Cognitive development from 1 to 2 years

This year, the language and memory parts of the brain are making lots of connections so bub starts talking and remembering more. This makes bub grow more intelligent.


With the start of language, bub can understand more and is able to think of people, places and events without needing any reminder.

Bub is growing self-awareness, using words like ‘me’ lots more. Bub’s brain has become better at stopping emotions from taking over, an important skill for later learning.

Give bub lots of different experiences where they get out of the house because:

  • bub needs to see and interact with other children and adults
  • this gives bub stimulation that can help them to learn.

Change around different toys and play materials every week or so because:

  • this stops bub from getting bored and keeps their attention on new and interesting things.

Make sure bub has lots of healthy food because:

  • bub’s brain needs this to make important connections
  • if bub doesn’t get the right foods, they may have language delays and behaviour problems.



Bub’s memory skills get even better as the memory parts of the brain grow this year.

Bub is able to remember and copy others, sometimes weeks later.

This means everything bub sees and hears over time is stored in their memory and will shape their actions later.

As bub learns to speak they can also talk about things that happened from memory. Bub can actually remember more than they have words to describe.

Make sure bub sees and hears positive behaviour from parents/carers, siblings, family and others as well as on television because:

  • bub will remember and copy these actions
  • if bub sees bad actions like smoking, drinking and hitting they will probably act this way in later years.
Published — 01 April 2019 Last updated — 01 April 2019

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