Toddler Developmental Milestones: 18–24 Months
As your child approaches their second birthday, you’ll be amazed at how much they change and develop each day. Here are all the milestones you can expect them to reach by the time they turn two.
Dust off your running shoes and take a few deep breaths because you’ll soon be racing around after a determined toddler who’s fast on their feet and quick to dissolve into a tantrum if things don’t go their way! But it’s also an awe-inspiring period where communication starts to feel like a two-way street and you’ll watch with wonder as your teetering toddler turns into a full-fledged child.
Here are the milestones you can expect your kiddo to reach by their second birthday. But keep in mind that each child develops at their own pace and it isn’t necessarily cause for concern if they haven’t hit all their milestones according to this schedule. Speak to your pediatrician if anything is worrying you.
Toddler milestones: 18 to 24 months
By the time your child turns two, they may be able to:
- Carry several toys while walking
- Stand on tiptoes
- Kick a ball
- Throw a ball overhand
- Climb onto and down from furniture without help
- Walk up and down stairs with support (hand or bannister)
- Eat with a spoon, cup and maybe a fork (with fewer spills than before)
- Take off some of their clothes (shoes, socks, hat)
- Build a tower of four or more blocks
- Turn over a container to pour out the contents
- Scribble spontaneously
- Favor one hand over the other
- Begin to sort shapes and colors
- Find objects hidden under two or three covers
- Play simple make-believe games
- Count two or three objects
- Follow instructions with two steps, such as “Pick up your toy and put it in the box”
- Point to objects when they’re named
- Recognize the names of familiar people and body parts
- Name familiar objects in a picture book
- Complete familiar rhymes and sentences in books
- Say sentences with two to four words, such as “me do it” and “mommy hat”
- Repeat words they hear
- Say their own name
- Copy the behavior of adults and older children
- Start to be aware of themselves as separate from others
- Enjoy the company of other children
- Start to include other children in their games
- Be increasingly independent
- Show defiant behavior
- Have temper tantrums
- Begin to express their emotions with words like “sad”
- Show affection by hugging you or kissing a teddy bear
- Display empathy by showing concern for crying friends
Warning signs: Talk to your pediatrician if your child can’t walk steadily, doesn’t use two-word sentences, doesn’t copy words or actions, doesn’t follow simple instructions, doesn’t know what to do with common objects such as a spoon or a phone, doesn’t show their feelings, or seems to have trouble seeing or hearing things.
Activities to stimulate your toddler’s development
Ready, set, go! Your child is more active and interactive than ever. Here are some fun activities that can boost their development at this age:
- Talk: As you go about your day, name objects and describe your actions to help develop your toddler’s language skills. Listen to them when they speak to show that you value their input and respond appropriately to encourage communication skills.
- Play: Young children learn the most through play, so set aside some time to play with them each day while also encouraging them to play independently. Play dates are a wonderful way for your child to learn social skills at this age.
- Read: Nurture your little one’s imagination and language skills by reading books and making up stories. Your child may increasingly enjoy reading on their own as well.
- Encourage big kid skills: It might seem easier to do everything for your child but letting them try to get dressed on their own or help you “cook dinner” will support their development and foster independence.
- Encourage movement and exploring new things: Give your child plenty of time to run outside and play at the park to encourage their physical development. Let them explore new areas and objects while remaining nearby to help them feel safe.
Must-have products 18 – 24 month olds
Looking for products that are going to help your toddler reach the above mentioned milestones? We’ve got you!
At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure it’s free of the ingredients we avoid.
When it comes to baby toys, we like to steer clear of chemicals such as:
- BPA + BPS
- Harmful phthalates
- Lead & other heavy metals
- PFAS chemicals
- Flame retardants
- Pesticides and herbicides
All Tot-tested and approved, below are our following product picks for the below items!
- Developmental activities & toy sets
- Gross motor activity set
- Trike/balance bike
- Baby doll
- Play kitchen
- Flash cards
- Non-toxic play dough
- Feeding set
Created by an early learning educator to help toddlers reach important developmental milestones, The Tot Play & Learn Sets include a detailed booklet of teacher recommended activities as well six non-toxic toys that can be played with in a variety of ways.
The 18 – 24 month set includes:
- Sturdy board book
- Wooden shapes puzzle
- Visual sensory toy
- Stacking cups
- Wooden egg shakers
- Water toy
- Booklet of activities and advice
Lily & River Little Steps are a fun way to help your tot hone their balancing skills, coordination, color recognition and ability to follow simple instructions.
The Jupiduu Slide can be used inside and out (on dry days) for climbing, sliding, launching and more!
Ranging from $299.90 to $349.90
Available in more colors
Ride-ons are one of the most important toys a child can play with. Beneficial for both cognitive and physical development, we love the Wishbone 3-in-1 bike because it offers three configurations that grow with your child.
Ranging from $249.99 to $269.99
Available in more colors
Made of sustainably sourced solid lime wood and non-toxic water-based paints, the Raduga Grez Stacking Tower is a new take on a classic toy that has stuck around for a reason! Great for honing hand-eye coordination, teaching counting and the concept of size, this option also doubles as decor!
Block play is wonderful for encouraging kids to stack, count, and problem solve all while building their confidence. Made of untreated white birch wood and hand painted with non-toxic, organic paint, the Modern Blocks Numbers Counting Set uses high contrast illustrations to add numbers and shapes into the mix!
Apple Park’s snuggly range of GOTS Certified Organic Baby Dolls are a friendly and fun way to teach your tot about both self-care and empathy. They also encourage imaginative play!
Available in more colors
The Milton & Goose Essential Play Kitchen is great for expanding vocabularies, encouraging role play and establishing healthy eating habits along. Fun to play with independently or socially, this made in the USA brand also offers a wide range of adorable play food sets!
Available in more colors and configurations
The Wee Gallery Color Changing Bath Book offers sensory and fine motor fun both in and out of the bath!
Available in more themes
Learning the alphabet while expanding vocabulary is fun and easy with this Alpha Baby Designs flash card set.
The Dough Parlour Collector Set takes play dough fun a step further by adding the element of scent! All aromatic (and non-toxic!), your tot will love engaging in sensory play while creating their next masterpiece!
Scribbling just got more exciting (and less messy) thanks to OMY’s Ultra Washable Double Tip Felt Pens!
Musical play is key to your tot’s development, which is why we love this cute xylophone from Petit Collage.
Created by a childhood nutritionist, The Tot Feeding Sets include a booklet of nutrition advice, feeding tips and recipes as well as a selection of our favorite non-toxic feeding products to promote independent feeding.
- Navigating the second year of your tot’s life may be one of your biggest challenges as a parent. Here are some tips on how to get through what’s sometimes referred to as the “terrible twos”.
- Dreading leaving your toddler with the babysitter or at daycare and want to prepare him? See our tips on how to help your toddler’s separation anxiety.