Toddler milestones

What to expect from your toddler... and when


1 – 2 years:

Walking (9-18 months)
A child who’s not walking by the end of their second year needs to be assessed and monitored, as this may indicate a problem.


Fine motor skills
During her second year, she will be able to build towers with play blocks, and hold a pencil and scribble.

Your child will enjoy exploring her environment, but will have little sense of danger. She may follow you around constantly demanding attention. She’ll play alongside other children but not with them, interacting only if her space is invaded.

Talking (by 18 months)
The average child will use between six and 20 words to express herself, although she’ll understand many more. From here, her vocabulary will gradually increase.

2 – 3 years:

Potty training
Your toddler should develop the necessary muscle control to begin using a potty.

Gross motor skills
She’ll develop gross motor skills including running, kicking, jumping, pushing and pulling, and climbing small objects.

Your toddler will enjoy dressing up or playing tea parties. Role-play should be encouraged as an important part of a child’s social development so join in or initiate imagination games. Your toddler’s still possessive and finds sharing difficult.

Half way through your child’s second year, she’ll know around 200 words, though she’ll stutter and jumble sentence structure. Nursery rhymes are likely to be repeated endlessly.

3 – 4 years:

Gross motor skills
Your child will learn to hop, balance on one foot and ride a tricycle. Balls are a big attraction and she’ll learn to throw, catch and bounce.

Playing together
By the end of her third year, your child will stop just playing alongside others and play interactively with them. Sharing starts, though children without siblings may take longer to learn to share.

Your child starts to ask ‘Why?’, ‘Who?’, ‘When?’ and ‘Where?’ with unrelenting persistence. Speech becomes intelligible even to outsiders. Children who aren’t talking by now may need speech therapy.



Children develop at different rates, and the most important thing to look out for is progress. Use your instinct and if you have any worries, talk them through with your GP or health visitor.

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