Physical Development

19 - 24 Months

Your child is losing his baby fat and looking much more like an active toddler than an infant. His arms and legs will lengthen gradually, bringing his body into better proportion. His feet will now point forward as he walks, rather than out to the side. His facial features will lose their round appearance and become more defined.

Your toddler is taking a great deal of pleasure in his newfound abilities.

Gross Motor Skills
Your toddler now advances from toddling and walking to full-speed running. Although he will not always watch where he’s going at these top speeds, he actually gets around more safely because he can look down at his feet and maneuver around things that are in his way. He’s switching from a flat-footed walk to the more grown-up heel-to-toe gait. By 24 months, your toddler may walk up stairs without holding the railing or your hand for support, and can walk down stairs while holding on. He will still go one step at a time, leading with the same foot, instead of alternating feet on each step.

As his motor skills develop, you’ll see your baby enjoying his ability to jump, turn circles, stomp feet, and balance on one foot. This makes dancing and twirling to music especially fun. Acrobatics are another terrific way for your child to experiment with all the wonderful things his body can do. He’ll be especially skilled at rolling and tumbling.

Fine Motor Skills
Your child can now turn the pages in a book one at a time once you’ve shown him how and will have great success with thick or cardboard pages. Lids hold a special fascination for your child; he’ll open and close a shoe box, twist on and off the top to an empty jelly jar, and snap the plastic lid on an old container open and closed. He loves knobs and buttons. Your TV, stereo, and other electronics become his favorite toys; he has the dexterity to make them work and the mental ability to enjoy the cause-and-effect outcome. If you haven't already done so, put away any dangerous, yet alluring items.

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