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Child Development Milestones For the Age of 12-18 Months: What to Expect

Written by Karie Reynolds


Posted on July 18 2017

Tracking the development of a child helps ensure that there are no health or growth problems that may require treatment. Doctors have a checklist for parents to follow to help them understand what the typical phases of a child's life consist of. These “milestones” are divided into different blocks of time in a child's life. At first, they go by weeks. Then, as the child ages, the milestones are marked by months and then years until adulthood is finally achieved. This article focuses on the development in babies who have reached the milestone of 12-18 months old.

Increased Mobility

This time in a child's life is full of wonder and curiosity. Beginning at six months the muscles of a baby’s body start to develop, so one of the first things that parents will notice is that they are able to move around more. Near 12-months-old, a child can scoot around to get themselves to things that they want. If a toy is set on the floor a few feet away from them, they can reach it. Some babies will also do this to get to their mom or dad. As soon as little ones learn to scoot, it does not take long for them to learn how to crawl and walk, which is why it is crucial that parents start childproofing their homes. Parents with staircases in their homes should consider custom baby gates from The Stair Barrier to prevent falls and accidents on stairs. Indoor baby gates are essential for keeping small children without parent supervision out of dangerous places in the home, such as the stairs, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Improved Ability to Communicate Needs

In the beginning, infants have only one method of saying that they need something: crying. Luckily, that changes as they reach this milestone. They can start communicating their wants and needs without crying around the age of 13-months-old. At first, it is only about two or three words, but their vocabulary will expand with each month that passes by. While they may not know what an object is called, they can reach for it or make sounds that express happiness when they get it.

Desire to Learn

Since a child of this age is seeing everything for the first time, they tend to want to pick up and learn from whatever triggers their curiosity. By the time they are 18-months-old, they can play games, dance and climb up stairs and furniture. The muscles in their hands have also strengthened at this point, so they are able to do things that require fine motor movements, such as drawing pictures and stacking blocks. This desire to learn should be encouraged by reading short books to them and sitting nearby on a blanket with them as they play.

Emotional Changes

A child's personality is going to start showing by the end of this milestone in their life. They will be able to express their likes and dislikes more, so temper tantrums should be expected. It is common for this age group to start showing a little more independence, too. They might get upset if they do not get their favorite item of clothing or toy. They will want to be able to choose things instead of having them chosen for them.



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