16-17 Months

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

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Fine motor skills

• May turn knobs and open screw-on lids
• May start to scribble on paper
• Enjoys finger painting
• Rakes and picks up cards lying flat on the floor
• Enjoys tearing activities; tearing old scrap paper or newspaper
• May start threading with large beads and a shoelace
• Enjoys dropping small objects into tiny holes or slots

Gross motor skills

• May climb and sit on a small chair independently
• Is able to roll a ball forward
• May pick up a ball and throw it forward in a standing position
• May throw a ball forward, overhand
• Carries large toys while walking
• Starts to run
• Enjoys dancing

Communication and language development

• Speaks approximately 7 words but understands many more
• Uses mostly pointing and gesturing as means of communication
• Will take hand of parent to indicate needs

Social and emotional interaction

• Enjoys playing hide-and-seek where parent hides and child must seek
• Uses social gestures such as waving, smiling and blowing kisses
• Scared of loud, unfamiliar and unexpected noises
• Explorative and destructive phase while experimenting with objects and how it works
• Can indicate “YES” and “NO” by nodding or shaking the head

Cognitive development

• Parent can name object and ask child to point towards it, for example, “Where is the dog?”
• Enjoys hiding-and-finding games
• Understands the concept of putting toys away after play
• May start to experiment with a shape board by fitting specific shapes into their correct positions

Self-help and imitation skills

• May sit independently at a small table to eat
• Enjoys playing with toys that imitate real-life objects and behaviours of parents like a toy tool kit, kitchen set, small broom for sweeping and pushing a doll pram
• Enjoys assisting parent with self-help activities such as applying lotion on face or combing hair
• Enjoys playing dress-up
• Feeds self with a spoon

17-18 Months

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Fine motor skills

• Uses both hands during activities; hand dominance not yet established
• Enjoys fishing out small objects from a container with many toys or objects
• May have the coordination to position and drop a card into a slotted hole

Gross motor skills

• Enjoys climbing activities including climbing up and down stairs while holding on
• May try to hop up and down while holding parent’s hand
• Enjoys ride-on toys like scooters
• Is able to walk sideways, backwards and forwards while holding parent’s hand
• Can kick a ball from a standing position

Communication and language development

• Enjoys naming objects that parents point out
• Continually point out the difference between concepts like big and small when exposed to it

Social and emotional interaction

• Very clear on wants and needs
• Has a need for immediate gratification
• Might throw a tantrum or hit out of frustration when needs are not met
• Is becoming more reluctant to interact with or wave to strangers
• May establish a relationship with someone, like a teacher, who is outside of the immediate family

Cognitive development

• Responds to simple requests and can follow two-step instructions
• May start to position shapes accurately into a form board
• Enjoys making own decisions, for example, choosing between two options

Self-help and imitation skills

• Starts undressing with minimal assistance
• Feeds self a variety of food
• Thrives on a set routine
• Enjoys trying out and imitating daily activities of parents
• May insist on wiping own face while taking a bath

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.