Your child's developmental milestones from 1 to 2 years

Your child’s first 5 years will see huge changes in their development. As they grow, their skills develop.

These include:

  • gross motor skills – using large muscles that coordinate body movements such as standing, sitting upright and walking
  • fine motor skills – using small muscles for accurate coordinated movements such as holding a toy and drawing with a crayon
  • communication and hearing
  • social and emotional
  • problem-solving, learning and understanding

The ages given for milestones in this guide are an average. Every child is different. Most children should be meeting these milestones.

Information:

Talk to your GP or public health nurse (PHN) if you are concerned about your child’s development. They may carry out more tests or refer your child to a specialist

By 14 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your toddler will start to walk independently.

Fine motor

They’ll be able to build towers using 2 cubes.

Communication and hearing

Your toddler will be able to say one word at a time, such as “no” or the name of a particular object.

Social and emotional

They’ll play alongside other children but not with them. This is called parallel play.

Your child may:

  • be easily frightened by loud noises - they may cry if they are startled by a sound like a door slamming
  • want your attention and praise
  • react to changes in their daily routine
  • be able to soothe and comfort themselves as well as getting comfort from you

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your toddler will put 2 cubes into 1 hand to help them take a third cube.

By 16 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your toddler will crawl upstairs. Their legs will be stiff when they run.

Fine motor

They’ll be able to build towers using 3 cubes.

Communication and hearing

Your toddler will have a vocabulary of 5 to 10 words.

Social and emotional

They’ll start doing pretend play. This is when your toddler pretends objects or actions are other make-believe objects or ideas as play. For example, pretending blocks are a house or pretending to talk on a phone.

Your child may:

  • enjoy getting praise and attention from you
  • get upset when they don’t get something they want
  • not want to share toys with other children

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your toddler will find toys hidden under layers.

By 20 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your toddler will walk upstairs while holding your hand.

Fine motor

Your child will be able to:

  • stack 3 to 6 small blocks on top of each other
  • turn the pages of a book by themselves

Communication and hearing

Your toddler will be able to point to 6 body parts.

Social and emotional

They’ll be able to feed themselves and take off clothes.

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your toddler will scribble back and forth using a crayon.

By 24 months

By this age most babies will achieve these milestones:

Gross motor

Your toddler will be able to:

  • jump into place
  • kick a ball
  • throw a ball

Fine motor

They’ll be able to make a ‘train’ using cubes. They’ll be able to use a crayon or marker to copy a vertical line after seeing you do it first.

Communication and hearing

Your toddler will be able to say 2 or 3 word sentences. They will refer to themselves by their names. They will have 50 or more words in their vocabulary.

Social and emotional

Your toddler will:

  • match objects to pictures
  • imitate or copy others to please them
  • not necessarily be distressed if separated from you and will continue with their activity

Your child may:

  • test limits to see if they can get their own way
  • have temper tantrums when they don’t get their way
  • be less frightened by things like heights or strangers
  • become less upset by short separations from you
  • become more difficult to put to bed
  • cry if you’re cross or upset with them
  • be jealous if you give attention to other young children
  • have an understanding of self - for example, recognising their face in a mirror

You may notice your child:

  • asking lots of questions
  • being interested in different parts of their body - including their genitals
  • saying “no” often - this shows they are gaining confidence
  • enjoying sharing their achievements with you and getting your praise and encouragement
  • being unable to take the feelings of others into account - they think the world revolves around them
  • becoming interested in children of the same age and other adults and talking to them
  • becoming more confident so they are able to be apart from you for short periods of time - for example going to pre-school

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your toddler will continue to do pretend play. They will copy a line drawn on a piece of paper.

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 8.

Page last reviewed: 1 December 2021
Next review due: 1 December 2024