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Your toddler will amaze you more and more every day, they will develop new skills on a daily basis, many of which go unnoticed because there are just too many to keep track of – beginning to talk, walk, run, jump, and of course the dreaded tantrums. Our chapter on toddler development will cover many different milestones, and while you read on take time to enjoy the ones you’re noticing in your toddler. Keep in mind though the information in this chapter does not cover every little developmental milestone, if you have any concerns about your toddlers development you should contact your doctor or child health nurse.
At 12 months your baby is now considered a toddler. In addition to physical growth and fine motor development they will experience great social, emotional, language and cognitive development. The speed of growth in these areas may depend on genetics and even their position in the family such as only child, oldest child or youngest of several siblings. Your toddler’s development will also be influenced by the opportunities they have to explore and the type of sensory stimulation they experience.
Two of your toddler’s favourite words may be ‘no’ and ‘mine’. They’ll experiment with testing their limits and being more assertive. They may insist on attempting to spoon feed themselves or perhaps show anger when a toy is taken away. Your toddler may be more social or more wary of strangers. They may like meeting new people and following conversations—especially when they can join in. You will probably find that they love being with children their own age. Your toddler has become aware of their individuality and wants to let you and others know. Up until now it was you that made decisions for them but now they will begin to have their own opinion – perhaps a glimpse of the teenage years to come.
Your toddler develops daily and each moment they will achieve a little more of a new milestone. Even though milestones are based on research each toddler takes their own time to attain these milestones. As you watch your toddler grow, remember that children develop at different rates. If your toddler isn’t developing like other children of the same age and you are concerned seek professional help.