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Your Child's Development (1-2 years)

Welcome to our child development section! Your toddler has spent the last 12 months growing. After your baby's first birthday, you'll begin to see a true leap in his/her mental, physical and social development. Young children between the ages of 12 – 24 months are called "toddlers – a distinctive stage where children start learning basic life skills such as potty training, walking, and speaking.

It is worth mentioning that your toddler is unique and will develop at his/her own pace. Use this guide for a general overview of your toddler's development. If you have any concerns about your child's rate of development, we advise you to consult with your pediatrician.

Learning and Skills

Your toddler is always trying to learn something new during this stage. You will notice that your child's learning and skill acquisition is at its peak. Learning involves all five senses, so it's very common for your toddler to try to smell an object, touch it, shake it for any sounds, or attempt to taste it.

This five senses utilization allows your toddler to classify objects in his/her direct environment.

Language is learnt by your toddler by observation of those around. Your toddler will often try to touch your lips when you talk or carefully observe your mouth's movements. As a general rule of thumb, your toddler will be learning one word per day. By 24 months, your baby should have learnt anywhere from 150-200 words. While he/she may not use them, the words are actually stored).

Pretending is a skill that toddlers learn from a very early age. Your toddler will often imitate adults around, or pretend to be someone else when playing. Encouraging your child's imagination helps him/her develop other critical skills in the future such as critical thinking, problem solving and mathematics.

Physical Development

Your toddler is a bundle of energy. Most toddlers at this age go from crawling to walking and running between 12-20 months. Your toddler will also be working on his/her coordination when holding or playing with objects – you will often notice your toddler dropping objects by accident and trying to pick them up again.

As your toddler is still trying to master balance, you will find his/her movements to be clumsy and often lacking balance. Falls are very common during this year, so be sure that your child's environment is free from sharp or harmful objects.

Many toddlers attempt to test their motor skills by flipping the pages of a book, but are unable to do it one page at a time. Toddlers enjoy dancing and trying to climb to higher surfaces. Pushing and pulling chairs or objects is also part of their constant strife to improve their motor skills.

Emotional/Social Development

Your toddler is now more social. At this age, he/she begins to become aware of surrounding children and adults. While playing with other children is common, toddlers at this age are not accustomed to the concept of "sharing". Your toddler will often prefer to explore a toy or object alone and refuse to share with other children. A toddler at this stage is very likely to scream words such as "No!" or "My" or "Mine" when someone tries to share.

It is important for you to encourage sharing, but not to push too hard, as most toddlers outgrow this and start sharing by 24-36 months.

Your toddler is usually friendly with close family members he/she is familiar with. Social interactions include smiling, laughing, crying, and screaming. When performing physical tasks such as climbing or exploring new areas, your toddler will often look back seeking your encouragement or approval. Be sure to help your child feel safe to explore and grow.

Your toddler is highly empathetic; he/she will often share feelings of those around. If another baby starts crying, your toddler is likely to cry as well.

How to Help Your Toddler Grow

To help your toddler grow at this stage, you must:

  • Present a variety of activities involving the five senses
  • Interact with your baby in games, music and dances
  • Encourage your baby to explore surroundings
  • Encourage self-care activities such as dressing, undressing, using a plastic spoon, and grooming

be sure to check out our Year 2-3 guide.

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