Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 11 Month Old

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 11 Month Old

Separation anxiety, mimicking, and being able to follow instructions are just some of the things you might notice in your toddler at this age.

Your little one may be headed for the terrible twos, but there’s more to 1 year and 11 month old toddler development than just gearing up for a phase characterised by tantrums or unruly behaviour.

Though being defiant is a part of this stage, your child will also show qualities worth looking forward to, like being eager to learn, expressing her emotional attachment to mum and dad as well as exercising her independence.

Much like the months preceding it, your child’s 23rd month is filled with exciting new milestones. 

In this article, we help you get to know your 1 year and 11 month old better! But remember, each toddler is unique, and they learn and develop at their own pace. 

We’ve put together a teaser of what’s in store for your child’s development as she nears her second birthday!

1 Year and 11 Month Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

23 month old development and milestonesDaily Skills

Almost-two-year-olds just love mimicking mummy and daddy. This is true for both words and actions. So don’t be surprised when your tot suddenly pretends he’s on a business call, or acts as if he’s preparing food in the kitchen.

He will try to mimic you, or do things on his own. He might be resistant to change, especially when it comes to grooming and dressing, but be patient. This is all part of the learning process.


  • Encourage your child’s independence by teaching him simple chores, like putting away toys, sweeping floors, or wiping down a table after meals.

  • Meal times are when to promote healthy eating habits! Serve him grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, or give him dishes plentiful in fruits and vegetables. Do not give him soda.

  • When it comes to grooming and dressing up, offer choices, as well as distractions, to lighten the mood. Foster independence by gradually teaching him to dress on his own. 
  • Though mimicry is charming, you need to take care not to let your little one hear anything you wouldn’t want him repeating, like a curse word or “grown-up-word.”

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • When it comes to aches and pains, be observant of your child’s cues. For instance, if he has an earache, he might tug at his ears to let you know, because he can’t name the sensation yet. 
  • At this time, your toddler will soon be getting their 2 year old well baby checkup. Make sure to list down all your questions and concerns about your child’s growth, development, and behaviour.
23 month old development and milestones

When it comes to 1 year and 11 month old toddler development, it’s important to know that kids are master mimickers and very attached to mum and dad. So adorable!

Physical Development

When it comes to your child’s physical development, you’ll notice that your 1 year and 11 month old is starting to stand on tiptoes, kick balls, and throw balls. He is also more confident running on his own. 

He can climb up and down furniture and steps with little to no help. Unstructured play and dramatic play can help tots at this age develop physically and cognitively. 

On closer look, your 23-month-old has also started to show that they can build cube towers, form these cubes into trains, copy lines drawn horizontally, draw in circular strokes, and use a spoon without spilling too much! 

At this stage, your child’s median height and weight* should be as follows: 

  • Boys
    – Height: 86.8 cm (34.2 inches)
    – Weight: 11.9 kg (26.3 lb)
  • Girls 
    – Height: 85.1 cm (33.5 inches)
    – Weight: 11.7 kg (25.9 lb)

Your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 48.1 cm (18.9 inches)
  • Girls: 47.0 cm (18.5 inches)


  • Make sure to child-proof your home to keep your little climber safe. Bolt down tall dressers and drawers and keep furniture away from windows, especially if you live in a high-rise building.
  • Get him a ball and kick it back and forth with him. Not only will this hone his motor skills, it could be a great chance to bond with your active tot. 
  • Take him for walks in the park or playground, where he can explore, grasp, and climb. Remember to watch him closely as he runs around.
  • Sit down and engage in art projects with your little one. 
  • When reading books, ask him to help you turn the page.
  • You can also start giving him puzzles, which not only enhance fine motor skills, but his ability to visualise patterns and mimic images.
  • Ask him to carry things for you to foster his ability to help – as well as fine motor skills like grasping and clutching. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child struggles to kick or stand on tiptoes, consult your doctor to make sure he is developing at a proper rate.
  • If your tot finds it impossible to grasp objects, like balls, crayons, and pencils, consult your child’s paediatrician.
23 month old development and milestones

When it comes to 1 year and 11 month old toddler development, it’s important to know that your little one’s memory is flourishing.

Cognitive Development

Aside from a budding vocabulary, your child’s memory is also flourishing at this stage. Your 1 year and 11 month old is showing signs of understanding the concept of object permanence. For instance, he can remember if he left a toy in his room.

