An infant between 12 months and 36 months old exhibits a number of changes that form part of its process of development. The following series of observations focuses on that particular time span, and highlights those changes that may be classified as a “milestone.” It will consider what may be defined as an average child covering specific time periods within this development phase.

Age - 12 to 15 Months


Able to stand erect without any help and without having to hold onto anything.

Is just about able to drink from a cup, but without the sense of fully controlling the action, such as accompanied by a certain amount of spillage.

Has the ability to turn the pages of a book, a few at a time, when given a suitable prompt.

Is able to participate in basic games, such as rolling a ball or possibly even throwing it in a random fashion.

In relation to the context of learning and recreation, the act of play is usually associated with a variety of props, such as animals and toys.


Is able to use words involving four to six letters, such as ball and spoons.

Ability to follow a simple instruction accompanied by an appropriate hand gesture, such as fetching an object, having first pointed to it, and asking the child to collect it.

The ability to realise that an object still exists even when it is out of view to the child, such as placing a toy in a box and closing the lid.

Jean Piaget, a well known child psychologist, conducted object permanence experiments with infants. His results reflected the fact that such awareness was particularly evident at the age of eight to nine months. Such experiments may lead one to understand why infants younger than about nine months do not exhibit a tendency to cry when their mothers are no longer there, viz. “out of sight, out of mind." This concept can lead to “A not B” errors, where an infant looks for an object in a place where it should not be.


Using words or gestures that the child will understand to signify particular objects, such as pointing at a toy and raising the arms to indicate picking up the toy, or alternatively, saying the word cup using an exaggerated movement of the mouth with the intention of receiving the cup from the child.

To use actions that will entertain the child, such as covering your eyes with your hands, and then removing the hands again, whilst playing the game peek-a-boo.

This game further demonstrates the inability of some infants to understand object permanence, which is regarded as an important stage in the development of a child’s intelligence.

Babies and Toddlers – How To Succeed

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