Year (2-3)

Choose your baby’s month

AT 15 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Begins pretend play (such as pretending to drink from a cup).
  • Begins to use gestures.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not imitate body actions on a doll (kissing/feeding the doll).
  • If the child loses skills s/he once had.

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  • Now your child
  • Gives you her/his toy when you ask for it.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child shows little or no interest in toys.

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  • Now your child
  • Responds to her/his name.
  • Understands simple commands.
  • Waves at people.
  • Uses gestures.
  • Points to pictures you name, if the things in the picture are familiar to her/him.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not seem to know her/his name.
  • If the child does not learn gestures like waving or shaking head.

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    • Now your child
    • Stands by her/himself.
    • Begins to walk.
    • Sits without any help.
    • Can hold a crayon in her/his fist.
    • Can walk alone without help.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not stand by herself/himself.

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Parent’s role
As a parent you must encourage your child to talk at this age. Spend time reading with her/him . Looking at picture books and pointing out familiar objects will help her/him to store the information for the future.
By playing out a familiar scene such as cooking, you will encourage your child to use her/his imagination. Let your child be the chef, giving her/him ‘safe’ kitchen implements such as plastic mixing bowl, manual eggbeater, spoon and strainer.
It may not be until after your child’s second birthday that s/he can actually pretend to be someone else, however by this time, you could experiment with role-play. For instance, you can pretend to be a dog and your child the owner. This builds confidence in the child when they are the ‘strong’ one and an adult is small and helpless.

AT 18 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Knows what ordinary things are, e.g., telephone, brush, spoon
  • Points at other people to get their attention.
  • Shows interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed them.
  • Points to one body part.
  • Begins to scribble.
  • Follows 1 step verbal commands for example, sits when you say “sit down”.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not point to show things to others.
  • If the child does not recognize familiar things.
  • If the child loses skills s/he once had.

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  • Now your child
  • Likes to hand things to others as a part of play.
  • Begins to have temper tantrums.
  • Shows affection to familiar people.
  • Plays simple pretend games such as feeding a doll.
  • Clings to caregivers in new situations.
  • Points to show something interesting to others.
  • Explores things but with parent nearby.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not copy others.
  • If the child does not notice or mind when a caregiver leaves or returns.

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  • Now your child
  • Begins to say several single words.
  • Begins to shake head to say or .
  • Points to show someone what s/he wants.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not gain new words.

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    • Now your child
    • Can walk alone.
    • Pulls toys while walking.
    • Helps undress herself/himself.
    • Drinks from a cup.
    • Eats with a spoon.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child cannot walk.

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Parent’s role
Outdoor toys that help gross motor movements such as swing sets or climbing frames are age appropriate.
It’s equally important to encourage your child to practice her/his fine motor skills and discover their creative side. You should have plenty of paints, brushes, non-toxic crayons and paper around.
Praise is especially important. Your positive feedback will help to build your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
At this stage, the child is not mature enough to know how to be empathetic or gentle enough to be careful with the family pet. Do not leave your child alone with a pet no matter how much you trust the animal.
Breastfeeding helps maintain and strengthen the bonding of the child and mother, as well as support feelings of confidence. If you are still breastfeeding your child, do not feel any pressure to wean the child.

AT 21 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Begins to show interest in rearranging furniture, assisting with
    chores and using her/his own play shelves, table, and chairs.
  • Helps in putting on her/his clothes, wash and dry hands or brush teeth with help.
  • Gets closer to being toilet trained.
  • Points to one body part.
  • Begins to develop some decent self-feeding
  • skills like filling a spoon with food and getting it into her/his mouth,
  • spearing food with a fork and drinking from a cup.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not feed her/himself even with assistance.

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  • Now your child
  • Begins to learn about ownership.
  • Likes to play alone with toys for a short time.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not smile when smiled at.

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  • Now your child
  • Names two objects.
  • Likes to pretend-play.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not point, wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate.

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    • Now your child
    • Begins to walk alone and can carry a large toy while walking.
    • Kicks a ball by himself.
    • Begins to climb on and get off a chair/sofa.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child has not begun walking.

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Parent’s role
Try to establish a routine for napping, eating and going to bed to make her/him feel more secure and in control.
Praise your child when you see her/him offering a toy to a friend or a baby. Show that you share things yourself and use words that help your child understand what it means.

AT 24 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers.
  • Begins to sort shapes and colours.
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books.
  • Plays simple make-believe games.
  • Builds towers of 4 or more blocks.
  • Uses one hand more than the other.
  • Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet”.
  • Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, dog etc.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not know what to do with common things like a brush, phone and spoon.
  • If the child cannot identify simple pictures from a familiar book.
  • If the child loses skills s/he once had.

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  • Now your child
  • Copies others especially adults and older children.
  • Gets excited when with other children.
  • Shows more independence.
  • Shows defiant behaviour (doing what s/he has been told not to)
  • Plays mainly beside other children, but begins to include other
    children in play such as in chase games.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not copy actions and words.
  • If the child does not make eye contact with caregivers (such as when being fed).
  • If the child does not play with other children.
  • If the child does not smile when smiled at.
  • If the child shows no interest in stimulus such as books or sharing enjoyment.

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  • Now your child
  • Points to things or pictures when they are named.
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts.
  • Says sentences of 2 to 4 words.
  • Follows simple instructions.
  • Repeats words overheard in conversations.
  • Points to things in a book.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not use two-word phrases (for example, “drink milk”).
  • If the child does not follow simple instructions.
  • If the child does not point, wave goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate.

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    • Now your child
    • Stands on tiptoe.
    • Kicks a ball.
    • Begins to run.
    • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help.
    • Walks up and down the stairs.
    • Throws a ball.
    • Makes or copies straight lines and circles.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not walk steadily.

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Parent’s role
Be prepared for spontaneous hugs and kisses whenever your child urges to show you that s/he loves you.
Incorporate reading of books in the everyday routine.
As a parent you must give your child the opportunity to negotiate when they are in conflict with other children, but be ready to step in if needed. Keep your replies short, sharp and to the point.
Broaden your child’s diet this month and make meals they have not been exposed to before.