We have all heard it said, “They grow up so fast”. That is because toddlers are constantly growing and developing and this usually follows an expected pattern. Your toddler’s gross motor skills, such as crawling, progress as the large muscles in their bodies’ develop. The smaller muscles in their body, such as in their hands, will help them develop fine motor skills. These skills help them do things like building a tower with blocks.
As your little one develops you will also notice changes to their physical appearance as they lose their baby fat and begin to look more like a small child. Here are some common milestones that you may see during your toddler’s physical development.
At around 12 to 15 months your toddler may:
- Stand without support for a short time
- Start taking a few steps without any assistance
- Turn a few pages in a book at a time
- Pick up small objects with their index finger and thumb
- From a standing position start to pick up objects by simply bending down
- Begin to feed themself with their fingers or a spoon and be very messy afterwards!
- Start to stack a couple of blocks on each other
- Begin making marks and scribbling on paper with their crayons.
As your toddler reaches the ages of 16-19 months they may begin to:
- Walk more steadily and start using a more developed heel first step when walking
- Climb onto low furniture, such as the couch or seat themself on a small chair
- Start to build a tower by stacking three to four blocks
- If they are shown how, they may be able to kick a ball
- Use a spoon properly to feed themself by using it the right way up
- Fall over when they try to start running
- Walk down stairs with your support.
As your child continues to develop, at around 20-24 months, they may be able to:
- Walk up and down stairs taking one step at a time and holding onto a rail for support
- Build taller block towers using up to six or seven blocks
- Use a crayon to draw circular or straight lines
- Help with undressing and dressing themself
- Throw a ball overarm
- Run with more control, not bumping into things and stop when they want to
- Turn handles and push buttons
- Begin jumping.
All these milestones mean that they will become a lot more active around the house. An active toddler also means you may need to reorganise your house so that any dangerous or breakable items are out of reach of little fingers. It is important to keep in mind that it is normal for your toddler’s growth and development to differ from other children and even their siblings.
If you are concerned about your toddler’s growth and development, it is important to seek advice from your healthcare professional.