He can also perform simple problem-solving, grasp the concept of time, and visualise objects in his mind. He’s like a little sponge, so make sure he only soaks up the good stuff! 


  • Your child may show signs of artistic inclination. Encourage this by giving him crayons, clay, or non-toxic watercolours to play with.
  • Enhance his concept of object permanence by hiding things around the room and asking him to find them. 
  • When reading books, try explaining further what words mean. Make associations with daily life. 
  • Quiz your child throughout the day by showing him objects and asking him to name these objects.
  • Be very patient and don’t pressure them to remember everything. Kids learn best when they feel encouraged and valued.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child can’t seem to remember what familiar objects look like or if they can’t name them, ask your doctor if there are healthy ways to boost their memory.

Social and Emotional Skills

A part of 1 year and 11 month old toddler development is the separation anxiety stage, which is a reality throughout the toddler years, and it is even more apparent now. 

Though separation anxiety from mum and dad is strong at this stage, your 1 year and 11 month old will tend to get super excited to see other kids around. He might show some cheeky behaviour, though, but it’s mostly because he’s learning to assert his individuality and independence.

He might also seem irritable, but it’s nothing some one-on-one time with mummy or daddy can’t fix. Or it could be that he wants to feel that he truly has your attention. This is why he tends to cuddle or tug at your sleeve whenever he wants to show off something, like a drawing or a toy.


  • Remember that your child likes to play beside — but not with — kids, so let him play on his own even in the company of other children.
  • Let him play games that foster socialisation, like chase or tag. 
  • Be very encouraging, engage with him, show him what it’s like to listen intently and to be responsive. 
  • Intervene when it comes to disagreement with peers, and guide him in how to resolve possible conflict, as he’s still unable to deal with these types of situations.
  • Praise him when he exhibits good behaviour.
  • Prioritise praise over punishment.
  • Don’t negate him, but instead say things gently, even when correcting him. 
  • Be encouraging without making a fuss if he accidentally says a bad word or act out. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child refuses to socialise or is combative towards other kids, consult a paediatrician as to how to make these interactions less stressful. 
  • When the separation anxiety or tantrums become so extreme that the child is unable to acclimate to new places or situations, like play school. 

Speech and Language Development

Your little 1 year and 11 month old has a blooming vocabulary. He can start to string two to four words together to form sentences. Kids this age can point to objects and pictures, if you name them.

Since your tot loves to mimic you, he can repeat words and phrases he overhears. Because of this, he can also start to follow simple instructions. He can also express simple needs, like going to the toilet, or simple feelings. Quite adorably, he can refer to himself by name.

Your child is also at an age where he can associate words with events, so do your best to encourage his verbal expression.


  • Read good books to your 1 year and 11 month old. Let him associate words with pictures and encourage him to repeat words and phrases back to you.
  • Show him photos of familiar people and point to body parts to practice naming them. 
  • Use picture cards to further enrich his vocabulary. 
  • Use “I,” “me,” “you” in daily conversation to promote the habit of using these pronouns to communicate.
  • Encourage naming things instead to pointing to them. If he wants a book, he should be encouraged to say the word. 

When To See a Doctor: 

  • If your little one can’t utter simple words or name familiar people, despite frequent repetition, ask your child’s paediatrician how to help them along.
  • If he can’t follow simple instructions or express what he wants in simple words or gestures, pay your doctor a visit as well.

Health and Nutrition

Picky eating is common for toddlers this age. But be patient and continue to make sure he gets the necessary nutrients he needs like calcium. If you’re starting to toilet train your child, now would also be a good time to teach him proper hygiene, like the right way to wash his hands.

Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 979.1 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 961.3 Kcal/day 

To meet their daily nutrition needs, it should be composed of the following:

  • Protein

Introduce your tot to sources of protein such as poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds, eggs, and tofu. One serving equals one to three tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, or fish, four to five tablespoons of dry beans and peas, or one egg (in total 17.5g of protein). Introduce 2 servings of fish or meat 1/3 the size of your palm. 

  • Fruits 

Instead of sweet treats or sugary desserts, fruits should be your first choice. Your child needs about 3 cups (100g/cup) of fruits every day. 3 cups of fruit equals 2 of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, half cup of dried fruit and half of a large apple, cut into small pieces.

