Toddler development milestones

As your baby turns into a walking, babbling toddler, you may notice that reaching developmental milestones becomes less important and changeable than during a baby’s first year.

All humans are complex beings, and not all toddlers will be able to tick milestones at exactly the right age and stage listed below. This article offers generic guidelines only! Don’t be stressed if your precious bundle is off target from some milestones by a month or even six. Now is the time to start respecting your child’s unique development.

Yourchild’s development from one to two years

Age Most can Some probably can Some possibly  can
13 months Say two or more words other than mama or dada

Stand & take a few steps

Bend over to pick up objects

Walk with help

Drink from a cup independently

Say three or more words other than mama or dada


Hold out an arm or leg to help get dressed

Try and lift heavier objects

Roll a ball back and forth

Use words and gestures to communicate

Walk well

14 months Stand well & take a few steps unassisted. Walk with help

Empty and put objects back into containers

Say three or more words other than mama or dada

Eat finger foods

Toddle well

Point to a body part when asked

Imitate adults

Start game playing

Communicate with  words and gestures

Walk well

Use a spoon or fork

Respond to instructions eg “give mummy a kiss”

Match appropriate shapes in a toy

Push and pull toys while walking

15 months Toddle well

Say up to five words

Look at books and turn pages

Laugh at funny things

Walk well or run

Draw lines

Say no and shake head

Sing songs

Follow simple directions

Walk up stairs and backwards

Want to help around the house

Put finger to mouth and say, ‘shhh’

16 months Turn pages of a book when you read

Become attached to a toy or object

Walk well


Get upset when frustrated

Walk backwards

Start to climb and explore

Help around the house

Stack blocks

Switch from two day sleeps to one

Say up to 10 or 15 words

Become picky about certain foods

Take off clothes without help

Experience less separation anxiety

Dance to music

17 months Start to climb and explore

Respond to simple directions

Enjoy certain games

Play with ride-on toys

Become picky about certain foods

Experience less separation anxiety

Run well

Use certain words regularly

Talk more clearly

Kick a ball in a forward direction

Enjoy sorting toys

Make phrases or put together pairs of words

Brush teeth with help

18 months Run, draw and scribble well

Become picky about certain foods

Say at least 15 or 20 words

Self-feed with a spoon

Make phrases or put together pairs of words

Brush teeth with help

Take off an article of clothing alone

Jump around

Show signs of potty training


Take off clothes

Draw circles

Understand two-part directions

19 months Brush teeth with help

String more words together

Know when something is wrong

Say 20 to 50 words

Form recognisable sentences

Take off their own clothes

Show signs of bladder control

wash hands without help

Draw better circles and straighter lines

Name several part of their body

20 months Take off clothes without help

Pretend to help toys; imitate, such as feeding a doll

Know when something is wrong

Learn five or more words per day

Enjoy helping around the house

Start setting small goals

Show better signs of bladder control

Learn up to 10 new words per day

21 months Learn up to 5 or more words per day

Walk up stairs with some assistance

Make structures out of toys or blocks

Learn up to 10 or more words per day

Show good signs of bladder control

Throw balls overhand

Open doors

Name people and pets in pictures

Form short sentences

Walk down stairs with some assistance

Open and close doors

22 months Follow more complex directions

Imitate others’ behaviour

Show good signs of bladder control

Start to learn up to 10 words or more per day

Like puzzles

Identify several parts of body

Walk down stairs with some assistance

Form short but complete and understandable sentences

Open and close doors

Put on and take off clothing

Start understanding opposites (hot and cold, etc.)

Form three or four word sentences

Use up to 40 or more single words

23 months Name pictures in books

Walk down stairs with some assistance

Identify their own body parts

Like puzzles

Use 40 or more words

Form three or four word sentences

Put on and take off clothing alone

Walk down stairs unassisted

Want to talk about likes and dislikes

Start asking “why”

