All toddlers have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments around this time. Celebrate with your child as she reaches or nears these milestones.

CognitiveChild’s 15  to 18 months milestone

  • May begin to have a sense of time (napping after lunch, bathing before bed)
  • Actively explores objects by touch and movement (shaking, banging, throwing)
  • Searches for hidden items where last seen
  • Puts objects in and takes them out of containers
  • Sorts shapes; organizes rings by size
  • Looks at picture books by herself
  • Points to objects you name (nose, picture of a cat in a book)
  • Engages in more pretend games
  • Imitates real life in play (feeding a doll, sweeping)
  • May follow a two-part command (“Go to the hall and bring me your shoes”)


  • Climbs on furniture, possibly out of her crib
  • Walks or at least cruises
  • May walk backward and in circles
  • May try to kick a ball (not always accurately)
  • May be able to run
  • May walk up stairs with help
  • May dance
  • Intentionally releases items from her grasp, closer to 18 months
  • Uses a spoon and possibly a fork
  • Removes some clothing; extends arms and legs to help when being dressed
  • Turns pages
  • May begin to scribble
  • May throw overhand


  • Tries to copy words you say
  • Uses a single word as a sentence (“juice” for “I want juice,” “bye-bye” for “I want to leave now”)
  • Says at least five words, by 15 months
  • May say up to 30 words, by 18 months
  • May start to use simple phrases, 18 to 24 months
  • Understands concepts of up, down, off, and hot


  • Gets easily frustrated
  • Separation anxiety may continue, peaking around 18 months
  • May develop an attachment to a security blanket or toy
  • Shows preferences for certain people and things
  • Increasingly understands that she’s a separate person from you with her own preferences, feelings, and ideas
  • May say “no” to express frustration
  • May show empathy (for example, pat your back when you’re upset)
  • Prefers parallel play (playing next to, rather than with, another child)