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10 of the most fascinating toddler facts

From bedtime fears to sensitive ears, a lot goes on in those formative years - plus our round-up of the 6 best toddler parenting books to help you thorough these 'terrible twos' and 'threenager' years

10 of the most fascinating toddler facts

A toddler is a child approximately 12 to 36 months old, though definitions do vary. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development and the word is derived from “to toddle”, which means to walk unsteadily, like a child of this age does. Other words used to describe toddlers include:


The Terrible Two’s : A period in a child’s social development (typically around the age of two years) which is associated with very defiant or unruly behaviour.

The Threenager Years: The urban dictionary defines a “threenager” as a 3-year-old spouting attitude like a spoiled teenager.

But, did you know these 10 of the most fascinating toddler facts?

  1. Toddlers are instinctively attracted to shapes that resemble the human face, hence your child’s love of squishy circular playthings.
  2. Even early friendships have their ups and downs – it is around the 18 month mark that toddlers begin to have altercations with their peers.
  3. It is not just fussiness that stops your child clearing her plate at dinner, a toddler’s stomach is usually only the size of a small fist.
  4. If bedtime is a battle with your toddler, you are not alone: 75 per cent of children under five experience some kind of sleep problem.
  5. A two year old child is generally more active than at any other point in their life which explains why it is so exhausting running around after them!
  6. It is no surprise that your child dislikes loud bangs and fireworks; a toddler’s brand new ears are far better at picking up higher frequencies than the average adult.
  7. Despite being fussy eaters, most toddlers will try to take a chunk out of your finger at some point: The biting stage peaks at around three years old.
  8. Whilst we may rely on ‘word of the day’ apps, the average two year old manages to add around five new words to their vocabulary every day.
  9. Your child was born with around 100 billion brain cells which in the toddler years form networks in the brain that allow her to develop memory and think for herself.
  10. By the age of three, your toddler will have developed around 1,000 trillion connections between the cells in her brain, which is around twice as many as the average adult!

6 Great Toddler Parenting Books to Read

Our pick of the best parenting books for those raising toddlers

Written by Montessori educator Simone Davies, this book shows you how to bring the educational values of a Montessori classroom into your home―while turning the whole idea of the “terrible twos” on its head. It’s also that rare parenting book that’s beautiful to look at, with a bright, airy design and simple colour illustrations and photographs. >> The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being by Simone Davies

A toddler survival guide with effective strategies to help overcome this challenging time and help you discipline a toddler in a manner that is effective and not damaging.  >> Toddler Discipline: Guilt-Free Parenting by Gerald Paul Clifford

This standout among parenting books helps you learn how to effectively support your toddler as you deal with day-to-day difficulties. Written by mother of two and child development expert Aubrey Hargis, who guides you through your little one’s most challenging behaviours with highly effective toddler discipline tools. >> Toddler Discipline for Every Age and Stage: Effective Strategies to Tame Tantrums, Overcome Challenges, and Help Your Child Grow by Aubrey Hargis

Light-hearted yet authoritative, we can’t not mention the vast array of toddler books by Supernanny Jo. Offering invaluable advice on the hot-spots of toddler care and answering the most pressing of problems – head on – including: tantrums, whining, potty-training, sleeping and mealtime dilemmas. >> Jo Frost’s Toddler SOS: Solutions for the Trying Toddler Years by Jo Frost

Child development expert Dr Rebecca Chicot shares with you the secrets to calm and stress-free toddler parenting. Whether you need help with tantrums, night waking, potty training or fussy eating, inside you’ll find: a toddler toolkit to help you cope with every toddler scenario, a fire-fighting guide to hand-hold you through the classic toddler challenges and a toddler development map. A must for all toddler parents. >> The Calm and Happy Toddler: Gentle Solutions to Tantrums, Night Waking, Potty Training and More by Dr. Rebecca Chicot 


A book filled with fabulous advice, informative anecdotes, and a point of view that teaches you to trust yourself no matter how demanding your little ones may seem to be. With easy-to-read source that explains what toddlers do, why they do it, and whether you have to jump in or not by the woman known as the ‘toddler whisperer’. >> How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do for Children Ages Two to Five to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Happiness by Tovah P. Klein (with a forward by Sarah Jessica Parker)