Developmental Milestones For 1-2 Year Old

Children develop the fastest from birth to 5 years old. These changes take place across various domains of development i.e.

  1. Cognitive
  2. Physical (Fine and Gross Motor)
  3. Socio-emotional and
  4. Language.

Most children follow a certain pattern of growth and development or achieve certain skills/abilities at a particular stage in development. These are called developmental milestones. However, it is important to note that every child grows and develops at their own pace, and might achieve a few milestones faster or slower than usual. If you feel concerned about your child not achieving a milestone, contact your pediatrician or speak to our expert.

Did you know?

90% of a child’s brain development happens by the age of 6?

Cognitive Development:

  • Copies gestures.
  • Continues to explore things in various ways.
  • Has a better understanding of object permanence – finds hidden objects easily.
  • Has a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationship. 
  • The ability to remember is improving.
  • Recognizes or knows familiar people and associates them to their names.
  • Looks and points at the right object or picture, when named (e.g. ball, car, body parts – nose, hair, eyes, etc.).
  • Begins to understand what certain objects are used for (e.g. comb – combing hair, broom – sweeping the floor, etc.).
  • Like to experiment while playing (e.g. what happens if I put a toy inside the water bucket?)
  • Begins to use trial and error while playing to solve problems (eg- tries on various lids for a bottle/container till they find the right one).
  • Might begin to use mental representations while playing (e.g. using a comb to ‘talk on a telephone’, etc.).
  • States preferences when given choices e.g. chooses from various candies.
  • Understands simple one-step questions and instructions like “Where is the ball?” (by 18 months).
  • Understands simple two-step questions and instructions like “Pick up the ball and put it in the box.” (by 24 months). 
  • Begins to develop an understanding of similarities and differences – might be able to group items by shape, primary colours, etc.
  • Begins to develop a basic understanding of certain concepts like size, day and night, one and many, etc. 
  • Begins to become aware of daily routine activities like bathing, naptime, feed time, etc.
  • Recognizes self when looking in the mirror.
  • Has some basic understanding of spatial awareness (e.g. up-down, above-below, inside-outside).
  • Attention span can range from 2-3 minutes (16-19 mths) to 3-6 minutes (by 2 yrs) (Keeps increasing with age and might require adult assistance to stay focused).

Physical Development:

  • Sits without assistance (begins to sit on a small chair or stool).
  • Cruises – uses the support of something/someone (e.g furniture) to walk.  
  • Begins to stand on their own.
  • Might take a few steps without support. 
  • Begins walking, unassisted, by 15-18 months (begins running shortly, thereafter).
  • Running skills improve by 22 months but may still face difficulty stopping suddenly.
  • Begins to integrate other actions/movements while walking (e.g- stopping, squatting and standing, stopping and waving goodbye).
  • Begins to climb stairs while holding on for support (uses 2 feet on each step).
  • Might be able to walk backwards, a few steps.
  • Starts moving/shaking/dancing to music.
  • Jumps down from a low height.
  • Kicks a ball (not very accurately). 
  • Plays ‘roll the ball’ (but rolls the ball with moderate accuracy).
  • Enjoys playing with push and pull toys.
  • Uses index (pointer) finger to poke and point.
  • Engages in various fine motor activities like:
    • Turning pages in a book more efficiently (2-3 pages at a time).
    • Holding various things like spoons, blocks, etc. (might build 3-4 block towers)
    • Putting on and taking off lids from containers (if not too tight).
    • Throwing a ball overhand.
    • Tearing a piece of paper.
    • Stringing beads with medium sized holes onto a stick/sturdy wire.
    • Scribbling with crayons or pencils (may copy a straight line drawn).
  • Uses entire arm, when drawing or painting on a large surface. 
  • Might undress simple clothes like clothes without buttons or zippers (e.g. pulling down pants with elastic waistband).

Socio-emotional Development:

  • Has a favourite thing/toy/person, etc.
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention.
  • Shows a range of emotions (e.g. fear, joy, impatience, frustrations, displeasure, anger, pride, etc.) and related behaviour (e.g. laughter, temper tantrums, etc.)
  • Identifies their own face in the mirror.
  • Asserts their wants/desires by saying “no” more frequently.
  • Might laugh along with other people as a way to be accepted.
  • Might use a blanket or soft toy to feel secure (in the absence of the parent).
  • Tries to show independence by using ‘mine’, ‘I want’ or ‘I do’ while interacting with others.
  • Begins to engage in more socio-dramatic play (e.g. feeding a doll, cooking food, talking over the telephone).
  • Might initiate a few games like ‘roll/pass the ball’ with familiar adults.
  • Might begin to engage in parallel play (playing alongside others without interacting with them) by the time they are 2 years old.
  • Shares more willingly with adults rather than children.
  • Begins to understand basic courtesies like ‘thank you’.
  • Has a desire to do things independently but lacks the ability to do so.
  • Enjoys doing simple tasks to ‘help’ adults (e.g. picking up shoes and putting them on the shoe-rack).

Language Development:

  • Continues to babble while developing vocabulary.
  • Picks up on clues like shaking head for “no”   or waving for “bye-bye”.
  • Understands and responds to simple spoken words/sentences (e.g. Give mama the ball) by 18 months.
  • Combines words and body language to make themself better understood e.g. Points to a dog and says, “doh” for “Look, there’s a dog.”
  • Imitates various noises/sounds like animal sounds.
  • Begins to use a modulate tone while talking to make sounds more speech-like.
  • Tries to say the names of frequently seen people (e.g. mama, dada, nana, etc.)
  • Begins to use the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with purpose.
  • Picks up/learns a new word almost every other day by 18 months (Might know more words than they can say).
    • By 1 year, says 4-6 simple words.
    • By 18 months, 10 to 15 words. 
    • By 2 years, about 100 or more words.
  • By 1 year, says 4-6 simple words.
  • By 18 months, 10 to 15 words. 
  • By 2 years, about 100 or more words.
  • Begins using simple two-word sentences (e.g. “Mommy go”) by 18 to 24 months.
  • Might begin asking questions like “What is … ?” by 2 years.
  • Shows an enthusiasm to communicate. 
  • Vocabulary keeps expanding with exposure to more words. 
  • Pronunciation is still not clear and might need translation for outsiders. 
  • Begin to imitate words immediately after hearing them.

Feeding and Sleeping Information:

  • Feeds self with fingers and spoon. 
  • Drinks from a cup more proficiently and without help.
  • Might take an afternoon nap.
  • Tends to sleep for 10 to 12 hours at night, peacefully.

Did you know?

Research reveals that – every $1 invested in an early childhood program can yield $4-$16 in returns.

Helps your child achieve the above milestones through simple at home activities for 1 year old. Subscribe to Jyppzer Kids Plan Today!

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