You got through those first 18 months of your children’s development, but not without a great deal of anxiety and work. The first month, you watched them swivel their little heads, suckle and squeeze, sniff and spit up, and you’ve seen them smile. After a month they responded to sounds, watched your finger dance, raise themselves up on their arms, or follow a doll with their eyes. You saw their expression repertoire increase, and thank goodness, start to sleep more at night. You heard them coo and gurgle to your delight. In the third to sixth month, your baby smiled back at you and babbled their angel’s talk. They got plumper, and their little front teeth appeared. Baby’s able to roll, crawl, and almost sit up. Between the sixth to ninth month, they’re not only sitting, but crawling perfectly and they’re getting their legs, and standing – with help. They cry less and babble with greater complexity. They start to play. They start to eat baby food. Between the age of 9 to 12 months, your child spoke their first word and took their first steps. The handled objects and toys became interesting. People became interesting. You read child development articles to assure yourself they were growing as expected. They did, and now they’ve entered that stage where they can walk. Now you’re turning your attention to toddler development.
You know you’re in for some trouble now. Toddler says it all. They toddle, they walk. You’re looking at two years of toddler growth. Your toddler’s development is going to see some remarkable growth in certain areas and certain decreases. Surprisingly, your ravenously hungry baby is now going to have a reduced appetite. Their baby fat will disappear and their muscles will become more defined. Toddlers also breathe more slowly than when they were infants, and their heart rate also slows.
The increases in toddler development will occur over these two years at a gradual rate. Their blood pressure will increase. They’re going to gain about five pounds in these two years. They’ll be twice as tall as they were as babies. Their chests will get bigger than their heads, yet their brains will grow to 90% of their adult brain size. By the end of these two years, they’re going to have all of their deciduous teeth. Their abdomens will protrude, since abdominal muscles are not yet tightened.
Toddler development also brings their ability to walk with wide-spread legs. Their motor skills will be more refined. They’ll crawl upstairs, throw things, pull things down. Their development in motor skills is a good thing. They’ll be able to use a spoon and dress themselves. Say goodbye to changing diapers: they can be potty trained! They’ll also be able to speak.
Your toddler’s development over these two years will be gradual, so don’t worry if things are taking time. Some will begin to speak earlier than others. It’s enjoyable to begin communicating with them. They’ll know about 360 words by the end of this phase. They’ll even respond to commands! They’ll be preparing you for the future too. One of their favorite words will be “no”!