My Child
Social Development: 12 to 18 months

Social Development means being able to make friends and get along with others, to work as part of a team and be a good leader, all of which are built on self-confidence, cooperation and trust.

Emerging Skills
  • Begin to show independence
  • Feed themselves but are still messy
  • Drink from a cup
  • Be curious and explore
  • Show preferences and dislikes
  • Fight limit setting
  • Not share
  • Like to watch and imitate others
  • Love to make caregivers laugh
  • Engage in some turn-taking
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your baby, 12 to 18 months.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, babies will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Give their baby the opportunity to be independent in daily activities. For example, "Can Gina bring mommy a diaper?" This means setting things up a little differently so Gina can reach the diapers
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to show independence
  • Feel proud about what she is doing
  • Want more independence

  • Parents Can:
  • Give their baby the opportunity to feed herself. For example, drink juice in a sippy cup she can hold or feed herself during a meal
  • Child Will:
  • Feel independent
  • Feel proud of her newly emerging abilities
  • Express her preferences, for example, for a particular cup, or plate or type of food

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, babies will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Provide regular opportunities for their baby to play with other children his age
  • Consider joining a play group
  • Child Will:
  • Want to interact with others
  • Initiate interactive play with adults

  • Parents Can:
  • Introduce make believe toys (such as dolls or puppets) and join their baby in this play
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy recreating familiar actions
  • Experiment with expressions and reactions

  • Parents Can:
  • Explore picture books together, making up stories and labelling pictures
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy spending time in a physically close and intimate way
  • Begin to develop an interest and curiosity about books

  • Teach

    Through routines and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, babies can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Teach by example, and model sharing with others
  • Describe how she is sharing
  • Try not to force the issue – it takes time to learn
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to learn about play expectations with others
  • Be introduced to the notion of sharing
  • Try to give another child a toy

  • Parents Can:
  • Use “yes” and “no” to clearly set limits and explain why
  • Respond warmly
  • Give advance notice when activities are going to end
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to use "yes" and "no" to respond to questions
  • Begin to cooperate more often
  • Feel secure

  • Parents Can:
  • Encourage their baby to feed himself and drink from a cup
  • Child Will:
  • Develop a sense of independence
  • Enjoy his new found abilities, although the process is messy

  • Emotional Development: 12 to 18 months
    Intellectual Development: 12 to 18 months
    Intellectual Development - Language: 12 to 18 months
    Intellectual Development - Problem Solving: 12 to 18 months