Sunday, March 4, 2012

Developmental Milestones: 12 to 18 Months

Monika Pis, PhD, CPNP
At 12 months of age your baby starts to transition into toddlerhood. As she becomes more active, her baby fat melts away and she begins to lose her baby features. 

She understands much more than she can express and learns new words daily. That is why it is important to talk to her about everything, describe to her what you see and hear, as well as read to her daily. At this age, your toddler starts to use gestures to express what she thinks and feels. For example, she may take your hand, lead you to the kitchen, and point to the fridge and say “milk."

By about 12 months of age, children can follow a one-step command, such as “go get your toy." By 18 months, children should be able to follow more complex instructions consisting of 2 or 3 steps. At this time, children begin to engage in pretend play. They imitate their caregivers and by doing so, learn new skills. For example, you may notice your child pretending to vacuum or sweep one day.

At this time of development, your child starts to use tools, such as a spoon or toothbrush. She also begins to understand symbols and ideas. For example, while brushing her teeth, your child may pretend that the toothbrush becomes an airplane. Pretend play is a major developmental milestone. It allows your child to develop creativity and other intellectual skills.

You probably already noticed that you toddler is active and ready to explore from the time she wakes up until bedtime (perhaps with a short break for a nap). Toddlers’ motor skills advance exponentially. They walk, jump, and run in their quest to be independent. Keep in mind that they lack judgment skills, therefore they need a safe environment to pursue their discoveries.

Here are the milestones to look for:
 New words daily
 2-word sentences by age 2
 Understands 1-step commands by 12 months
 Understands 2- and 3-step commands by 18 months
 Uses spoon
 Engages in pretend play
 Imitates caregivers
 Points to things
Things to do to enhance your child's development:
 Read daily
 Encourage to use words and gestures to communicate
 Play games that provide instructions
 Provide toys that represent objects in your child's environment, such as a broom or vacuum cleaner

No comments:

Post a Comment