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)