  • Vegetables 

At this stage, your child requires 1.5 cups (25g each) of vegetables every day. 1.5 cups of vegetables equals to 1 cup cooked mashed or finely chopped vegetables, 1/4 large tomato and/or 1/4 a medium carrot.

Variety is the name of the game. Aim to give your child different kinds of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. Canned vegetables are a convenient and nutritious choice, but when selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.

  • Grains 

Introduce up to 3 ounces of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.

Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.

  • Milk/Dairy 

Still breastfeeding? Great! Your child should drink a minimum of 400-700ml of breastmilk. You can choose to switch it up with milk, cheese or yoghurt.

In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):

  • Fruits: 3 cups for boys; 3 cups for girls 
  • Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys; 1.5 cups for girls
  • Grains: 3 ounces for boys; 3 ounces for girls
  • Proteins: 20g for boys; 20g for girls  
  • Milk: 16 to 24 ounces for boys; 16 to 24 ounces for girls
  • Water: 1200 ml for boys; 1200 ml for girls


  • Don’t force your child to eat if he doesn’t seem hungry. 
  • Offer healthy food choices at meal times. Remember that even picky eaters can get used to certain foods, if they are given repeatedly.
  • To keep him healthy, make sure to store his toothbrush in a clean container, and wash towels, pillow cases and bed sheets separately.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If you child constantly has a poor appetite or is not gaining weight, enlist the help of a trusted paediatrician to know how to help him. 
  • If your toddler has a skin reaction after eating certain food items, or starts coughing/choking/wheezing, then your toddler might be allergic to something. Best to visit a doctor and get him checked. 


Around this time, your pediatrician may ask if you want to give your child influenza shots. Speak to your doctor and make sure you do not miss the schedule.

To find out what vaccinations your child should have gotten up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here. As of 18 months, these immunisations should have been introduced to your child:

  • DTaP – 1st booster: Immunisation against Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus
  • IPV – 1st booster: Immunisation against Poliomyelitis
  • Hib – 1st booster: Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine
  • MMR – 2nd dose: Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella

Even with a complete vaccination record, your child might still catch colds, the flu and other common illnesses like Hand Foot and Mouth disease. If your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever (over 38°C/100.4°F), please consult a doctor.

Treating Common Illnesses

Common illnesses that are common for this age group are cold and cough, fever, measles and HFMD. Do read up about hand, foot and mouth disease. Find out what it is, and what you should do in the event your toddler has it. But don’t worry, many such common illnesses help to build your child’s immunity. 

It’s crucial to note here that while some medications can be bought without any prescriptions, your first option of treatment for mild health issues should be simple home remedies.

To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following: 

  • To treat fever in kids

If your child has a high fever, try using children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also give your child a sponge bath with lukewarm water to manage his/her temperature, and make sure to dress him/her lightly. Never give a child aspirin as that could lead to Reye’s syndrome — a life-threatening illness that affects the liver and brain.

When it comes to treatment of cough and cold, the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (DFA) does not recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for children younger than 2 years old. It is always advised to seek the opinion of the paediatrician.  

  • To treat coughs and cold in kids
    • Serve half a teaspoon of dark honey, such as buckwheat, which works effectively because they are high in antioxidants. 
    • Try feeding your child chicken soup as it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties while also clearing his/her nasal passage. 
    • Have your child drink ice water, cold or warm juice, or decaffeinated tea mixed with honey.
    • Place a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room, near him/her to help loosen chest and nasal congestion— a great remedy to help tackle coughs at night.
    • Prop your child’s head up with a pillow or folded towel which can help him/her to breathe easier.

When To See a Doctor

  • When your child is not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration (such as decreased urination)
  • Your child experiences excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  • When your child experiences persistent ear pain
  • If your child’s cough lasts for more than three weeks

Cherish this stage, mums and dads!

But remember that just because your toddler hasn’t hit any of the following developmental milestones, it doesn’t mean you should worry too much. (Though of course you should ask their paediatrician, just to be sure.)

Don’t worry too much about what they call the “terrible twos,” because there’s a lot of good stuff waiting for you there, too!

Toddler Development and Milestones: Your 1 Year and 11 Month Old


Sources: WebMD,, Stanford University

Your toddler’s previous month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-10-month-old

Your toddler’s next month: Toddler development and milestones: your 2-year-old

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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