Hold onto your hats and strap in for the ride of your life! Your little baby is becoming a child. Welcome to the toddler years – expect boundless energy, some interesting conversations and lots of laughter (there may be some tantrums, too!). Here are some toddler developmental milestones that your child may hit or be working on at 12-18 months.
Month 12: Your Baby’s First Birthday
Congratulations on surviving parenting for a whole year! You now have a real mover and shaker – expect both physical and emotional growth, exploration and independence as your toddler begins to make their mark on the world (yup, it’s exhausting!). Here’s what your little one might be able to do at 12 months:
- Understand object permanence (things and people still exist even when you can’t see or hear them).
- Cruise along furniture.
- Walk by themselves.
- Have separation anxiety.
Month 13: You’ve Got A Toddler
At 13 months, your baby is officially a toddler! You might not have been able to understand what they have been babbling, but all the work they’ve put into mimicking you may result in some real words at 13 months. You may also be dealing with some challenging behavior such as tantrums but there are ways to keep the peace. Here’s what else your 13-month-old may be learning to do:
- Take a few wobbly steps.
- Understand the word ‘no’ (and not be afraid to use it!).
- Understand simple instructions, like ‘sit down’.
- Begin to communicate without crying - they’ll point or reach for you instead.
- Throw a tantrum.
Month 14: Your Curious Communicator
Your 14-month-old’s toddler speech is improving. They may be saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and possibly some other words. They’ll be gaining confidence, taking their first unsteady steps, walking on their own or running around. While you try to keep up with them, here’re some more toddler development milestones you little one may be able to do at 14 months:
- Teething - those first molars may be erupting – try a teething toy to help them with any discomfort.
- Let go of an object and pick it up again.
- Throw a ball.
- Turn the pages of a board book on their own.
- Make marks on a piece of paper with a crayon.
- Climb (watch those stairs!).
How cute? Oli and Carol Wally the Watermelon
Month 15: What A Personality
At 15 months, your child’s personality will be starting to shine through. What’s going on at home will also influence your little one’s development. If they have siblings or go to daycare, they may interact with people differently, compared to a child with alternative circumstances. The point is, your child is an individual and will develop at their own rate, so don’t worry about what other kids are doing. Here’s what else they’ll be learning to do at 15 months:
- Explore - inside and outside.
- Stack cups and pick up small objects.
- Talk in ‘tuneful jargon’: babbling that sounds more like real talking.
- Solve problems: they’ll enjoy simple games – get them a Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Duo to get the cogs whirring!
- Empathize - if you are upset, they may look sad and offer help via a cuddle.
- Play with toys intentionally rather than just bashing objects together.
Month 16: Getting Ready To Talk
Your little one will have become your second shadow, interested and wanting to get involved in everything you do. Toddler language development is in full swing. They’ll be chattering away and can understand much more than they can say. Encourage their language skills to develop by pointing things out on a walk and reading to them. Create a cozy corner to read together with a DockATot Tent of Dreams. Here are some more milestones to look out for at 16 months:
- Tantrums - throwing, hitting and biting may all be in the mix.
- Intentful observing and listening.
- Playing: blowing bubbles, finger painting or playing a tambourine.
- Role play with you or their toys.
DockATot's Tent Of Dreams for a magical cosy corner
Month 17: Chatty And Mobile
At 17 months, your toddler is getting more steady on their feet. Even compared to a few weeks ago, they’ll be gaining in confidence and may even be able to tackle steps while holding your hand. Meanwhile, here’s what your toddler can do at 17 months:
- Build towers.
- Eat using a spoon.
- Follow more complex instructions.
- Enjoy simple puzzles: try a Fat Brain Toys Tobbles to improve hand-eye coordination.
- Say phrases, such as ‘all gone!’ (We know – adorable).
Month 18: Independent And Empathetic
By 18 months, your little one is no longer a baby, but not quite yet a child. They may be venturing further away from you in the playpark – a sure sign of their growing independence. They may also have separation anxiety when you leave them. Here’s what else to watch out for at 18 months:
- Descend stairs safely but need help going up.
- Build taller towers using larger blocks.
- Help get themselves undressed.
- Draw in circular motions and an up-and-down line.
- Use their imagination in play.
- Enjoy pretend play with adults.
- Engage in parallel play with other children.
- Understand and react to your tone of voice.