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Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

What are development milestones in toddlers?

Toddler milestone : children between 12-18 months is important for parents to understand development milestones for providing support, guidance, and appropriate stimulation to help toddlers thrive. Toddlers are when your child reaches 12 months old or 1 years old. During these years, children undergo remarkable growth and development. From taking their first step to expressing themselves through words and actions. 

Just like babies, toddlers develop and reach these milestones when they feel and are loved by the people around them. 

In this article, we will discuss the world of toddlers from 12-18 months development, exploring the key milestones – physical, cognitive, language, social and adaptive skills. By gaining insights into what to expect during these years, parents and caregivers can appreciate better about their child’s progress hence identify potential areas of concern, and nurture their development in a supportive environment. 


Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Gross and fine motor milestones

As babies continue to grow, parents will notice new and exciting abilities that develop. They also can start to sit independently, and pull up to stand up. As your baby’s eyesight improves, they will begin to focus and interact with people and objects. Their motor skills and hand eye coordination continue to get better as they are able to start seeing toys across the room and exploring the toys’ possible functions.  

12-15 months

  • Between these months, your child will absorb a lot about their world by shaking and banging things and putting them together in piles or towers then knocking them apart. It is the same as playing blocks and lego games. 
  • May also be able to point to a familiar object like cat or shoes or other things they know when you ask them.
  • May start drinking from a cup and improve themselves in  self feeding by picking up different types and textures of food

15 – 18 months

  • Walks alone by 15 months, then begins to run
  • By 18 months, most toddlers may have a lot more control over their hand and arm movements
  • Skills of using pencil or spoon, or drinking from a cup. They will also gain more control of the movements needed for those skills like start picking up very small objects with thumbs and first finger.


Emotional Milestone

This is an important time for your toddlers emotionally and socially. You will notice that your child is playing alongside other children as their friends. Usually at 14 months, they will start to feel separation anxiety because they fear they will be separate from you.

12-15 months

  • At this age, toddlers will start to understand how others feel, like by looking sad if someone near them is sad or crying. 
  • Points to get desired object (proto-imperative pointing)

15 – 18 months

  • Show signs of embarrassment if people are watching them.
  • Recognizes without demonstration that a toy requires activation, and they will hand it to adults if they can’t handle it.
  • Kisses by touching lips to skin
  • Engages in pretend play with other people
  • Begins to show shame when they know they do wrong and possessiveness

Thinking and Communication Milestone

For the past months, your child will start to make noise,‘babble’ on its own and saying words like ‘mama and dada’ Now you will notice them saying some real words as their language development matures. Your toddlers might name familiar objects like a ball, toys, or lego. But it is not all words yet, they will still grunts, nods and points to let their parents know what they want and also to share their interest with you. 

12-15 months

  • Start to hug their parents or the person they are comfortable with
  • Point to body parts or favorite things when you name them
  • Follow simple instructions like ask them to give you something and hold out your hands. 

15 – 18 months

  • Recognize their own names
  • Uses three to five words in 15 months and can uses 10-20 words at the age of 18 months
  • Understood simple commands like ‘Bring to mommy’
  • Recognise themselves in the mirror
Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Helping toddlers 

How can parents help in their toddlers’ development? Here are some tips: 

  • Give plenty of hugs, cuddles and kisses. In shorts, make your child feel loved: empathy and positive attention are crucial in this age for their development.

  • Spend time to play: This will help your child to develop more physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. Open-ended toys like blocks, pegs, balls, ice-cream containers and cardboard boxes. Parents also can play pat-a-cake or peekaboo games with your child. Parents need to play with them in a pretend way, such as pretending to drink a cup of tea or playing with dolls.

  • Talk more: Name things that you are using and in contact with such as colors, people’s name and their toys

  • Read storybooks, sing songs or nursery rhymes to your child

  • Support them whenever they are showing a new skills like using spoon or drinking from a cup, parents need to understand that nobody is perfect so it’s gonna be messy for a while

  • Encourage them to walk and explore, but stay close to them as they will feel safe

  • Feed variety of healthy foods: Includes five main foods in the food pyramid so they will have a balanced diet. Parents also can include different colors and soft textures such as cooked vegetables or fruit and eggs.
Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Toddler Milestone : Children 12-18 months

Parents need to understand that kids grow at their own pace. There are a wide range of healthy shapes, sizes and development stages among children. Genetics, gender, nutrition, physical activity, health problems, environment and hormones all play a role in a child’s height and weight, and many of these can vary widely from family to family.

In conclusion, the period of milestone development from 12 to 18 months marks an exciting and transformative phase in a child’s life. During this time, children undergo rapid advancements in various areas of development, including motor skills, language acquisition, social interactions, and cognitive abilities.

As we’ve explored throughout this article, milestones such as first words, walking independently, imitating actions, and engaging in simple pretend play are significant indicators of a child’s progress and emerging capabilities. These achievements not only reflect the child’s growing independence and exploration of the world but also lay the groundwork for further learning and development in the years to come.

It’s essential for parents, caregivers, and educators to provide a supportive and stimulating environment that encourages children to explore, experiment, and learn at their own pace. By offering opportunities for play, interaction, and exploration, we can help children build confidence, develop essential skills, and form secure attachments with caregivers and peers.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that every child is unique and may reach milestones at their own time. Patience, understanding, and responsive caregiving are key as children navigate this period of rapid growth and change.

 If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s growth — or development stages, you can always talk with your pediatrician. 



Toddler Milestones: Your Baby at 1 Year. (n.d.). CHOC Children’s.

Your toddler’s developmental milestones at 1 year | UNICEF Parenting. (n.d.).