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Toddlers (1-2 years old)

— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Updated on Sep 3, 2009

Developmental Milestones

During this time, your child is becoming increasingly more mobile, and aware of himself and his surroundings. Her desire to explore new objects and people is also increasing. During this stage, your toddler will show greater independence, begin to show defiant behavior, recognize himself in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children.

Your toddler will also be able to recognize names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions

For more information on developmental milestones and warning signs of possible developmental delays, visit Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Positive Parenting

  • Keep reading to your toddler daily.
  • Ask her to find objects for you or name body parts and objects.
  • Play matching games with your toddler.
  • Encourage him to explore and try new things.
  • Help to develop your toddler’s language by talking with her.
  • Encourage your toddler’s curiosity and ability to recognize common objects by taking field trips together to the park or a bus ride.

Child Safety First

As your child is becoming increasingly mobile, his ability to encounter more dangers is increasing as well. Here are a few recommendations to help keep your growing toddler safe.

  • Block off stairs with a small gate or fence. Lock doors to dangerous places such as the garage or basement.
  • Toddler proof your home by placing plug covers on all unused electrical outlets.
  • Keep kitchen appliances, irons, and heaters from the reach of your toddler. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Keep sharp objects such as scissors and pens in a safe place.
  • Lock up medicines, household cleaners and poisons.
  • Never leave her alone in the car, even for a few moments.
  • Store any guns in a safe place out of his reach.
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