You may have noticed that your toddler's growth has slowed a bit since the first year of life. Toddlers grow at a much slower rate than babies do. While it might look as if little has changed on the outside, your toddler is making strides each day in language development, learning, balance, and coordination. Doctors use milestones to tell if a toddler is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some children may gain skills earlier or later than others. Toddlers who were born prematurely may 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 says 10 to 20 words understands one-step commands ("Pick up the toy.") can point to some body parts ("Where is your nose?") Movement and Physical Development runs walks up stairs with hand held throws a ball takes off some clothes scribbles with a crayon Social and Emotional Development begins to engage in pretend play laughs in response to others shows affection plays alongside other children assert themselves verbally or through angry tantrums Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning) knows the name of favorite toys names and points at familiar objects or characters in a picture book imitates everyday actions, such as cooking or talking on the phone can match pairs of objects When Should I Call the Doctor? Every child develops at their own pace. But some signs could indicate a delay in development. Talk to your doctor if your child: doesn't walk doesn't make eye contact or gesture to items of interest speaks fewer than five words doesn't understand simple requests Also, if you ever notice that your child has lost skills or shows weakness on one side of the body, tell your doctor. Back to Articles Related Articles Your Child's Checkup: 1.5 Years (18 Months) Find out what this doctor's visit will involve and what your toddler might be doing by 18 months. 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 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 Movement, Coordination, and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Most toddlers this age are walking and gaining even more control over their hands and fingers. Give your child lots of fun (and safe) things to do to encourage this development. 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 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 Communication and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Your toddler is probably saying a few first words now, but you may not be able to understand them all. Learn about how your child is communicating. Read More Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Kids go from babies to toddlers during this time, from first steps to walking well. They also make major strides in language and communication. 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.