Ages & Stages > Toddlers

Toddlers (age 15-36 months)

So your precious infant has somehow grown into a walking (or at least toddling), talking (or at least trying to string three words together) human being, Photo: PremaVijaywho enchants you with his big heart and drives you crazy with his mule-headedness.  Toddlers can be a handful, but if you can see things from his perspective, and support him as he takes his first steps into autonomy, toddlerhood can be terrific!

Toddlers: Terrific Two Year Olds

Toddlerhood actually starts at around 14 months when babies begin toddling around, and ends at 36 months, when they become preschoolers.  It's a long stage that often seems longer, famous for being challenging to parents. 

So how do you maximize your fun with this terrific little person, and minimize the aggravation? Here you'll find your Toddler's developmental tasks, Your Priorities, and a simple Parents' Gameplan, all set up to make your life easier when you've got only three minutes to read while he unrolls the toilet paper and wraps it around the chair.  (Read article.)

Daily Life with Your Toddler: Eat, Love, Play.

From food fights to potty training to those blessed naps, here's how to take daily life with your toddler from defiant to delightful!   (Read article.)

Social Skills for Toddlers

Any parent of a toddler knows it isn't always easy to teach them social skills.  The first step is helping them learn to manage their emotions, which is the foundation of interpersonal relationships. So how do you teach your sweet but neanderthal toddler social skills?  Ten tips....  (Read article.)

Discipline: Managing Your Toddler so you can enjoy him

Your toddler is no longer an easily distracted baby.  Right on schedule, he's growing up.  It's exactly what he's supposed to be doing -- but it means challenges for you! Here's how to manage your little maelstrom, so you can enjoy the terrific twos.   (Read article.)

Positive Parenting Your Growing Toddler

Foster your toddler's self esteem, competence, social intelligence, and more.  (Read article.)

Questions & Answers about Toddlers

Have a question about parenting your toddler?  Questions from readers, with wise and practical solutions from Dr. Laura Markham to the worst problems your toddler can dish out!   (Read article.)


Two year olds like to throw things.  They throw when they're happy and they throw when they're upset.  They also hit their parents and their siblings. Our job?  To help them get through this normal developmental phase by teaching them the difference between what they may and may not do - over and over again - until they learn what they need to learn. How? By accepting their feelings even as we stop and redirect their unacceptable behavior.  For example:

"Hold it! Blocks are not for throwing - even when you're angry.  Here, you can throw the pillow or the balloon."

"Ouch, that hurt!  I can't let you hit me.  But you can tell me what you feel.  You can say, 'I don't want you to be with  the  baby now.  I want you to be with me!' "

"No shoving!  Tell your sister what you want with words, not shoves.  Tell her, 'My doll.  I'm not ready to share.'

"The carpet is not for cutting.  Let's see, what can you cut?  How about this paper? Or this cardboard? Which one?  You decide."

 -- Elaine Mazlish & Adele Faber

Additional Resources:   Great Books about Parenting Your Toddler