Toddler Development And Milestones: Your 1 Year 4 Months Old

Toddler Development And Milestones: Your 1 Year 4 Months Old

Your little one is entering a whole new world: the one he makes up himself! It's the birth of his imagination. Creativity, problem solving, fun and games are ahead in this stage of toddler development. Find out what other exciting things your tot can do now!

Did you notice your tiny tot go "vroom vroom" with his car? You're watching the birth of his imagination! This is what you can look forward to during your toddler's 16 month old milestones!

His inner life is no longer confined to what he sees in front of his eyes. This is the beginning of games, stories, a rich fantasy life, as well as the seeds of creativity and problem-solving.

1 Year 4 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Tot on Track?

Physical Development

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

  • Boys
    – Length: 80.2 cm (31.6 inches)
    – Weight: 10.3 kg (22.7 lb)
  • Girls
    – Length: 78.4 cm (30.9 inches)
    – Weight: 10.2 kg (22.5 lb)

And your child’s head circumference* should be:

  • Boys: 47 cm (18.5inches)
  • Girls: 45.9 cm (18.1 inches)

This is also the time to develop eyes in the back of your head and to always have your ears out on stalks. Where is your little one? What is he up to? Did you just hear the box of blocks hit the floor? Again?

1 year 4 months old

Your 1 year 4 months old angel is working hard on his toddler development by practising climbing, running, reaching, grabbing and throwing. It can be exasperating, especially as his tidying away skills still leave a lot to be desired.

If he is a confident walker, this is the time when he will begin to take his waddling skills to the next level. He might be attempting to walk with toys or stuffed animals in his hands and bring those to you. Or he could be trying to walk backwards!

As part of your toddler's 1 year 4 months old milestones, he might be able to feed himself and hold his own cup, although, do expect some spillage. For now, you will have to put up with some mess. But don't worry, practice makes perfect.

Activities to boost physical development:

He loves nothing better than to take a walk outside with you, inspecting plants, flowers and watching cars, buses and trains pass by. Other favourite outings include the beach to play with sand toys and dip in the ocean, the pond to watch turtles and fishes, the park to throw a ball or even just the playground downstairs.

Take him to the playground even though he might be too small still for a lot of the climbing equipment. He'll be thrilled to see all the "big" two- and three-year-olds climbing and sliding. And it's by watching them that he'll learn how to do it himself!

To encourage his fine motor skills, try imaginary food play. Set up a doll, a spoon and some edible baby puffs. He can either use his hand or a spoon to feed himself or pretend to feed the doll. With this activity, he will get to practice his pincer grip, hand-to-mouth coordination and his concentration when it comes to feeding his doll.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child is only walking on their toes, not the soles of their feet
  • When your child keeps falling over
  • If your little one consistently only uses one hand and/or avoids any sign of scribbling

Cognitive Development

16 month old milestones

Between 16 and 18 months old, it is time for the next stage in cognitive toddler development: You will see a shift from copying actions to symbolic play. This means that your little one goes from grabbing your phone to make a pretend call to using blocks or spoons as a phone to pretend to make a call.

It is adorable – and it is a major development. Your little one can imagine things that are not really there and pretend play. Another plus point this month is his ability to use all his five senses. He might still get confused and say he can smell the chicken in his food, but with practice, he will slowly make the right associations.

But although cognitively he is progressing really well, his attention span is still very short! He can only focus for a few minutes at a time and is easily distracted during this 16 month old milestones period. One moment he is stacking toys, the next moment, he is wandering off in search of something else especially now that he understands object permanence. 

You might be able to get him to focus by giving simple instructions, but chances are, he will quickly lose interest and move on to the next thing.

Activities to boost cognitive development:

Play games that require you to give simple instructions. Games like "Simon Says" or even "Freeze!" are great and really fun!

Try setting up a mini treasure hunt at home and have your little toddler seek these treasures out. Try hiding daily objects so that both of you can practice saying the name of the object when it is found.

If he already mastered pointing at different parts of your face when you name them, switch up playing "Mirror Me” with the remaining parts of the body.

