Toddler Developmental Milestones What to Expect at 2 to 3 Years Age

As a parent it is exciting to see your toddler go through different stages of development. During the age from 1 to 3 your toddler will experience rapid physical, cognitive and emotional development.

Observing your child’s growth helps you identify any potential developmental delays at an early age. Additionally, being aware of one's weaknesses and strengths encourages success in all facets of one's life. Simply put, one key to assisting your toddler in reaching their maximum potential is to be aware of their developmental milestones.

In this article you will get to know how your child achieves developmental milestones at different stages of life.

Also Read: Difference Between Newborn, Infant, and Toddler

Developmental Milestones With Respect to Age

1 Year

2 Year

3 Year


Walking & Running

Motor Skill Advancement


Imitating Actions

Critical Thinking

Grabbing Things

Holding a Pencil

Emotional & Social Development

Language Understanding

Linguistic Development

Language Advancement

Cognitive Development

Problem Solving Skills

Social and Emotional Development

Self Awareness

Following Instructions

One Year Old Developmental Milestones

From birth to 1 year, a child develops lifelong skills including the ability to sit, crawl, speak, and respond. According to a research published by JPMA, in Pakistan, parents need to be more concerned regarding the growth stages of their infants and toddlers. Such considerations are necessary to detect any developmental delay so that parents can get medical assistance in time.

Here are the significant developmental achievements a one-year old achieves.

Gross Motor Skills:

Infants learn to crawl, pull themselves up, and start responding to parents during 6 to 9 months of age. This is a big milestone as it allows them to explore their environment and build their strength and coordination.

Fine Motor Skills: 

Infants begin to develop their fine motor abilities from 8 to 12 months, which include the ability to pick up little things with their fingers. This helps with their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Language Understanding: 

One year old infants develop their language skills, they start to understand what is being told to them, with many beginning to say their first words. It is essential for guardians and parents to talk to their child and encourage their language development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child speaks their first word at age of 1. However, infants communicate through gestures from 9 months.

Cognitive Development:

A one-year-old child also starts to show some cognitive development. They are becoming more curious and are starting to figure out how things work. This is a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to encourage their problem-solving skills by providing safe toys for infants and toddlers.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Buy Safe Toys for Infants and Toddlers

Second Year Developmental Milestones

From 1 year to 3 years, your child falls in the toddler’s category. During such a period of time, kids take their first steps, start running, and develop problem-solving skills. Here are the major developmental milestones toddlers start achieving from 2 years of age. 

Walking and Running: 

Most kids start walking independently in between 8 - 18 months and by the time they are 2 years old, they start running. Walking and running boost agility, mobility and coordination. From taking first steps to start running is a crucial turning point in their physical development since it enables them to become more autonomous and freely explore their surroundings. Although they may still struggle with balance and coordination, they are actively attempting to improve these abilities.

Also Read: At What Age You Should Give Child A Baby Walker?

Imitating Actions: 

Toddlers are great imitators, and they learn a lot through observation and mimicking the actions of others. According to the study of Michigan state university, 14-month-old kids learn things by copying their parents. Imitation is a natural and powerful tool for learning for young children, and it helps them absorb new information, skills, and behaviours. For example, they may observe and imitate actions such as talking on the phone, brushing their teeth, or cooking in the kitchen.

Holding A Crayon or Pencil:

A toddler’s fine motor skills have improved enough to hold a crayon or pencil, allowing them to start engaging in early forms of writing and drawing. This is an important milestone in a toddler's cognitive and physical development as it opens up new avenues for them to express themselves creatively and experiment with different forms of communication. They may still struggle with control and precision in their movements, but with practice and repetition, they will continue to improve.

Linguistic Development: 

Toddlers are still honing their language abilities, expanding their vocabulary, and picking up the usage of two-word phrases. For example “mama come”, and “more juice.” Two-word phrases are a sign of their increasing proficiency with grammar and syntax, which are essential abilities for future language development.

Also Read: 5 Effective Ways to Teach Your Toddler How to Talk?

Problem Solving Skills:

2-year-olds are beginning to develop problem solving skills and learning to use trial and error to find solutions to simple problems. This is a critical milestone in toddlers' cognitive development. As a result of the fact that it creates the foundation for more advanced problem-solving abilities. 

Social And Emotional Development: 

Kids start to understand other people's feelings and emotions around the age of two. They are also becoming more confident in their interactions with others and are starting to engage in cooperative play, sharing toys and taking turns with friends. This not only helps them develop social skills, but it also helps them build a sense of trust and security with others. 


By the age of 2, toddlers start to recognise themselves in the mirror, which helps them grasp their physical attributes and traits. Children begin to develop a sense of identity thanks to their growing self-awareness, which also helps them understand their own emotions and sensations.

Follow Simple Instructions: 

Two-year-olds are capable of understanding and following straightforward requests like "come here" or "give me the toy." Children at this age are starting to comprehend fundamental orders and are able to adhere to straightforward directions, which contributes to the development of their sense of security and confidence.

Third Year Developmental Milestone

From 3 years to onwards, toddlers start achieving advanced skills that are the progression of basic taught abilities. For instance, on average, a child learns to walk in between 10 - 18 months, which means that their gross skills are fully developed by that time. When a toddler turns 3 years old, the developed gross motor skills start to advance and the kid starts jumping, climbing, and doing other tasks that involve muscle movements.  Here is an overview of developmental stages that a 3-year old goes through.

Motor Skills Advancement: 

A 3-year-old child's physical skills continue to advance. Because of the improvement in their gross motor abilities, they are better able to climb and move through barriers. They are also honing their fine motor abilities, such as the ability to drink from a cup on their own.

Language Advancement: 

A toddler's language is still expanding and developing after 2 years of age. They can now speak lengthier phrases and have a larger vocabulary. Additionally, they are starting to speak independently and effectively express their needs and wants. For example, they can say “ I want to play football.” or “I want to eat an egg.”

Critical Thinking: 

A child's cognitive abilities continue to develop around age three, enabling them to think more abstractly and comprehend complicated ideas. They can concentrate for longer stretches of time and follow directions more successfully.

Also Read: Enhance Your Kid's Cognitive Skills With These Educational Toys

Social and Emotional Development:

A 3 year old child is more social. They can socialise very easily, and make friends in Montessori class. Moreover, 3-year old toddlers are less cranky than younger ones, as they can easily adapt to their surroundings.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 need to reach certain developmental stages. They continue growing and maturing in a variety of domains, including physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional, and self-awareness developmental stages. These developmental milestones play a significant role in determining how well your child is progressing overall. Moreover, it gives you essential information about what to anticipate and how to encourage your child's learning and advancement. By closely observing these growth changes, you can make sure that your child thrives as they continue to grow, develop, and reach their full potential