Doctors use certain milestones to tell if a toddler is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some children gain skills earlier or later than others.

    Toddlers who were born prematurely may reach milestones later. Talk with your doctor about your child's progress.

    Here are things toddlers usually do by this age:

    Communication and Language Skills

    • point to ask for something or to get help
    • try to say 1 or 2 words (besides "mama" and "dada"), like “ba” for ball
    • look at a familiar object when you name it
    • follow directions when given with both a gesture and words

    Movement and Physical Development

    • take a few steps on their own
    • use their fingers to feed themselves

    Social and Emotional Development

    • show affection to caregivers with hugs and kisses
    • show caregivers things that they like
    • hug stuffed dolls or other toys
    • copy other children while playing
    • clap when excited

    Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)

    • stack at least 2 small things, like blocks
    • try to use things the right way, like a phone or book

    When Should I Call the Doctor?

    You know your toddler best. Share your concerns — even little ones — with your child's doctor.

    If your toddler is not meeting one or more milestones or you notice that your child had skills but has lost them, tell the doctor.

    To learn more about early signs of developmental problems, go to the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early program.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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