Parents usually concern themselves with the question of whether their child is developing properly. The development of every child is individual. Nevertheless, certain behaviors can be assigned to certain phases of development.
According to the phases mentioned, the child should have certain motor, language and cognitive skills. This is important in order to be able to recognize possible developmental abnormalities and to act accordingly as parents. Here you will find all information on the development of a toddler in chronological order.

Please also read: Child development

Development in toddlers at 12 months

Child development is a stressful topic for many parents and it is not uncommon for friends to brag about the achievements and progress of their own child.

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In order to be able to guarantee a safe development and to be able to act as quickly as possible in the event of anomalies, preventive medical checkups for children were introduced in Germany. In the period between the 10th and 12th month, parents should visit the pediatrician with their children at U6. In this study, special attention is paid to the mental and motor development of the child. Few children are very strong in both areas. Most of the time, children who are very advanced mentally tend to have slight motor deficits. However, this is not a permanent condition and returns to normal in the course of the child's development.

The stated developmental steps in child development are rough guidelines that parents can use for orientation and that are fulfilled by most children of the respective age group. Nevertheless, there can be deviations from time to time, but these should not be viewed too critically at first. It only becomes problematic if the child is later unable to meet the relevant expectations.

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Typical milestones for the 12th month of life would, for example, be the child's standing without having to hold on to any objects. Walking, on the other hand, only works for most of them by supporting themselves on objects or being guided by the hand.

In addition, most children can use what is known as a tweezer grip. So you take objects between your thumb and forefinger to touch them.

Most children in this age group can also formulate the first concrete words such as "Mama" or "Papa". As a rule, they also react to their own name - that is, they realize when they are spoken to. In addition, they can use words to which they attach multiple meanings. For example, the word ball in children's parlance stands for both the object and playing with it.

In addition, the children's eating habits change at this age. For example, appetite can fluctuate widely. Sometimes the children eat several portions, sometimes they leave the food uninterested.
It is advisable to prepare one warm meal a day for the children.

Would you like to read more about this phase? Then take a look here: The Stages of Early Childhood Development - An Overview

Also read our topic: When does my child start to walk?

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Development in the toddler at 18 months

In terms of motor skills, one and a half year olds have made significant progress. By 18 months, children should be able to walk unaided. In addition, at this age the children start actively climbing around on chairs, the sofa, etc. Since the children are now able to independently explore their environment from a new perspective, they appear particularly enthusiastic and alert.

Compared to a one-year-old, children at the age of one and a half are already significantly more communicative. While one-year-olds usually limit themselves to one-word sentences, children at 18 months can form two- to three-word sentences. Your active vocabulary at this point is around 50 words. Your passive vocabulary, on the other hand, is already 200 to 300 words. So they can already give them a meaning and understand the intent that is associated with these words.

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Furthermore, the children are now able to eat independently. Knife and fork cannot yet be used synergistically, but small portions of food can be targeted to the mouth with the individual cutlery. The basic requirement for this is that the children are able to hold objects tightly with their whole hand - the further development of the tweezer grip, which the one-year-olds mainly still use.

Even if the child seems very curious, they still prefer to play alone when playing. Nevertheless, they appreciate it when other children play around them as well.

In addition, the children begin to develop their own mind and will. This brings with it the fact that children are prone to defiance and small outbursts of anger when things do not go according to their expectations.

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Another important point to observe in one and a half year olds is their tendency to repeat things. Children's books are read aloud several times, and children's songs are also repeated or asked for hundreds of times.

When it comes to preventive examinations, there are no appointments for 18 month olds. The appointment for U6 should be completed by the age of 14 months at the latest. The U7, on the other hand, is only available at the age of two.

Would you like to find out more important information? Then also read:

  • Feeding the baby
  • Tiptoe in the child

Development in toddlers at 2 years of age

In terms of motor skills, children after the age of two are able to walk safely on their own and to avoid obstacles in their path in a targeted and safe manner. You are now also able to keep your balance on one leg for a short time. When it comes to fine motor skills, most children of this age are able, for example, to thread pearls onto a string or to solve simple puzzles as well as to assign and recognize different shapes. They also begin to scribble their first pictures. In addition, with the help of their parents, the children can wash their hands and brush their teeth.

By the age of two, the children's vocabulary has developed further and at this point comprises around 200 active and passive words that can be used and understood.

In addition, the children tend to answer questions and requests in the negative. In this context, one could speak of the child's first defiant phase. The so-called “why phase” usually occurs between the ages of two and three. The children question many things. It is not uncommon for the children to use the “why” to irritate their parents and to test the limits shown. However, children of this age cannot yet follow logical explanations - for example the “why” questions.

By the age of two, following the example of brushing their teeth, most children have fully developed deciduous teeth, so that intensive dental care should be on the program for the children twice a day.

