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Self Care Milestones For Toddlers

Toddlers will be learning to do more things for themselves as they grows and realise what different objects are for and how they are related. Signs of self-care may start as early as 12 months, along with a toddler’s sense of identity. Here are some key milestones that illustrate your child’s growing independence, and how you can encourage and support them during this exciting phase of development!


By 12 months, toddlers may be able to feed themselves small bits of cereal, albeit messily. Between 12-15 months they may attempt to grab a spoon and drink from an adult cup with help. And by 18 months, they should have worked out how to use a spoon, although most children will still enjoy using their fingers to play with their food, and tasting their different textures!

On a cognitive level, kids 18 months upwards are quickly developing their identity and imaginative skills. When they play pretend and feed teddy, don’t be surprise if they imitate you! In their second year, toddlers enjoy adult attention and start to copy behaviour, so be encouraging and set a good example!

Dressing and Undressing

Between 12-15 months, your toddler may be able to lift a hand or leg to help get dressed. They may even be able to take off easy clothes such as loose socks! By 21 months, they should be able to remove trickier items such as a singlet.

Help your child by explaining clearly. Show them where each piece goes before demonstrating how to put them on and off. Break each movement into small steps and then repeat the whole sequence again.

Using the Toilet

Some toddlers may be potty trained by age 18-24 months, while some aren’t ready until they are 4 years old. Judge your child’s readiness by looking out for signs like how easily they can take off and put on their pants by themselves, bladder control, and if they demonstrate a desire for independence.

As a parent, be relaxed and positive and make potty-training non-threatening. Allow your child to familiarise and take interest in the potty by letting him pick it out at the store, look inside, sit on it with clothes first to get used to it while explaining to him how it works. Treat setbacks calmly and don’t rush things. Your child will learn in time!

Brushing Teeth

Your child may be interested in helping you brush your teeth as early as 16 months, however, they may not be able to brush their teeth on their own until they’re about 3 to 4 years old. Buy fun toothbrushes and teach your child to brush in round circular motions rather than horizontal strokes. Your encouragement and supervision is key until they turn 7, when they would have the manual dexterity to brush independently


    - Whenever your child tries a new skill, tell them you are proud of them for trying, whether they succeed or not.

    - Children develop skills differently and pick up certain tasks more quickly than others. So don’t be too anxious that yours isn’t reaching their self-care milestones as fast as you want them to.

Disclaimer: All content on this Website is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical and/or other professional advice for your specific condition. Please do not disregard medical and/or other professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. Always seek medical advice before starting any new treatments.







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