Toddler Development from Age 1 through Age 3

All children develop at their own pace, but there are common milestones that parents can expect to see around each birthday. Advances in motor skills, language, social and emotional development, and cognitive thinking happen quickly in the first few years. Knowing what to expect and looking for ways to support those skills can help you and your child enjoy the toddler years even more.


Father helping son learn to walk
Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

Your little one is on the go, crawling, cruising, and maybe even taking a few steps on her own. Plus, there is an explosion of sound coming from your toddler who has learned the elegant art of babble. What other developments can you expect around that first birthday celebration? Take a look!



18 month
P. Burns

In the second year of life, your child's physical development slows down, but the leaps he makes in motor skills, language, social skills, and cognitive capabilities is astounding. By the halfway point, you'll begin to see an independent personality flourish along with these new abilities, making it necessary to stop and take notice of how much your little one has changed since her first birthday.



two year old development
Maureen Ryan

Your child's physical development may be slowing down, but nothing else about him is slow. Full of energy and ready to test boundaries of all kinds -- from how high he can climb to how many times you might say "no" before you give in -- your two-year-old will keep you on your toes. But, you'll also revel in the magic of her newfound independence, budding literacy skills, and physical strength.



Maureen Ryan

As your child's attention span grows and her verbal skills develop, she will be better able to follow instructions and express her own needs and thoughts. The transition from toddler to preschooler, though, can be a bit bumpy. Expect a fair share of meltdowns and tantrums, but they come in tandem with a silliness and creative spirit that will truly delight you.