Toddler And Preschool Milestones
Toddler And Preschool Milestones
Scott Cohen (Pediatrician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: Is it normal to not always understand what my 2 year old is saying?; What are the developmental milestones for children 3 to 5 years olds? and more...
What are the speech milestones for toddlers from 1 to 2 years old?
From one to two years of age a lot of things happen. From years one to two with speech, the first half of the year is about understanding, and the second half of the year it's about speaking. Thus speech is broken up into expressive language, which are the words we speak, and receptive language, which is what we understand. In all children, especially girls, understanding, or receptive language, comes much faster than what we say. This is true even past two years of age. The reason why children have temper tantrums and get upset is because they always understand much more than they can express to you. So from 12 months to 15 months your child may gain 3 to 5 words. From 15 months to 18 months they may gain another 5 to 10 words. They may only have 10 to 20 words by 18 months as far as speech is concerned, but I would expect that by 15 to 18 months they understand everything; that's what parents tell me. I tell them to go get their shoes and they bring them to me. I say, look at the light, and they look. I say come sit on my lap and let's read a story and they'll do it, even if they can't articulate fully what they want to do. Then, from 18 months to two years, I want to see a word explosion in their speech. And you may see some between 18 and 21 months, and even more between 21 and 24 months. And this is when one day your child wakes up, and every day there's a new word. They're repeating things that you're saying and their vocabulary and speech is really increasing; increasing from those 10 to 20 words of 18 months to more than 50 words at two years.
Is it normal to not always understand what my 2 year old is saying?
Words may not be articulated well, a syllable may be dropped off, but this is very normal. Yet, again I want to see understanding and word explosion.
What are the motor milestones for toddlers from 1 to 2 years old?
With motor ability, once you start walking, running is the next day, climbing has already happened and you can never leave your child alone. So their mobility just continues to increase. They're going to learn to throw a ball, they're going to start kicking a ball, and they're just going to be moving and getting into everything, so you really just have to be careful when it comes to their mobility.
What can I do to help my toddler develop and learn?
I don't think there is any special remedy or any secret to making your child smarter. I think it's the interactions that you have with them that are the most important aspect of their development and learning. You want to make sure your child is eating a healthy diet, but again, most toddlers are going to be extremely finicky, so that's going to be impossible anyway. You want to do activities with your child and be involved in their lives to help with their development and learning. Read them stories, take them out places, go to the park and play with them. Involving them with other kids and other groups is always helpful again with their development and learning. But I don't think there is any special secret to making any child smarter than another child. I think it's what you put into it, and in parenting it's so important to be involved with your child as much as possible, especially with their development and learning.
What are the developmental milestones for children 3 to 5 years olds?
The developmental milestone from 3 to 5 years of age is that at that age, the child is really at the peak of imagination. This is the milestone when children start to have imaginary friends, monsters in the closet and under the bed; they start complaining of increase in nightmares and night terrors, all very normal and you just support them in all their imaginary endeavours. It's also when they reach the milestone that their speech becomes much more articulate, full sentences. You know at two when we only had 5% of speech intelligible to strangers, by 3 we were up to 75%, and then by 4 we have 100% of speech intelligible to strangers. Even past this milestone, there are going to be some words that are a little lispy, a little slurred and that's normal but those will greatly decrease after the age of 4. This is also the age where they pass the milestone of doing improved school-type activities, using scissors, drawing different shapes, the milestone of circles at age 3, moving to the milestone of squares and triangles and diamonds as they get older. So a lot more of school age behaviour, and really interacting with you and telling you stories, telling you about their day. Really a lot of fun between age 3 and age 5.