Congratulations, your child has reached toddlerhood! Their abilities in all areas develop rapidly at this stage, so don’t be surprised if they focus their efforts on one skill over another for days or weeks at a stretch. They’ll get it! Your support can help them progress and grow through these 15-month-old milestones and beyond.

Your 15-month-old’s cognitive development and milestones

By now, they understand object permanence and may initiate games like peekaboo or hide-and-seek since they get how it works. Looking for hidden objects becomes fun. You’ll also notice signs of pretend play. For instance, your little one might pretend to sleep. 

Your toddler doesn’t quite have an adult’s concept of time yet. “Yesterday,” “tomorrow,” or “in 15 minutes” might not mean much to them at this age. But their sense of the routines you’ve established may help them understand that the day has a flow to it and certain events follow others, like dinner, then bedtime.

Your 15-month-old’s motor-skill milestones

Many babies stand by themselves between 11 and 12 months. Next, they cruise—walking by hanging onto furniture for support—then take their first solo steps somewhere around 12 to 13 months. It starts off wobbly, but most children gain balance and walk fairly well by 14 to 15 months. Soon, they can stop, bend over, or squat, and then start walking again. New toddlers often walk on their tiptoes until they get the hang of this new skill. Their progress is truly amazing. But keep in mind that some kids don’t walk until 16 to 17 months and that’s normal too so don’t worry.

Your 15-month-old baby’s communication skills

Along with walking, toddlerhood usually brings talking. Most young toddlers start out with words like “Mama,” or “Dada,” and attempt words they hear often like “uh-oh,” “dog,” “bye-bye,” or “no.” Basically, all of the cutest words to hear come out of their mouths. Language skills vary a lot, so there’s a wide range of what’s considered “normal.”

There’s also a lot that your toddler can tell you without words as well. Toddlers are expert nonverbal communicators using grunts, grimaces, and smiles; touching their lips to indicate hunger; throwing objects in frustration; pointing an index finger to show curiosity. Your toddler will find a way to get their message across. 

Your 15-month-old’s social-skill milestones

At this age your toddler is increasingly aware that they’re a separate individual from you. For example, they know they don’t like peas even if you do. They want to do things that you’re trying to stop them from doing, which can be a frustrating new habit. As a result, although they’re drawn to you more than ever for security in a world full of unfamiliar faces and experiences, they reject you a little bit when you get in their way. 

Now is when they’re also learning a lot about frustration in their own way. Your toddler’s exciting new skills and impulses mean they’re a busy explorer, but they have little sense of what’s unsafe or beyond their ability. As much as you can, give your toddler safe ways to assert their independence without overly fussing to help them handle situations where there need to be limits.

Talking and walking their way into toddlerhood, it’s a thrill to watch your little one hit these 15-month-old milestones. Get ready for even more incredible developments in the next few months as they continue to delight and amaze us with their progress.