You can also get your toddler toys or things that he can play pretend or play dress up with.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child is unable to understand simple instructions
  • When your child is having trouble naming or recognising daily objects

Social and Emotional Development

As part of your toddler's 16 months old milestones, he will grow to like familiar faces, but he still does not like sharing. He does not like sharing toys, snacks or even attention. His focus is still firmly on himself and his own needs first and foremost.

So don't worry if your angel doesn't readily give up his toys to somebody else – even if he wasn't playing with those in the first place. Remember, just a few months ago he had a hard time understanding that you and he were separate people. (In fact, sometimes it seems as if he still doesn't quite believe it.)

There's light on the horizon because by interacting more, he can begin to learn about other people's emotions and also empathy. You play an important role when teaching him about emotions by saying things like: "You are crying, you are sad," and "You are laughing, you are happy." By understanding his own feelings, then he can start to see that other people also feel the same.

If your little one is developing a strong attachment to one parent, don't give in to his preference. Make sure that he spends time alone with both of you. Of course, your bub may protest or even cry when the preferred parent leaves, but he'll be alright after a while. Remember the short attention span we mentioned earlier?

Activities to boost socio-emotional development:

Trying singing a song or playing a game when your tot is sad or upset because he is easily distracted at this age. You can acknowledge his feelings and quickly move on. This even works if you do it in the early stages of a tantrum.

To help your toddler achieve his 16 months old milestones, you can keep showing him how to take turns when playing. It is not something that happens overnight. But as he slowly begins to understand empathy, you might be surprised to see that your little tot is quite generous and caring after all.

Your toddler might still depend on you especially in unfamiliar situations, but try to let him play on his own so that he can learn to be independent.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your toddler does not show any affection to those he is close to
  • When your toddler shows no interest in socialising with other people

Speech and Language

16 month old milestones

Yes, your toddler is learning how to hold a conversation! He might not be making much sense yet, but he is trying to tell you things and listen to your response. Notice how he imitates your own style of communication?

Unfortunately, that also means he is imitating saying "No". Sometimes you even catch him doing the very thing he just said "No" to! This is because your tiny tot is experimenting with words and their meanings.

As part of his 16 month old milestones, your toddler should be able to say at least a few separate, distinct words. Some words may not be so clear but he's getting there.

Don't be surprised if he suddenly starts singing the words or at least the tunes of all those nursery songs you've been singing together. A more advanced achievement would be slowly stringing words into short sentences especially if you have been diligently reading to him every night. And you better get your ears ready for it because his language skills will explode before you even know it.

Activities to boost language and speech development:

Expand on what your toddler says. Like for instance if he says "Doggie," you say "Yes, that is a dog."

Monitor your own use of "no" so that your toddler will start to use it correctly. Use it only when it's needed for safety.

Continue to do lots of reading and nursery songs with actions to expose him to new words, especially their usage and meanings.

When to Talk to Your Doctor: 

  • If your child is not babbling or saying any word at 16 months
  • If he does not wave or make any kind of recognisable gestures
  • When your child does not respond consistently if his name is called

Health and Nutrition

By the age of 1 year 4 months, your little one should be eating around four small meals per day (one ¾ to full cup/bowl per meal), plus breastfeeds, and one to two snacks if needed, in between meals.Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:

  • Boys: 854.5 Kcal/day
  • Girls: 827.8 Kcal/day

Your child’s nutrition should be composed of the following:

  • Protein

Protein is essential for your little one to grow up tall and strong. As part of a balanced and healthy diet, your child needs to eat around 25 grams of protein every day. This is equal to one slice of wholegrain bread with peanut butter; or a child-palm-sized piece of lean red meat like lamb or beef; or a female-palm-sized piece of chicken, turkey or fish; or three to four tablespoons of lentils or black beans; or one to two dice-sized cubes of cheese.

  • Fruits 

Your child needs about three cups of fruits every day. Fruit is important to keep your child's digestive system healthy and also strengthen his/her immune system. Some good options are avocado, papaya and banana. Make sure you cut the fruit into bite-sized chunks before serving. A great way to offer a variety of fruits in one go it to cut them up and mix up the pieces to make a fruit salad.

