Toddlers: Child Development (1-3 Years Old)

Quick GuideYour Toddler: Typical Second-Year Milestones With Pictures

Your Toddler: Typical Second-Year Milestones With Pictures

Developmental Milestones for Toddlers 2-3 Years of Age

Because of your child's growing desire to assert her independence, this stage is often called the "terrible twos." However, this can be an exciting time for you and your toddler. He will experience huge intellectual, social, and emotional changes that will help him to explore his new world, and make sense of it.

During this stage, your toddler will be able to follow two- or three-phrase commands, sort objects by shape and color, imitate the actions of adults and playmates, and express a wide range of emotions.

For more information on developmental milestones and warning signs of possible developmental delays, visit Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Positive Parenting of Toddlers 2-3 Years of Age

  • Set up a special time to read books with your toddler.

  • Encourage your child to engage in pretend play.

  • Play parade or follow the leader with your toddler.

  • Help your child to explore her surroundings by taking her on a walk or wagon ride.

  • Encourage your child to tell you his name and age.

  • Teach your child simple songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, or other cultural childhood rhymes.

Child Safety First (Toddlers 2-3 Years of Age)

Encourage your toddler to sit when eating and to chew her food thoroughly.

  • Check toys often for loose or broken parts.

  • Encourage your toddler not to put pencils or crayons in his mouth when coloring or drawing.

  • Never leave your toddler near or around water (that is, bathtubs, pools, ponds, lakes, whirlpools, or the ocean) without someone watching her.

  • Never drink hot objects while your child is sitting on your lap. Sudden movements can cause a spill.


National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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