Toddler development


Toddlers are children ages 1 to 3.


Cognitive (thought) development skills typical for toddlers include:

Personal and social development in this age focuses on the child learning to adjust to society's demands. At this stage, children try to maintain independence and a sense of self.

These milestones are typical of children in the toddler stages. There can be some variations. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about your child's development.


The following are signs of expected physical development in a toddler.

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS (use of large muscles in the legs and arms)

FINE MOTOR SKILLS (use of small muscles in hands and fingers)




Toddlers are always trying to be more independent. You may have safety concerns as well as discipline challenges. Teach your child the limits of appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior.

When toddlers try out new activities, they can get frustrated and angry. Breath-holding, crying, screaming, and temper tantrums may often occur.

It is important for a child at this stage to:


Toddler safety is very important.


Review Date: 1/1/2020
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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