At this stage toddlers start to experience new emotions like anger and frustration, guilt, shame, possessiveness and excitement. These "big" emotions can be hard to deal with for your toddler, and you might see some temper tantrums as a result.
Although your toddler’s separation anxiety peaks at around 18 months, by two years it should start to settle down. Your toddler is also beginning to think about how they feel, and might link feelings with words – for example, your toddler might tell you they’re "sad". They might show affection by giving you a kiss or hugging a doll, which is also part of developing empathy.
Around this time, toddlers are keen to do more things independently. For example, your toddler is learning to feed themselves using a spoon and cup, and maybe even a fork. There might even be fewer spills than before! Your toddler might try to help when getting dressed and undressed. At this age, it’s easier for your toddler to take off socks, shoes and clothes without buttons.
Generally, your toddler might show signs that they’re ready for toilet training from two years on. But it’s not unusual for some children to show signs of being ready earlier, at around 18 months.
Play is important because it’s how children learn. At this age, your toddler will start imagining and creating through pretend play, for example, pretending to drink from a cup. As your toddler grows older, pretend play gets more complex, and you might find your toddler doing things like sweeping the floor with a tree branch. Your toddler will enjoy spending time with siblings and other children, even if they don’t play directly with others.
Children enjoy talking at this age. Your toddler’s words might even have up-and-down tones, just like an adult’s. You’ll most likely hear a mix of babble and real words.
At 18 months, your toddler is learning words all the time, usually 1-2 words a week, or maybe even one word a day. Your toddler might name and point at familiar objects, people and body parts, for example, ears, nose or toes. Your toddler might also make animal sounds like "moo", or say the same sound or word over and over.
Your toddler knows his or her own name and the idea of mine. They’re getting better at understanding simple sentences and instructions like "Bring it to me please," or "Let’s go for a walk." You’ll be able to understand more of what your toddler says to you.
Toddlers usually walk on their own by 12 month and at 18 months, they begin to run. Your toddler will probably walk up and down stairs or climb furniture with your help. Throwing and kicking a ball, scribbling with pencils or crayons, and building small towers of blocks might be some of your toddler’s favorite activities.