Speech mostly understandable

Your child’s development from two to three years

toddler development
Age Most can Some probaby can Some possibly can
24 months
  • Name five or more parts of a doll’s or their own body
  • Have half their speech be understandable
  • Form three or four word sentences
  • Put on and take off clothing alone
  • Walk down stairs unassisted
  • Talk about themselves; likes and dislikes
  • Arrange things in categories
  • Start asking “why” to everything
  • Start to understand concepts like better or worse, sooner or later, etc.
  • Enjoy singing and jumping
25 months
  • Use up to 50 single words
  • Combine words
  • Run and walk with ease
  • Jump off a step
  • Dress themselves
  • Turn the pages of a book one at a time
  • Draw a vertical line on paper if you show him how to
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Build a tower of eight blocks
26 months
  • Identify people and their names
  • Match animal sounds to noises like moo
  • Use the word ‘mine’ and understand the concept of self
  • Want to do more than they are capable of and become frustrated
  • Turn taps on and off
  • Remember where they left toys or objects they love
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Balance on one foot
  • Self-feed from a spoon, drink from a cup and chew well
27 months
  • Brush their teeth with help
  • Walk with a stride
  • Use a firm grasp to pick up toys
  • Use prepositions in speech
  • Enjoy easy jigsaw puzzles
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Show interest in the potty or toilet training (but don’t force it)
28 months
  • Understand the concept of sharing but not necessarily agree to it
  • Enjoy blowing bubbles
  • Dress themselves
  • Drink well from a cup
  • Put their own hat on (but not always agree to do it)
  • Stop being upset when separated from parents
29 months
  • Stand on tiptoe if you show him how
  • Know and recite his name
  • See tiny objects like a biscuit crumb and pick them up
  • Walk up and down stairs with two feet to a step
  • Recite nursery rhymes
  • Enjoy looking at books on their own
30 months
  • Show signs of being more co-operative
  • Run, climb and jump with confidence
  • Recognise self in a photo
  • Cut with scissors
  • Draw a circle on a piece of paper if you show him
  • Ride a bike with pedals
  • Eat well with a spoon and maybe a fork (but still make a mess)
  • Throw and kick a ball
  • Push or pull large toys
31 months
  • Identify things in pictures
  • Name body parts
  • Hold a pencil with a thumb and two fingers
  • Ask simple questions
  • Identify colours
  • Name their friends and family members
32 months
  • Build a tall tower with blocks
  • Anticipate consequences
  • Understand concepts like ‘next week’ and ‘tomorrow’
  • Play co-operatively some times and for short periods
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Understand the concept of toilet training, but may not be willing to comply
  • Comply with simple requests
33 months
  • Understand concepts like ‘next week’ and ‘tomorrow’
  • Play co-operatively some times and for short periods
  • Balance on each foot and perhaps hop
  • Wash and dry their own hands
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Ask questions (sometimes a lot!)
34 months
  • Play in the playground with ease
  • Walk on tiptoe
  • Put on their own pyjamas and simple clothes
  • Jump with both feet together
  • Carry on detailed conversations
  • Ask questions (sometimes a lot!)
35 months
  • Speak in sentences, but may not use correct grammar
  • Undress themselves
  • Understand concepts like ‘next week’ and ‘tomorrow’
  • Share their belongings when they want to
  • Kick a ball a great distance
  • Play imaginative games
36 months
  • Walk on a plank
  • Run easily and avoid obstacles
  • Climb ladders
  • Sing songs from memory
  • Put on their own shoes (but not tie laces)
  • Eat without making too much mess


  1. dawnblyth 05/05/2019 at 11:56 pm

    Milestones are hard. My 4yr old has some slight speech issues and so hasn’t reached some, and we get questioned often what is he trying to say. Just be patient with your child of that don’t meet these marks.

  2. SarahBlair 04/05/2019 at 10:42 pm

    My kids are past this but my granddaughter is 29 months old and is confidently doing the things that she should be at her age, all children are different though and will have strengths in different areas to others

  3. Mands1980 16/04/2019 at 3:22 pm

    This is great for new parents but also trying not to stress about what exactly your child is doing as they all progress at different times as my 3 did they were all very different. One of my child was late to talk, the other walked early at 10 months so everyone is different but at the same time it is great to know what to expect that they can do by each age.

  4. Shorrty4life1 15/04/2019 at 12:59 pm

    I found this very interesting. I still believe there is a lot of people that stress to much if there child has not met milestones at the times they say on the chart. I believe every child is different and takes different time frames to do stuff. No child is the same that’s what makes us all individuals.

  5. Micht 11/04/2019 at 1:34 pm

    This is one area i think new mums could use help with. Both my daughters developed well and even beyond some of these stages at times with alot of time spent with them as well as encouraging them beliving their were capable of doing things and not just treating them as if they would not understand at all.
    I have seen so many mums brush off any confidence in their babies being able to do certain things that are so attainable for the child at that stage. and by doing this they dont encourage the childs natural ability to learn and grow. More awareness like this is defnitely a must.

  6. Bevik1971 11/04/2019 at 12:30 pm

    Our daughter developed “normally” I guess – they are all different anyway. I wasn’t too worried about milestones but did keep an eye on any major one’s just in case. BTW could the wee one in the picture above be any cuter?!?! 🙂

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