Toddler Milestones 12-17 Months
Gets Attached to Lovey
A toddler's strong attachment to a well-loved stuffed animal or blanket--a lovey--offers her a comforting sense of security. (Bonus: Her beloved blanket can even help tame tantrums!)
Milestones: Red Flags to Watch For at 12 to 18 Months
Starts Showing Right- or Left-Hand Dominance
Set your child's spoon on the high-chair tray and watch--does he pick it up with the same hand each time? A 1-year-old might begin favoring one hand over the other.
Loves Playing Games
Even the simplest game of hide-and-seek might have your little guy squealing with delight. Playing games together is healthy for your toddler--and you!
Holds Out Arms While Getting Dressed
As a child becomes more coordinated, getting her dressed in the morning gets easier. Ask her to hold her arms out while you're slipping her shirt on. Voila!
Has Perfected 2 Words
Your little one likely will have perfected a couple of words by now--ball, bye, maybe even Mama or Dada. Keep talking with your tot and watch her vocabulary grow!
Loves Her Reflection
Mirror, mirror on the wall--your toddler is the fairest of them all! A baby-safe mirror is a great toy for this age; she'll be delighted by her own reflection.
Bends for an Object & Can Pick It Up
The next time your little one drops a toy, watch to see if he'll retrieve it. He might now be able to bend over and pick up objects without falling.
Follows Simple Instructions
A young toddler's brain is preparing for a game of Simon Says. Play a simplified game with your tot and see if he can follow basic instructions.
Eats with His Fingers
Utensils are tricky for small hands with underdeveloped coordination--yet your child is striving for independence and wants to feed himself. Eating with his fingers is a natural, healthy development for your toddler.
Has Shorter Attention Span
Your active tot might be less occupied with his toys these days and more distracted while you read to him. It's not your imagination--his attention span is shorter.
Points at Objects
Your tot might point a chubby finger at what he wants--an effective new communication tool! (Ask him to show you his ears or nose and he might point them out, too.)
Stands Up from a Sitting Position
Your child might be a real stand-up kiddo these days! Set him in the middle of a room--can he get to his feet from a sitting position all by himself?
Grabs Small Objects
By now your little one has likely perfected the pincer grasp--a terrific skill for picking up bits of finger food at mealtime between his thumb and forefinger.
Those squiggly lines are so much more than just simple crayon marks. Scribbling is a super skill for your toddler to perfect (as long as it's not on his bedroom wall).
Chews Larger Pieces of Food
It's not quite time to ask your toddler how he likes his steak, but you might have noticed that he can now chew larger pieces of food during meals.
Part of growing up is knowing how to obey instructions--from parents, teachers, bosses, etc. Help your child practice with some fun directions as he learns this valuable skill.
Loves Helping Mom
Time to pick up the pace, Mom and Dad! You'll be moving faster to chase after your little one now, as he begins toddling less and running more.
Cares About What He Eats
Toddlers are notorious for being tiny food snobs. You tot might have previously gobbled down a variety of foods and now demands only a few select dishes during mealtime.
Climbs Over Everything
Has your kiddo been scaling everything in sight? You might feel as though you're raising a mountain goat rather than a toddler if your child is a natural climber!
Enjoys Playing with Friends
Chances are your active child loves moving his large muscles. Take him and a friend to the park and watch them take off across the playground. That's great toddler fun!
Understands What Pretend Means
These days your toddler understands pretending and enjoys this new type of play. He might also be clingy with you one minute and want his independence the next.
Your tot recognizes more shapes, sizes, and colors now--it's the perfect time for her to play with sorting toys. This sharpens his reasoning and helps develop fine motor skills, too.
Copyright © 2009 Meredith Corporation.