16-17 Months

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

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 and show what they want

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
  • Understand the concept of putting toys away after play

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 herself with a spoon

17-18 Months

Fine motor skills

  • Uses both hands during activities; hand preference 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 she doesn’t get what she wants
  • 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 sort toys in different colours
  • 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 herself 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

18-19 Months

Fine motor skills

  • Picks up small objects with a pincer grip
  • Picks up objects with one hand while dumping it in a container or bucket held by the other hand
  • May start to grip and open a clothes peg by holding it in both hands
  • Drops small objects through a tiny hole, for example, dropping a toothpick through a colander hole
  • May start to thread large beads with a shoelace

Gross motor skills

  • Walking confidently
  • Needs to hold onto parent’s hand while climbing down stairs
  • Enjoys pushing large toys or small chairs
  • Enjoys climbing on the sofa
  • Kicks a ball from a standing position
  • Enjoys an obstacle course with elements of climbing and crawling
  • May start riding a scooter bike
  • Enjoys jumping on a trampoline

Communication and language development

  • Vocabulary of approximately 20 words
  • May start to say two-word phrases
  • Starts to sing along to familiar tunes

Social and emotional interaction

  • Cries hysterically when hearing loud noises, especially when parents are not around
  • Anxious and emotional when parents leave

Cognitive development

  • May sort 2 different colours in separate boxes
  • Names more than 5 body parts
  • Stacks a tower with more than 5 blocks

Self-help and imitation skills

  • May start imitating outfits and accessories of parents
  • May insist on doing some self-help activities independently such as washing hands and putting on socks

These developmental milestones are based on my own experiences with Mia, but it can differ from child to child. I found that the developmental guidelines and articles given by BabyCenter is a very helpful tool to assist in answering questions and concerns regarding your child’s development. I have added some of their guidelines here.