  • Vegetables 

Serve your child 1.5 cups of vegetables every day as part of a balanced and healthy diet. As with fruits, the greater the variety the better for your child's development. Try pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, as well as dark green vegetables like broccoli, greens, spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce.

  • Grains 

Feed your child about 3 ounces or about 85 grams of grains every day. This equals one to one-and-a-half slices of bread, or one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked oatmeal, or one cup of rice. You should give your child wholegrain/wholemeal options as much as possible and avoid white, processed foods like white bread or pasta.

  • Milk/Dairy 

Your child now needs around 400 to 700 ml (16-24 ounces) of milk a day. If you're still breastfeeding, well done and keep it up for as long as you can. If you have switched to fresh cow's milk, note that toddlers should always drink full-fat milk. Other good sources of dairy (for strong bones and teeth) are cheese and 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 and girls
  • Vegetables: 1.5 cups for boys and girls
  • Grains: up to 3 ounces for boys and girls
  • Proteins: 25g for boys and girls
  • Milk: 16 to 24 ounces of whole milk for boys and girls (your child does not require formula milk anymore)
  • Water: 1200 ml for boys and girls


  • Not all children are hungry upon waking up, especially if they had a large meal the evening before. Breakfast could be up to two hours after waking up.
  • Eating habits can be erratic at this age. One day, your child might devour three bowls of porridge, the next day he/she only takes a few spoonfuls. This is completely normal and you shouldn't worry about it.
  • Don't worry too much in general about your toddler's eating habits. As long as your bub is active, happy and growing well, he/she is doing fine even if it seems your toddler is not eating all that much. Also, watch out for teething!
  • It is important to have regular meal times and snack times. Toddlers have small stomachs, so they won't eat a lot at each sitting. But they do need regular topping up.
  • Try to stock up on healthy, filling snacks, such as crackers and fruit. And limit the sweets, as these don't help them grow. They make lovely special treats though!
  • Limit the amount of salt and sugar your child consumes. Fizzy drinks should not be on your toddler's menu at all.

When to speak to a doctor

If your child,

  • Throws up or has frequent runny stools (or blood in stools) after eating.
  • Is not gaining weight according to his/her growth chart.
  • Breaks out in a rash after eating.

Vaccinations and Common illnesses

Your child should have got the following vaccinations by now:

  • BCG
  • Hepatitis​ B (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • DTaP (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • IPV (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Hib (1st, 2nd and 3rd dose)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (1st and 2nd dose)
  • Diphtheria (1st dose)
  • Meningitis C
  • MMR – 1st dose & 2nd dose: Immunisation against Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate – 1st booster: Immunisation against Pneumococcal Disease

Parents do note that following MMR vaccination, some children develop a fever and rash one to two weeks later or swelling of the glands of the neck after three to four weeks. To read more about your child's vaccination schedule, click here. You could also speak to your child's paediatrician about giving him/her the flu vaccination.

When it comes to illness, expect your little one to contract common colds, coughs, throat and tummy irritations, and even conditions like chicken pox and Hand Foot Mouth disease, quite frequently. Since your little one is still quite young, it's best to consult a doctor at the first sign of any illness for advice.

However, you can try some gentle home remedies to ease certain common symptoms, like steam inhalation for a blocked nose (always with you holding your toddler on your lap to prevent burning), or a soothing honey and ginger mix for an irritated throat.


  • If the doctor prescribes antibiotics, ensure you finish the course even if your child seems better.
  • Avoid buying over-the-counter cough medications for your little one.
  • Never overdose on fever medications, like paracetamol. Strictly stick to the prescribed dosages, while sponging your child in-between doses to control the temperature.
  • Have a first aid kit at home and brush on your basic first aid knowledge.
  • Practice strict hygiene at home, especially hand washing.

When to see a doctor

If your child,

  • Is not at his/her target height or weight,
  • Is constantly getting ill .
  • Breaks out in strange rashes, or has unusual lumps or bumps on his/her body.

*Please note that development milestones vary from child to child. If you have any concerns regarding your little one’s growth, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician. 

*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards.

Your toddler’s previous month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-3-month-old

Your toddler’s next month: Toddler development and milestones: your 1-year-and-5-month-old


Source: WebMD

Republished with permission from theAsianparent

Written by