Reaching Milestones: 15 to 18 MonthsAll toddlers have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments around this time. Celebrate with your child as she reaches or nears these milestones.

Cognitive

  • May begin to have a sense of time through routines (napping after lunch, bathing before bed)
  • Actively explores objects by touch and movement (shaking, banging, throwing)
  • Searches for hidden items where last seen
  • Puts objects in and takes them out of containers
  • Sorts shapes and colors
  • Looks at picture books by herself
  • Points to objects you name (nose, picture of a dog in a book)
  • Engages in more pretend games
  • Imitates real life in play (feeding a doll, sweeping)

Motor

  • Climbs on furniture, possibly out of her crib
  • Walks or at least cruises
  • May walk backward and in circles
  • May be able to run
  • Crawls up stairs; may walk up stairs with help
  • May dance
  • Intentionally releases items from her grasp, closer to 18 months
  • Uses a spoon and possibly a fork
  • Removes some clothing; extends arms and legs to help when being dressed
  • Turns pages
  • May begin to scribble

Communication

  • Tries to copy words you say
  • Uses a single word as a sentence (“juice” for “I want juice,” “bye-bye” for “I want to leave now”)
  • Says at least three or four clear words, by 15 months
  • May say up to 50 words, by 24 months
  • May start to use simple phrases, 18 to 24 months
  • Points to certain body parts when asked

Social

  • Gets easily frustrated
  • Separation anxiety may continue, peaking around 18 months
  • May develop an attachment to a security blanket or toy
  • Shows preferences for certain people and things
  • Increasingly understands that she’s a separate person from you with her own preferences, feelings, and ideas
  • May say “no” to express frustration
  • May show empathy (for example, pat your back when you’re upset)
  • Prefers parallel play (playing next to, rather than with, another child)