Toddlers this age are learning to express themselves to get what they want. New verbal skills allow your little one to point to an object and say a word — and, in turn, you respond. This newfound ability can lead to tantrums, though, when a child doesn't get his or her way. While frustrating, tantrums are a normal part of toddler development. Help avoid angry outbursts by distracting your little one with an interesting toy or game, and keep your cool when they do happen. Doctors use certain milestones to tell if a toddler is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some children gain skills earlier or later than others. Toddlers who were born prematurely reach milestones later. Always talk with your doctor about your child's progress. Here are some things your toddler might be doing: Communication and Language Skills indicates what he or she wants by pulling, pointing, or grunting brings objects to you, such as a book to read says 3-5 words (in addition to "mama" and "dada") and uses them correctly can point to a body part when asked ("Where's your nose?") Movement and Physical Development takes steps without support squats to pick something up begins to accept liquids from a spouted or open cup stacks three blocks scribbles with crayon on paper Social and Emotional Development begins to show preference for certain activities (and will resist napping if engaged in a desired activity) uses transitional objects (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) to self-comfort has strong dislikes, such as fear of loud noises or bath time shows affection to caregivers with hugs and kisses Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning) understands and follows simple commands imitates activities, such as sweeping a floor begins to engage in problem-solving activities, like simple puzzles When to Talk to Your Doctor Every child develops at his or her own pace, but certain signs could indicate a delay in development. Talk to your doctor if your child: doesn't use consonant sounds ("ba, da, ga") or other vocalizations to express needs doesn't show affection (hugs, kisses) doesn't show interest in other children Also, if you ever notice that your child has lost skills he or she once had or shows weakness on one side of the body, tell your doctor. Back to Articles Related Articles Your Child's Checkup: 15 Months Find out what this doctor's visit will involve and what your toddler might be doing by 15 months. Read More Delayed Speech or Language Development Knowing what's "normal" and what's not in speech and language development can help you figure out if you should be concerned or if your child is right on schedule. Read More Nutrition Guide for Toddlers While growth slows somewhat during the toddler years, it's a new era where kids will eat and drink more independently. Read More Safe Exploring for Toddlers Toddlers are learning to talk, to walk and run, and to assert their independence. For many in this age group, "outside" and "play" are common requests. Read More Toddlers: Learning by Playing It might look like just child's play, but toddlers are hard at work learning important physical skills as they gain muscle control, balance, and coordination. Read More Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Toddlers have little tummies, so serve foods that are packed with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong, and limit the sweets and empty calories. Read More Growth and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old You're in for a year of changes! Midway through this year, most babies are walking and starting to lose that "baby" look. Read More Medical Care and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old The toddler months might continue to bring colds, bruises, and other minor emergencies, but you'll also find yourself dealing with your toddler's emerging independence. Read More Sleep and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Nighttime feedings may be a thing of the past, but in this second year of life your tot might be rising for other reasons. Learn more. Read More Managing Your Toddler's Behavior (Video) Learn how to encourage good behavior, handle tantrums, and keep your cool when parenting your toddler. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.