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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 12 to 18 Months > What to Expect

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What to Expect: 12 to 18 Months

Developmental milestones describe what most children are capable of doing at a particular point in time. Developmental milestones also provide a snapshot of the new skills many children will be starting to master in the upcoming months or year. Knowing what children are capable of, and what they will be practicing, can help you provide appropriate experiences to enhance your child's development.

Remember, developmental milestones only provide benchmarks. Each child develops at his or her own pace. So, in any particular child some skills may emerge early, while others may appear later.

If you have any concerns about your child's development, consult your child's physician.


Typically Can:
  • Strongly resist setting of limits
  • Think the world exists for him
  • Begin to show a sense of humour
  • Show preferences for toys
  • Feed himself with a spoon, but messily
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Pulling on his pants
  • Trying to undo his shoes, such as Velcro fasteners
  • Playing alongside another child

  • Intellectual

    Typically Can:
  • Point to body part(s) when asked
  • Realize things exist when they are out of sight
  • Initiate activities
  • Show understanding of some colours and shapes
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Grouping similiar things, such as socks, shoes
  • Using one object to get another one, for example, pulling a string to bring a toy closer

  • Language

    Typically Can:
  • Understand far more words than she can speak
  • Use "No" correctly, often with a shake of her head
  • Try to sings songs
  • Use 5 or more words to express needs or desires, such as "all gone"
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Naming pictures in a book
  • Imitating animal sounds

  • Emotional

    Typically Can:
  • Be curious, and "get into things"
  • Become more of an individual
  • Hug and kiss his parents
  • Enjoy being the centre of attention
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Showing jealousy when attention is given to other family members
  • Showing frustration easily
  • Displaying a sense of ownership over toys and people

  • Gross Motor

    Typically Can:
  • Walk alone
  • Walk up and down stairs with her hand held
  • Step backwards
  • Throw a ball forward
  • Pull a toy while walking
  • Emerging Skills:
  • "Running" stiffly
  • Seating herself on a small chair
  • Jumping and climbing

  • Fine Motor

    Typically Can:
  • Turn pages of a book
  • Scribble with a big crayon
  • Fill and empty containers
  • Turn container upside down to get an item out
  • Put pegs into a pegboard
  • Pick up a raisin or cheerio
  • Emerging Skills:
  • Squeezing, poking and patting playdough
  • Copying simple lines drawn on paper
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