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What To Expect: The Toddler Years (What to Expect)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  2,485 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Overflowing with intelligence and good common sense, this comprehensive guide provides clear explanations and useful guidelines on everything a parent might want to know about the second and third years of their child's life. On a month-by-month basis, What to Expect: The Toddler Years explains what a toddler will be able to do at that age, and what to expect in the months ...more
Paperback, 826 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 14, 2015 Hilary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Some parts are good. I like the "By this age your child may do... should do..." insets, the age-based chapters and the generally straightforward factual style, but as I dipped in and read portions I found parts that were downright alarming, and which reminded me why I threw away the "When You're Expecting" book.

For example (and I realize my copy is older so this may have been removed later): unless your family has a very rare or dangerous genetic disorder, I don't believe there is any reason to
Dec 06, 2008 Jeffrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An indespensible good book chock full of wisdom about the toddler years.
Alyce Wilson
I received the 1994 edition of this book second-hand, and I'm happy I didn't pay for it. While "What to Expect While You're Expecting" is recognized as a valuable book for expectant mothers, I find this sequel to be more alarmist than helpful for parents of toddlers.

While I expect to both agree and disagree with any parenting book, when I'm reading this one, I more often disagree. It's possible that newer editions have changed the advice given, but in this edition, the authors recommend the Ferb
Aug 21, 2008 Leahjoypro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I may be the only person who actually read all 900 pages of this book - wow! I was working through it for 2 years! All in all, I found it to be a great resource. As I read through the sections covering each month, I found that the topics they adressed were often right on target with what my toddler and I were going thought. Tons of helpful, well-researched info. The reference secitons in the back were also really great. Really found the "Potty Learning" section helpful. That all being said, ther ...more
Sep 24, 2007 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting-books
Take the advice as one perspective in raising a toddler; some of it is a bit restrictive for everyday life (e.g. The Best Odds Diet). But balanced with other viewpoints, is a decent reference of general inquiries.
Jun 25, 2008 Dolly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked the first books in this series
Shelves: nonfiction, 2005
Ugh - more preaching... I don't even think I finished this one...
Shavar Ross
Jun 22, 2008 Shavar Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing series. Extremely informative.
Chad Warner
Jun 22, 2014 Chad Warner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
A very informative parent’s guide to months 12-36, based on research and expert advice. Part 1 is divided into months; Part 2 covers toddler care, health, and safety in general. It contains just enough humor for this type of book.

I read it cover to cover, but at over 1100 pages, it’s better used as a reference than as a book to read straight through.

I agreed with most of advice, which is backed by research and seems sensible. One area I disagreed is with the authors’ recommendation to be open wh
Sally Edsall
This is very comprehensive. Thank goodness there is a comprehensive index, because the arrangement is a bit off-putting.

The chapters are broken down "chronologically" - The Thirteenth Month, The 25th to 27th Month etc etc.

Within each section it contains "milestones" type information - carefully labelled 'what your child MIGHT be doing' (it reinforces that children develop at different rates, but it still does encourage you to compare 'your child' with some 'norm'.

After that there are sections on
May 25, 2017 Jordyne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good month by month summaries if you're into benchmarking your kids obsessively (which obviously, I am) but just like the When Expecting Version, too chatty, not clinical and crisp enough for my taste.
Very helpful reference book.
Mar 10, 2009 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I haven't really read all of this by any means, but I read the first few chapters pertaining to my daughters age, as well as toilet training, toddler nutrition, and safety. And while I think it's probably a good reference to have on hand (although I haven't really read any of the other toddler books out there yet for comparison), I felt like the authors used the same authoritative tone that I probably used with parents in residency before I had my own kid and realized that it's a lot ea ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Ruby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just found out through the help of this book and a friend, (Thank you!) My son is probably allergic to cows milk but he could out grow it by two years. The doctors gave some poor advice and it might have gone unnoticed and I might have made it worse. So trust your maternal instincts. There are a lot of helpful things in this book about the stages of your child's development. I don't agree with everything in it(opinions) but I have found it very helpful! Yay! My son out grew his milk allergy! T ...more
Jul 31, 2008 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not actually "done" with this book, but I decided to take it off my "currently reading" shelf because it's not exactly a book I'm just reading straight through. I read this book a chapter at a time, as my son reaches different developmental stages, so I know what to look for and nurture in my son. As such, it is an excellent book. I can see where his curiosities are, and there are some fantastic suggestions for ways to encourage his learning and experiencing the world around us. I now know h ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, series
Most of the information provided was helpful - although there were some particular things I would have liked to have expanded information on, and other information seemed repetative. Also, there were questionsin my mind of things like "what if the child eats Mould?" or something along those lines that there was nothing. In fact everything I have ever tried to look up in this book - there is NOTHING there... I would like those things addressed. On the other hand there were some things (like how t ...more
Disclaimer: I'm reading this after my son has passed the target age for the book, so my motivation to finish it lessened as time went by. I found the organization of subjects by age (in months) difficult to make a topic searchable. I realize this is the "what to expect" format, but I find it doesn't work for me for that age.

