Toddler milestones: developing independence

Toddler milestones: developing independence

Be prepared to encourage your child when she reaches self-care milestones.

After your child's first birthday, you may witness a transition from needy newborn to take-charge toddler. Here are some signs that she's ready to try taking care of herself.

Milestone 1: Feeding herself. By 15 months, she may show interest in using a spoon, even grabbing it when you feed her. By 18 months she may be able to handle the spoon pretty well (and get most of the food into her mouth). Keep plenty of paper towels handy – it's about to get messy!
How you can help. Invest in rubber-tipped spoons so she doesn't hurt her gums. Use unbreakable dishware that can survive multiple tumbles from the high chair to the floor.

Milestone 2: Taking her first steps. Many toddlers take their first steps around their first birthday. Signs your child is ready include rolling around, scooting, and climbing stairs using hands.
How you can help. Make sure your baby gets plenty of tummy time from early on. Walking requires strong back muscles, which your baby develops when he lies on his tummy and lifts up his head.

Milestone 3: Brushing her teeth. While she won't have the coordination to take over the toothbrush task completely until age six or seven, you can let her practice if she wants to try.
How you can help. Most dentists encourage parents to let their child brush his teeth on her own, and then to follow up with a thorough cleaning.

It's thrilling to watch your child become more and more independent, but it's important to let her reach milestones at her own pace. Your job? Provide support and show her how it's done.

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments





Staci 10/10/2015

Its nice as a first-time parent to had a general idea of what I can expect and in what time frame.



My son is advanced. He impresses his doctor everytime we see him. My son just wants to learn and know everything. Some of his tantrums are because he wants to know something and it ends up being something he already know. He throws a fit because he WANTS to know something new! lol


Justice 10/7/2015

My Baby Its Experiencing All These Things And Its Very Exciting.

Give them silverware asap

diddbutt 10/1/2015

Very helpful

Playdates for Toddlers

Interacting with other children is an ideal opportunity for your child to make friends and hone social skills. Get the most out of toddler playdates.

Read more

Gardening with toddlers

Where does our food come from? We can help our kids explore this question and have fun by planting a garden.

Read more

Housework with Toddlers

Since our kids like to imitate us, why not show them ways to help around the house? Some easy chores kids can do (with parental supervision) include dusting, watering plants and sorting laundry. Get more ideas.

Read more