then give daddy the spoon").

Social/Emotional:

Your toddler can brush his teeth with help (though may not want to do it happily), and can wash and dry his hands.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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3 Years
Physical:

By 3 years old, your preschooler walks up stairs just as you do, by alternating feet, and then jumps down from the bottom step. He can ride a tricycle, walk well on his toes, balance on each foot for one or more seconds, and jump across an object on the floor. He should hold pencils or crayons between his finger and thumb, and use them to draw a circle. He also should be able to use a spoon and fork correctly and eat neatly.

Mental/Language:

Your preschooler's language is also well developed, with a vocabulary of 500 or more words, which she uses to form three- or four-word sentences. A stranger would understand at least three-quarters of her speech. She can name at least one color and remembers and recites nursery rhymes. She is eager to explore her world and frequently asks "why?" about everything. It can be tiring, but be patient and keep answering her questions. It encourages her to ask more, understand more, and therefore, learn more.

Social/Emotional:

Your preschooler names a friend when asked, can put on her shirt without help, and is becoming more independent each day.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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4 Years
Physical:

At 4 years old, your preschooler has fantastic balance and can stand on each foot for three or more seconds, hop and skip. She can hold a pencil comfortably and draw a person with two or three body parts.

Mental/Language:

Just about all of your 4-year-old child's speech should be understandable to a stranger, though mild stuttering and mispronounced words are still common at this age. Your preschooler understands and uses prepositions (on, under, in front of, behind), knows basic adjectives (hot, cold, tired), and names four or more colors.

Social/Emotional:

Your preschooler can brush his teeth without help (though dentists recommend that parents continue to supervise until at least 6 years old). He plays simple board and card games with you or other children. He can prepare a bowl of cereal to eat or put his clothes on correctly without any help.

 

30948, 30965, 30967, 30969, 30971, 30973, 30979,
child,child development,development,emotional development,growth,mental development,physical development,preschooler,social development,toddler,teeth
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dmtChildGuide
Last updated May 29, 2011


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