Reaching Milestones: 15 to 18 Months

      Reaching Milestones: 15 to 18 Months

      All 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.


      • 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)


      • 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


      • 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


      • 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)