Observation Checklist for Toddlers

by Kelly Sundstrom

Do you constantly compare your child to other children her age? Who doesn't? However, toddlers develop at different rates, so it might seem hard to tell if your child meets all of the recommended developmental milestones by comparing her to other kids. Gain a better understanding of toddler development so that you can compare it to what you observe in your own child.


You will find it easier to talk to your toddler as she gets older.

Let's face it, baby babble sounds cute, but after your baby grows it can get frustrating trying to communicate when you can't tell what your child says. This will all change as your baby grows into a toddler. Oklahoma State University suggests that by 24 to 36 months old, your toddler's words should become more clear, and she should start to string words together into logical sentences. The complexity of the sentences will vary from child to child, so don't feel bad if your friend has a 2 year old who speaks so well that she sounds like a tiny genius.

Physical Growth

Your toddler might test your physical endurance.

Although you might not want to hear it, as your baby grows into a toddler, she will become much more active and energetic. While your arms may get a break from carrying around a baby all day, your legs and feet will get a workout as she begins to walk, run or even climb all over the place! Some children become mobile earlier than others, but according to Oklahoma State University, by 36 months all children can typically maneuver around a playground unaided.

Intellectual Growth

Your toddler's brain growth will amaze you.

A toddler's brain growth can seem shocking. Although your babe in arms may have seemed docile and uninterested in many things, your curious toddler will want to inspect and investigate everything in sight! According to the University of Illinois, by 36 months the typical toddler will begin to identify letters, numbers, colors and sounds. If you have a particularly precocious child, you might even see her start to sound out letters and read simple words.

Emotional Development

Your toddler might seem more cranky than before.

As your child grows into toddlerhood, she will begin to gain a sense of independence that will make her want to resist you. How can you tell if your toddler has this independent feeling already? You will know once she begins to throw regular and very temperamental tantrums. Oh yes, the "terrible twos" will probably affect your precious child, turning her from a sweet, peaceful baby into a raging tyrant. Don't worry, this emotional stage will eventually pass and happens to the sweetest of toddlers.

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