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Child Growth Stages



Toddler Development


Toddler Development

The child's 1 to 3 years of age is known to be toddlerhood. The cognitive development is characterized by the transition from sensorimotor to preoperational thought.

1. Growth rate and physical appearance

The growth rate slows down in the toddler years, after the rapid growth of infancy. Every year, after age 2, toddlers gain about 5 lb in weight and 2.5 inches in height. Growth often occurs in spurts. The child will reach 50% of his adult height, between the ages of 2 and 2.5 years.

Growth of the lower extremities is accompanied by tibial torsion and physiologic bowing of the legs. This usually corrects by age 3 years. The percentage of bodyfat steadily decreases from 22% at age 1 year to about 15% at age 5 years.

2. Motor skills

Most children will try to walk without assistance by 18 months of age. At 2 years, the stiff, wide-leg gait of early toddlerhood becomes more flexible, with steady walking pattern.

The following are the motor abilities of the child :

18 Months
  • Fast walking, falling down
  • Stiff running
  • Walking up stairs with one hand held
  • Self seating
24 Months
  • The child will run well without falling
  • Walking alone without help
36 Months
  • Walking up stairs by alternating feet
  • Walking well on toes
  • Jumping from a step
  • Hopping two or three times
3. Social/Emotional Skills

18 Months
  • Removing a garment
  • Feeding self
  • Hugging and Pulling
24 Months
  • Self eating
  • Verbalizing toileting needs
  • Verbalizing immediate experiences
  • Referring to self by name
36 Months
  • Showing concern about the actions of others
  • Playing in small groups cooperatively
  • Developing the beginnings of true friendships
4. Cognitive development

The charecteristic transition from sensorimotor to preoperational thinking is know as toddlerhood. The development of symbolic thinking, as the child becomes capable of forming mental images and begins to solve problems is said to be preoperational thought. The progression from sensorimotor to symbolic thought occurs typically between 18 and 24 months of age.

The ability to spot an object will develop.By 3 years, the child can draw primitive figures that represent people, and thus he develops elaborate play and imagination.

5. Language

From the beginning of 2 years of age, toddlers use language to convey their thoughts and needs like hunger. The 18-month-old will have a vocabulary consisting primarily of the names of caregivers, favorite foods, and activities.

After 18 months, the toddler begins to put together phrases. About 50% of what the child says will seem to be intelligible to strangers.

The vocabulary increases, by the age of 3 years and 75% of speech is understandable. He begins to make complete sentences, and frequently asks questions.

Language Skills

18 Months
  • Looking selectively at objects
  • Naming and pointing
  • Naming an object (eg, ball)
  • Following two-directional commands
24 Months
  • Using two to three word sentences
  • Using words like “I,” “me,” “you”
  • Naming objects correctly
36 Months
  • Using four to five word sentences
  • Telling stories
  • Using plurals
  • Recognizing and naming most common objects


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