How to Measure a Toddler's Mental Development


The key to measuring your toddler's mental development is knowing what to expect at certain stages. Toddlers are growing, changing and learning new skills every day, so it's an exciting time for both child and parent. Remember that while all toddlers are going through the same developmental processes, each child is an individual and will develop at his own pace. Try not to compare your toddler to other children. Focus on your own child's development and what you can do to help.

  • Listen to your toddler when he speaks. At the age of 12 to 15 months, you can expect him to know a few simple words. By 24 months, he is likely to be putting two or more words together, and will understand basic instructions, such as "pick up the book." Practice naming body parts, animals, family members and toys with your child. Don't worry if your toddler seems to talk less than other children. It's highly likely that he knows the words, but just chooses not to say them yet.

  • Observe your toddler discovering how things work around the house. By experimenting with doors, buttons and boxes, she is understanding the concept of cause and effect. Opening and closing the same door again and again for several minutes is more than a game; it's her way of testing a theory and understanding the result of her actions. Join in with your toddler as she explores her surroundings and works out how to do new things, talking to her about what is going to happen. Don't expect her to understand the consequences of her actions; she may understand that a toy will fall down stairs if she throws it, but not that it could break.

  • Involve your toddler in creative, imaginative play to help him develop his creative side. Watch for him pretending to talk on a toy phone, make a cup of tea and tuck his teddies into bed. This is a sign of his developing creativity. Expect to see him imitating more of your own actions as he grows.

  • Help your toddler identify colors, shapes, letters and numbers with books, games and interactive toys. Children learn through play and repetition, but remember she will go at her own pace. Avoid putting too much pressure on her to learn and focus on providing a secure, loving environment, which helps her develop in every way.

  • Make an appointment with your pediatrician if you are worried about any aspect of your toddler's development. As a general guide, 2-year-old children should be putting two or more words together, appear interested in what other people are doing and constantly interacting with you. Follow your instinct and seek a professional opinion.


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