12 - 18 Month Developmental Milestones

12 – 18 Month Developmental Milestones

Here is the research of where your child should be up to between 12 -18 month developmental milestones.

NOTE: This is a guide. If you think you want to challenge your child further look at the 18 month – 2 year milestones. You know your child better than anyone so if you see that your child is a little delayed or has a red flag don’t be worried but ask your General Practisioner if you think there is something you are concerned about.

Emergent Motor Skills

  • Walks independently
  • walks backwards
  • crawls/climbs furniture
  • points to objects
  • dances to music
  • feeds themselves
  • attempts to use spoon
  • hurried walk (begins to run)
  • starts scribbles with pencils
  • puts objects into larger objects
  • understands the concept of turning a page
  • drinks from a cup unassisted
  • sits in a variety of ways
  • stands without support
  • crawls upstairs and backwards down stairs on knees
  • squats then stands
  • uses both hands to play

Red Flags

  • walking on tip-toes
  • continually falls
  • no interest in gross and fine motor development
  • constantly running into walls or furniture
  • not raising arms to wave goodbye
  • not responding to others
  • lack of energy
  • not using words or actions to say goodbye

Toy Ideas

  • Push/pull toys (mini mower, walker, doll pram)
  • stacking blocks or cups
  • tunnel

Language & Cognitive Skills

  • 3-5 word vocabulary
  • understands ‘no’
  • Shakes head for ‘no’
  • comprehends simple instructions
  • enjoys rhymes and songs
  • words are not important to them for communication
  • repeats actions that make sounds
  • points to an object when named
  • stacks and knocks over blocks

Social & Emotional Skills

  • Has an awareness of object ownership
  • Imitating some household jobs
  • waves goodbye
  • begins to understand ‘you’ and ‘me’
  • vocalising tantrums
  • begins to cooperate in play
  • parallel play alongside others
  • depends on adult presence
  • curious
  • may show anxiety when separating
  • flips their lid when tired
  • takes cues from parent regarding strangers
  • seeks comfort
  • recognises themselves in the mirror

18 – 24 Months Emerging Skills

  • jumping
  • kicking and throwing a ball
  • stacking 6 blocks high
  • names some body parts

This is a milestone guide for 12-18 month old children using both assessments from the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standards (NQS). This information was developed in conjunction with the QLD Government Child and Youth physical and cognitive developmental milestones.

Written by Sarah Courtney


Department Of Education, Employment And Workplace Relations (2012). Developmental milestones: and the early years learning framework and the national quality standards. Community Child Care Cooperative LTD. Retrieved from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-02/DevelopmentalMilestonesEYLFandNQS.pdf

Queensland Government Child And Youth. (1990). Physical and cognitive developmental milestones. Retrieved from https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/childsafety/practice-manual/physical-cognative-milestones.pdf