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Milestones: 12-15 Months: Physical Development

Your baby’s first birthday is a wonderful turning point. The adorable baby who scooted around the floor and struggled to pick up small objects is rapidly transforming into an adorable toddler. Over the first three months of this year, your new toddler will be learning at a dizzying pace — although the results of this burst of development might not always be so obvious.

It’s also important to remember that your toddler is a unique individual. These developmental milestones are general guidelines. They help doctors, teachers, and other experts in childcare keep track of developing children. But children don’t develop according to a smooth timetable with even progress in all areas. Some children walk early, and others take a bit longer to find their legs. Unless your baby is significantly delayed in a majority of areas, or your pediatrician has expressed concern about slow development, there’s no reason to worry if your new toddler isn’t hitting all of these developmental milestones.

Also, your child will be learning and growing every day — it can seem like there’s a world of difference between a 12 month old and a 15 month old, so if your younger toddler isn’t able to perform some of these, wait a few weeks and see what happens. Most pediatricians now do a developmental assessment at the 12- and 15-month check-ups, which helps catch any delays.

By 12-15 months, most toddlers can:

Walk while holding onto furniture or your hand. Cruising marks the transition from crawling to walking.

Pull themselves to a sitting and then standing position.

Grasp small objects like coins, crayons, or pieces of cereal with their fingertips.

Play simple games like patty-cake or give you a “high-five” when prompted.

Play peek-a-boo.

Wave bye-bye and clap.

By 12-15 months, some toddlers are trying to:

Walk (or even run) unaided, even if they fall a lot.

Climb up stairs and onto chairs and furniture. Make sure your house is fully babyproofed before your toddler becomes this mobile.

Scribble or draw simple shapes.

By 12-15 months, a few toddlers can:

Crawl (or even walk) up and down stairs.

Walk with no help from you and maintain good balance.

Climb over the side of the crib in the middle of the night.

Pick up a small object on the ground from a standing position without falling.

Stack two cubes.

Turn pages in a book, although not always one at a time.

More in milestones:

12-15 Months: Emotional Development

12-15 Months: Cognitive Development

Why developmental milestones will make you crazy


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Important Milestones: Babies at 18 Months.
    National Institutes of Health
  • Developmental Milestone Records – 18 Months.
    Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Developmental Milestones.

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