From what I read, I didn't get that much usefulness out of it. I got a few ideas, like making sure to use proper pronouns instead of referring to ourselves as "maman" or "pap
it's a classic, and I like the detailed information, but I actually prefer Portable Pediatrician, Second Edition by Laura Nathanson, it's not quite as detailed, but also less likely to scare me into thinking my kids are not developing properly or coming down with some dread disease. And make sure to read The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood by Vicki Iovine, to remind yourself not to take all this too seriously.
Nov 18, 2008 Clare rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful info, but I didn't read it cover-to-cover. At this age (Michael is 17 mos.), babies are so different that many of the issues in the book didn't apply to me/Mikey. The sections that did apply were helpful. The "What your Child Should Be able to Do" section for each month was useful in both reassuring me that Michael is on target for the skills he should have and showed me a few more things that I should start working on with him soon. So, from that standpoint, the book does help provide m ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent reference book for developmental milestones, physical developments, what to expect at doctor visits as well as any medical issue that may arise. We did have a few that weren't in the book, however, so it's not completely inclusive. For me, it was hit or miss in regards to parenting advice. I do not agree with every opinion Murkoff has in regards to child rearing, and for that reason alone I did not get as much out of this book as I did out of "What to Expect when You're Expecting" and "Wh ...more
Feb 18, 2010 jacky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baby-parenting, 2011
I'm getting a bit frustrated with this series. Not because of the content, but because of the formating. Maybe I should be paying more attention to the table of contents, but nevertheless, I'm frustrated that sections on parenting toddlers and feeding toddlers are closer to the end. Shouldn't that come first? Instead, I happen upon them by accident on the way to the index.

I also am starting to dislike the overwhelming focus on safty in this book in particular. I understand that she needs to be
Jul 18, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I'm a sucker for the question-answer format of any parenting book, and this one asked most of the questions I had about "why the hell is my kid doing what he's doing." Lots of great resources in the back of the book, like a list of common kid diseases and ailments--and I appreciated them telling me which ones I should freak out about and which ones I shouldn't. Also, reading some of the questions that I *didn't* have made me feel better about my own kid. Like, "how do I get my kid to stop biting ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the two before it - straightforward and incredibly useful. I have to admit what I liked the most about this was the fact that it was a book. So often now everyone is getting their advice from bloggers and online articles - never really vetting if that information is factual or just some persons opinion. I like that when I wanted an answer I could turn to the book because it's been vetted, edited and reviewed.
A lot of it didn't pertain to my toddler but it sure helped. Highly recommended.
Oct 19, 2008 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THIS is a long book broken down into months for your your child's age and what he/she should/could be doing at this point in time. I will probably be "currently reading" this until my daughter is four years old!

It's more of a reference book and despite the fact that childrearing is constantly changing, and magazines and the Internet might be more updated (although the What to Expect series is constantly being updated) the information is very pertinent and helpful. My husband and I loved the Expe
Dec 10, 2016 Apriel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm going to call this one read even though it's not meant to be read straight through and there are parts I still haven't gotten to yet. It is a decent reference guide if you have general questions about your child or want an idea of what your child should be doing or not doing at certain ages. I will be keeping it handy in case I have any questions my Mom or mom friends can't help me with in the future.
Dec 30, 2009 Aspasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What To Expect: The Toddler Years is written by the same authors who created What To Expect When You're Expecting and What To Expect: The First Year. The Toddler Years follows its predecessors by breaking down the second and third year of your child's life into monthly categories with an extensive question and answer section. This books contains every single question and scenario that a parent can think of.
Sep 06, 2010 Isabelydancer00 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents/caregivers/sitters/grandparents/family
This book has a wealth of info that is laid out wonderfully for fast reference - easy and digestable chunks. Parents/caregivers need to keep in mmind that babies are individual and unique. This book gives great guidelines and hints on what can be expected at various stages. As a new and proud, but currently absent Grandmma Nana, I recommend that this book be kept out for easy access and regular reference.
Dec 23, 2007 Robyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I liked What to Expect the First Year, even if I didn't agree with all of the advice. This book is woefully out of date and didactic. I could not finish reading this, stopping at about 15 months. I either disagreed with the advice, knew the advice to be incorrect, or thought the authors were patronizing me. Perhaps if they update the book, it might be a better read. Until then, find another source of information for the toddler years.
great advice on all the TOddler STuff! Something I'll check out time and time again with any toddler, and it's nice to have experts tell you that you are on track - even though at times you start to wonder...

Helped calm my fears about eating / potty training / bed times / and goes into great depth about baby proofing your home / sicknesses for children Etc... This book really has it all.
Aug 21, 2009 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Although I love "What to Expect: The First Year," this book seemed like a stretch for me. Many of the issues raised were not relevant to my situation and some were just way out there. At the toddler age, parents can be very successful with love, knowledge from pediatricians/other parents and common sense.
Jul 16, 2016 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used this less than what to expect when you're expecting-busier, you know? :) it was helpful when I did read it and served as a complement to the book mentioned below.
Admittedly I most often used Caring for Your Baby and Child Birth to age Five, given out by my pediatrician ( and I'm sure you can buy that as well).
Oh yes...please try to obtain the most up to date versions of these books.
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Heidi Murkoff is the author of the What to Expect® series and author of Eating Well When You're Expecting, The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer, What to Expect the First Year, The What to Expect Baby-Sitter's Handbook, and the What to Expect Kids series from HarperCollins. Her interactive website is, and she lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.
More about Heidi Murkoff...

Other Books in the Series

What to Expect (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • What to Expect the First Year (What to Expect)
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting
  • What to Expect Before You're Expecting
  • What to Expect at Preschool
  • What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting
  • What to Expect at Bedtime
  • What to Expect Gift Set
  • What to Expect Baby-Sitter's Handbook
  • What To Expect Pregnancy Planner
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting Pregnancy Organizer

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