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 - 15 to 18 Months


Able to walk well, without any help, and without having to hold onto anything and exhibit a certain degree of confidence.

May be able to bend down, such as in the process of picking up something, and then be able to stand up again, all with no outside help.

May be confident enough to hold a crayon, or other marking device, and so be able to scribble on paper or make an elementary form of characterture.

The ability to hold and lift up a cup and direct it to the mouth, without undue spillage, so as to drink the contents.

By now, the child should be able to climb up or onto various objects, such as furniture, with increasing confidence and without the danger of causing injury.


Able to progress from the use of four and six letter words to the use of anything between 10 and 20 words – such increase in vocabulary will quickly gain in momentum.

Another progression will be that involving the delivery of instructions to the child – by this stage, the necessity of hand gestures associated with the instructions should no longer be necessary.

By now, basic mental coordination should allow the child to use building blocks in such a way as to create vertical piles at least two blocks high.

The infant may be more aware by now that objects continue to exist even when they are no longer visible, e.g. putting a toy in a box and closing the lid so the child can no longer see it.

This is an example of object permanence, which is a measure of the development in the child’s intelligence


The child should now be able to identify various individuals with whom it meets on a regular basis, and so convey some form of acknowledgement and recognition.

The natural inquisition should manifest itself in the re-enactment of certain activities which the child sees adults performing on a regular basis, such as doing the washing up, or answering the phone.

Both these events help to reinforce the child’s level of confidence in itself, and develop the social skills.

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