In the course of their third year of life, the children also begin to actively recognize the difference between male and female persons and to become aware of their own gender. As a rule, the children then begin to imitate the behavior of the same-sex family members. Sometimes, however, the behavior of family members of the opposite sex is also imitated.

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The U7 is due for child check-ups with the second birthday. Here the pediatrician pays attention to timely motor and psychological / mental development with the help of simple standardized tests.

Do you know how proper oral care should be carried out on children? To do this, read: Dental care in the child

Development in toddlers at 3 years of age

Compared to a two-year-old child, an enormous personality and movement development can be observed even up to the third birthday.

Children aged three have made a huge leap. You can now sprint hands-free a short distance and step on each step with just one foot. The first more complex movement sequences such as driving a scooter or swimming can now be learned. You can also jump over small obstacles or the last step on both feet.

As expected, the children's sentence structure is also more complex and flowing. The children can now build sentences of four to five words. In addition, the children understand the difference between singular and plural and can specifically distinguish in assignments whether the parents asked about one or more things. They begin to use the articles “the one, the one and the that” correctly and can state their own name and age. Three-year-olds can now also make a specific assignment; For example, shapes and colors can be differentiated or things can be sorted by size.

In addition, the child begins to develop more and more social relationships. It not only tries to observe and support the parents in their activities, but now also begins to consciously play with other children. “Sharing” is another aspect that children begin to learn at the age of three, as well as the fact that they express their own opinions to others and argue with others for it. This also leads to feelings such as jealousy and envy. While playing, the children can already put themselves in other roles. Animal roles are played, but “family events” can sometimes be played out in small groups.

During the day, most children are dry after their third birthday. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case for the night.

Around the 36th month of life, i.e. around the third birthday, the U7a preventive medical check-up is on the plan for every child. During this examination, the pediatrician assesses not only the contemporary physical and mental development but also the child's allergic potential and, if necessary, a further examination of the cause of the allergy. Another important point in this examination is the dental status of the children. If the children have not yet seen a dentist at this point, the pediatrician will urge you to do so as soon as possible.

You might also be interested in: U examinations

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Development in toddlers at 4 years of age

The children increasingly develop a feeling for fine motor skills. Handling scissors is no longer a problem for most children and it is now easy for children to write or paint their own name.

The children can now also understand the principle of a sporting game such as soccer and have the physical prerequisites to practice this sport. First attempts to use a bicycle without training wheels or the first attempts at swimming are not uncommon for children who are far more advanced in terms of their motor skills.

The language development of children really takes off at the age of four. Roughly speaking, children learn about five new words a day during this time. The sentence structure is becoming increasingly complex and the first subordinate clauses are formed. The pronunciation becomes clearer; However, with -s or -sch sounds the children can still have difficulties. In the event of abnormalities, the help of a speech therapist should be consulted.

In terms of social behavior, the child begins to empathize with other children more and more. He makes his first solid and real friendships, although he still finds it difficult to put his own needs on the back burner. In addition to the parents, other people are now starting to act as role models in the children's lives, for example kindergarten teachers or their own grandparents.

By the age of four, most children are now dry at night too. Sucking your thumb and having a favorite cuddly toy are circumstances that will take some time to get rid of.

A preventive medical check-up at the pediatrician is also due around the fourth birthday. In this case it is the U8. In this examination, the pediatrician will again focus more on the contemporary mental and physical development of the child. A hearing test and picture boards that the child should describe are now used for this purpose.

Do you think your child has hearing or vision problems? Here you will find all the information about how to deal with hearing loss and visual impairment:

  • Hearing loss in child
  • Visual disturbances in children

Development in toddlers at 5 years of age

The organ of equilibrium matures to full functionality in this phase of life. The children can now stand on one leg, jump off walls or jump rope without any problems. With the fully developed sense of balance, cycling is no longer a problem. But the fine motor development of children is also progressing. Most children at this age can already eat correctly with a knife and fork or tie a bow so that they can put their shoes on independently.

Linguistic development should be so advanced by the fifth year that children can master all the sounds of their mother tongue and reproduce them without any problems.
Furthermore, the narrative style of a five-year-old child improves noticeably. Events can now be told in primarily correct chronological order. And the children's drawings and pictures are also becoming increasingly detailed. The child tries to use realistic colors and to better bring the dimensions of the real models on paper. Children also learn the ability to calculate in this phase of life. Almost all children can add or subtract numbers up to ten by the time they start school.

Five-year-olds get along better and better when dealing with other children. They begin to develop a keen sense of justice and recognize the fact that compromises are required in order to be able to put joint games into practice. Membership in a sports club or learning to play an instrument, etc. are ideal to promote the creativity of the child.

As in the previous years, there is also a preventive check-up around the fifth birthday of a child. This time it is the U9, with a special focus on the language development of the child. It is also the final exam before entering school. If the children still have speech disorders, a normal end result can still be achieved with the help of speech therapy.

Also read:

  • Speech therapy
  • U10 examination

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