13-15 Months Developmental Milestones - MommaMia

13-14 Months

Follow these milestones to see how your baby aligns with these stages of development.

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Fine motor skills

• Enjoys packing and unpacking; therefore, loves to explore by unpacking drawers and cupboards
• Builds two to three-block towers and finds great joy in knocking them over
• Picking up and throwing things around are a big favourite at this age
• Enjoys holding a spoon in a fisted or palmar grasp and banging on a tin with the spoon
• Can pull objects against resistance using a tight pincer grip
• Coordinated dropping of objects through a hole

Gross motor skills

• Can bend down to pick up an object; might still need external support
• May be able to stand alone
• May give first steps, although this can happen any time between 9-18 months
• Will attempt walking on uneven surfaces
• Practises cruising with a small chair or stable wagon
• Practises moving from a sitting to a standing position by squatting
• Tries to lift and carry larger objects
• Tries to climb in and out of a box or large container
• May roll a ball back and forth

Communication and language development

• Uses 2-4 words deliberately – these might include “momma”, “dada”, “hello” and “bye”
• Combines words and gestures to indicate needs – may tug at your hand and point
• May start to point to certain objects while naming them
• May start to recognise intonation
• Introduce songs and rhymes to stimulate language development – might not be able to sing or say it with you yet, but will listen with great intent
• May copy one animal sound, for example, a dog barking: “woof-woof”

Social and emotional interaction

• Becomes more aware of sounds and may therefore be startled by loud noises like a horn, siren or even the vacuum cleaner – soothe the tears, be patient and give reassurance – allow exploration with these sounds on own terms
• The parent is still the most important person and separation anxiety can occur
• Becomes aware of own voice and wants to be heard

Cognitive development

• Any cause-and-effect game will be well-liked at this age – these games are effective because something happens as a result of an action or reaction; a game where you press a button and something opens or jumps out is good to start with
• Loves to play peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek games
• Enjoys throwing things and watching it tumbling down – this develops cognitive reasoning and is the start of understanding how gravity works; if you throw something up in the air, it will always come down
• Is able to follow one simple instruction and perform it accurately
• May notice objects that are far away like birds in flight and aeroplanes

Self-help and imitation skills

• Enjoys staring at own reflection
• Uses a sippy cup confidently and may start drinking from a cup
• Takes first bite using a spoon, although it might still be messy and uncoordinated
• Starts imitating observed household chores like dusting or sweeping or stirring with a spoon in a pot
• Confidently takes off items of clothing such as mittens, hat, shoes, socks or a scarf

14-15 Months

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Fine motor skills

• Enjoys packing objects in and out of a container
• Is able to pick up small objects using a pincer grip, even against gravity, for example, pulling pegs out of a peg board
• May build a tower of 2-3 blocks

Gross motor skills

• Pushes and pulls toys along while walking
• May stoop down to pick up a toy without holding onto furniture
• Is able to roll a ball forward while sitting
• Enjoys falling games, for example, falling on a mattress or into a pile of cushions
• Is able to pick up a ball and throw it forward, using both hands, while sitting
• May do supported tumbles

Communication and language development

• Speaks 3-5 words but understands many more
• Enjoys singing repetitive songs to the words they know
• May imitate moves accompanied by a favourite song
• May be slow to respond (verbal or non-verbal) – be patient for a response when communicating, and maintain eye contact

Social and emotional interaction

• Engages in parallel play; playing alongside other children but not engaging in play with them
• Is self-centred and focused on own wants and needs
• Battles to share toys with other children

Cognitive development

• May start initiating games and inviting parents to play along
• May point to one body part when prompted
• Matches lids with appropriate containers
• May start to follow two-step instructions
• Enjoys playing hiding games
• Starts understanding the function of objects by means of imitation, for example, will hold a phone to the ear or copy scribbling in a book while parent is writing

Self-help and imitation skills

• May feed self with a spoon – is able to bring spoon to mouth but it is still a messy process
• Enjoys imitating others in terms of facial expression, tone of voice and hand gestures

15-16 Months

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Fine motor skills

• May open lids of plastic containers and even attempt to put them back on again
• Enjoys transporting small objects from one container to the next
• Enjoys pulling small objects, like a drinking straw, ribbon or pipe cleaner, from a hole
• Has well-developed fine motor skills; can even pick up a grain of rice from the floor
• May open and close zips using both hands

Gross motor skills

• Most children are able to walk at this age
• May walk and go around corners with more ease
• Experiments with estimating the distance between the back of the legs and the chair when sitting down
• May start to run, although it is still a clumsy action that might result into a fall on all fours
• Loves to explore on climbing apparatus, attempting small steps while holding on
• A swing might be a firm favourite
• May be able to pick up an object without holding onto furniture and carry the object while walking around
• Likes to reach and pull things off a shelf
• May stand and kick a large ball
• Can throw a ball forward using both hands
• Enjoys dancing; lifting hands and stomping feet

Communication and language development

• Is able to say about 5 words, including “mommy” and “daddy”
• Vocabulary is not very wide but understands many words
• Is able to follow simple instructions like, “Hand me your shoes”
• Reading books is a firm favourite and exceptionally good for language development
• Starts to point at objects in a book and observes while parents name them
• May start to mimic animal sounds while pointing at the corresponding animal
• Is able to communicate desires, needs and wants by gesturing or pointing

Social and emotional interaction

• Assertive and focused on satisfying needs and wants
• Likes to be the centre of attention
• Destructive and whirlwind phase
• Tries to establish what the limits and boundaries are and will try to test it
• May understand basic emotions when explained and voiced as it is being experienced

Cognitive development

• Keen to experiment with objects
• Starts to understand the function of objects
• Can identify family members from a photograph
• Can point out an object when parent asks where it is

Self-help and imitation skills

• Loves to imitate parents’ behaviour like waving goodbye, blowing kisses or smiling on request
• May insist on brushing teeth independently

These Developmental Milestones, ranging from birth to 36 months, are a combination of my own experience and knowledge as well as guidelines from THE BABY CENTER.