Physical development: one to two

The rapid growth spurt of the first year has subsided and from now on the rate of growth is more even. You can expect your child’s height to increase by 7 to 9cm this year. The average weight increase is between 1.8 and 2.6kg.

During the second year of life, parents need to be even vigilant. The helpless, passive baby suddenly becomes an active toddler who causes chaos in his environment and can easily get hurt. (Make sure to visit our Safety in the home section!)

Toddlers become increasingly more mobile as they learn to walk. They develop the pincer grasp (whereby the thumb opposes the forefinger) which allows them do a wide range of things: they can now open cabinets, pick up small objects (including matches and dead insects!) and pull toys.

By eighteen months, they enjoy pushing or pulling something while they walk and seldom get down on all fours. Because they are still top heavy, they fall frequently. They have a wide stance and walk with a gait that is not solidly balanced or smoothly coordinated.

If taught, they may build a tower of two to four blocks and start to scribble with a crayon. They get better at feeding themselves with a spoon but are still messy eaters!

By the end of this year, toddlers are usually able to climb stairs, pedal a tricycle and balance briefly on one foot.

(Ilse Pauw, Health24)

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