Toddler Developmental Milestones Guide

Toddler Developmental Milestones Guide
02/03/2020 Tosin Olufemi

I don’t like to talk about milestones often because it puts parents under unnecessary pressure. Please note, the aim of this guide is to let you know what your child could be ready for so you can work with him if he is indeed ready for the major leaps. Children develop at their own pace. Therefore, there is no need to panic is your child isn’t doing some of these activities within the stipulated timeframe stated.

Toddlers make huge leaps physically, intellectually and emotionally. It could be learning to say mama, use the potty or how to make friends. Here’s a look at the developmental milestones to come.


 Ball Throwing & Kicking (12 months)

You may have noticed your baby’s new interest in throwing balls just after her first birthday. Kicking balls usually kicks in at age 2 while catching starts around age 3-4.

To help her along:


  • For throwing, practice rolling a softball back and forth between you. Gradually move farther apart with each pass. The basic instinct is to throw it. Watch out!
  • For kicking, kick the ball to her and ask her to kickback. At fast, she may pick it up and throw,  show her how to use her feet instead of hands.


Pushing and Pulling (12 to 18 months)

Is your toddler walking now? Watch out for him pulling and pushing things around the house! It’s time to child-proof!

Squatting (12 to 18 months)

Since your baby got mobile, he has had to bend down to pick items on the ground. He may soon begin squatting instead.  This milestone usually occurs around 12-18 months.

To help him along:


  • When he wants to pick up an item, show him how to bend his knees.
  • Place a few small toys on the floor and have a “treasure hunt,”. He will go from toy to toy picking them up.

Climbing (12 to 24 months)

Kids love challenges and risks. They will attempt to climb anything without fear. As much as climbing worries us as Parents,  it is an important physical milestone. It’ll help your child develop the coordination he needs to master skills like walking up steps. Ways you can help:


  • Supervise: Don’t discourage climbing except it poses danger and be fully focused to step in if need be.
  • Provide safe opportunities for climbing. Throw soft pillows on a carpeted floor, or go out to a child-friendly playground.
  • Instead of carrying her, help your child learn to climb the stairs safely, practice together by taking her up and down while holding his hand.


Running (18 to 24 months)

This is a stressful stage and for obvious reasons. A sprinting child makes a sprinting mum or dad.

To encourage your child:

  • Only allow running where falling won’t hurt too much, such as on a grassy lawn or a sandy beach.
  • Chase! You are either doing the chasing or they are chasing you. This encourages your child to run.
  • Try racing, especially if older kids are willing to play along.


Potty Training (24 to 36 months)

Potty training comes with mixed emotions. Yay no no more diapers! But it’s never a walk in the park. It comes with its fair share of hard work.

Signs that it may be time:


  • Your child fights diaper time
  • Your child shows interest in the potty
  • Your child communicates when he needs to go.
  • Your child is interested in other toilet activities such as flushing, hand washing, etc.

Here is a potty you can explore

Jumping (24 to 36 months)

Ever heard of the Terrible Twos? Between 2 and 3 years, your toddler has learnt how to climb, how to run, and now practicing how to jump both from a low height to the ground or off a high seat.  Both of these skills require bilateral coordination, or the ability to use both sides of your body to do something different. How you can help: