12 to 24 Months - Baby Growth & Development | Kids Clinic Singapore


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(Last updated: 27 May)

Baby Growth & Development Part 3 (12-24 Months)

Contributed by: Kids Clinic

Healthy Eating for Your Toddler

Girl Eating Vegetables

As your child enters toddlerhood, his digestive system has matured enough to process the same food as children and adults. It is important for parents to set healthy eating habits for their children at a young age as this can influence their dietary preferences in the later years.

Recommended number of daily servings for children 1-2 years:

Food Groups Recommended Number of Daily Servings
Brown Rice & Wholemeal Bread
Meat & Others (including Dairy & Calcium-Rich foods)
2 & 1.5

Source: Health Promotion Board

Physical Activity

At this age, your child will be a ball of energy and it is important to give him lots of opportunities for physical activity as this helps develop motor skills, build muscles, enhance social skills and improve overall health. If your child can walk independently, try to keep him physically active for at least 180 minutes throughout the day. Here are some ways you can encourage your child to get active:
  • Bring your child to a playground and encourage him to climb and play in a safe manner
  • Go for a walk outdoors at a park and encourage him to get in touch and learn about his surroundings
  • Encourage supervised water play at a pool
  • Turn indoor activities like reading into something fun by acting out scenes and role-playing as characters from the book
  • Avoid relying on electronic devices like handphones and tablets
  • Limit sedentary activities such as watching television or break it up with bouts of physical activity
  • Let your child explore new activities and areas under supervision

Good Hygiene Habits

As your child spends more time playing outdoors, they can unknowingly touch their eyes or mouths with dirty hands and easily get infections such as hand, foot and mouth disease. Parents should teach their child to practice good hand washing habits as this prevents the spread of germs and infections.

Encourage your child to wash their hands with soap and water at these times:

  • Before and after eating
  • After using the toilet
  • After sneezing and coughing
  • After touching pets
  • After touching surfaces such as handrails, tables or the ground
  • After touching dirt or rubbish

Managing Difficult Behaviour

Managing Kid's Difficult Behavior

We have heard the phrase “terrible twos” when it comes to describing difficult behaviour in toddlers. As your toddler grows, you may encounter behaviours which require patience and firmness in dealing with.

Behaviour What You Can Do?


Becoming upset when separated from you
(eg. leaving him or her at a childcare centre)

  • Calm your child by hugging and cuddling him
  • Reassure him that you love him even though you are not physically present


Refusing to play with other children or let them play with his or her toys

  • Teach him about the importance of sharing and taking turns during playing
  • Assure him that his or her toy will be returned
  • Praise him when you observe an effort made to play or share with others

Asserting Independence

Difficulty controlling emotions when frustrated and throwing tantrum when not getting his way

  • Keep calm and do not show your anger as this will worsen the situation
  • Do not give in to his tantrums as his or her behaviour might worsen
  • Teach your child to express that this behaviour is unacceptable
  • Pay attention to your child’s personality and habits instead of brushing tantrums off as naughty behaviour. Tantrums may be a sign of distress or other factors


Whining to get your attention and express his or her needs

  • Keep calm and do not give in as this may encourage your child to repeat this behaviour when he does not get what he or she wants
  • Find out his needs and explain that this behaviour is intolerable
  • Teach your child to express himself calmly


Exploring surroundings and getting frustrated when he or she cannot accomplish certain things

  • Provide a safe space for your child to explore his or her environment
  • Expose him or her to toys or puzzles to stimulate creativity

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