Should My Toddler Be Doing That: A Checklist for the Holidays

By Brooke Dorsch

Director of Community Outreach/Speech Therapist

Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc.


It's nice to be around family during the holidays. There's great food, the opportunity to catch up, and time spent all together. Maybe there are gifts or funny jokes from crazy Uncle Harry. Maybe there's a friendly game of Monopoly where someone tries to cheat. However, something else can happen during the holidays when you have toddlers — you start comparing your child to everyone else's.

It might happen like this. Your cousin, Sally, puts some mashed potatoes on your niece, Suzy's plate. Suzy looks up at her mom and says, "Thank you, Mama" clear as a bell. You immediately think, Man, my son or daughter doesn't talk like that. We all do it, and we don't even mean to.

No need to fret! Here's a quick, simple checklist to help you assess your child and whether your concerns need to be addressed.

One Year Old Milestones:

-          Cruises on furniture or tries to walk

-          Says a few words, other than "Mama" and "Dada," about 5 total

-          Points with an index finger

-          Shakes head for no and waves bye-bye

Two Year Old Milestones:

-          Follows two step directions

-          Says about 50 words and makes some simple phrases, like "go car" or "I want more"

-          Kicks a ball

-          Points to pictures in books

Three Year Old Milestones:

-          Talks well enough to be understood by strangers

-          Takes turns

-          Engages in pretend play

-          Pedals a tricycle

These are just a few of the great things toddlers can do. If you need more information about milestones and other skills, please visit If you are concerned about your child's development and would like a free evaluation through the Early Intervention (EI) program, please visit the "What is Early Intervention" tab on our website. Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc. provides a wide range of EI services in ten counties in Western PA to help you and your family, even after the holidays.